People talk about being a leader and lead by example, but what sort of Example and who are we leading, nobody told me at least. It’s like that clichéd word ‘Discipline’ which I have been told from my childhood, Nobody told me what discipline meant, but they all wanted me to be and told me that I am not disciplined.
Everything is Perspective in Life, everybody has their own way of dealing with things and in general people try to bombard their views on others, just because their views worked for them. Whenever I read the emails sent to us by the so called Leaders, I find them vague with no practical application ,and these short stories on the topics are a way to categorise these vague topics to a more ground level ,so that we all can Understand what they mean to us and how we can use them.
There is a theory called Chaos theory which says ,everything and everyone in this world are connected .if there is an Earthquake somewhere in the world, its 100% sure that it was caused by a butterfly fluttering its wings half a world away. Things are connected.
It’s been Proven that ,although we are all connected and try to emulate some things from others, we all are different and there is a threshold of how far a person can Motivate others. Things have a limit.
There are four different types of personalities in all of us, we use these personalities depending on the situation. They are Namely :
(1) Director : Expert at a technology(even way of Life and way of talking is a technology!) and theory, but no Operational Idea on how to do it. This Personality tries to direct people around them. This happens when a new person enters into the team and a so called veteran in that team tries to ‘direct’ the new person into how do we do things here.
(2) Coach : Expert at a technology and also the operational way of doing it. This Personality tries to force the way things are done on others. This could happen when there is a change of technology and/or going into a new role in the same Project.
(3) Support : This Personality tries to be empathetic and if in personal life, sympathetic and behave like a family
(4) Delegate : This Personality tries to make other people work and sit idle.
These four Personalities are the major type of Behaviour which we all fall into under various situations whilst dealing with life or Career.
Now ,to the main topic ,what is a Leadership?
Leadership is a mix and Match of all the four types of Personalities above. To say, we are all Leaders. Usually, whenever we read the word Leader, we start imagining a team and we trying to be one of the roles above. But, being a Leader is not about we having a team and people to try our methodologies on. Being a Leader is trying to understand which style best suits which situation, first in our own way of dealing with our life.
And as we already thought, there is a Limit for everything , but still everything is connected. To re-iterate, we are all Leaders, how best we use and how and when to leave people and ourselves alone is the differentiating Principle which we need to Understand. There is a way to do it , and the following chart will help us
(1) The People who ask for Solutions when given with a problem are called as Coach
(2) The people who tell Solutions when given with a problem are called as Advisor
(3) The people who tell problems when given with a problem are called as consultant
(4) The people who ask for problems when given with an issue are called Counsellor
The Best style, looks like is to be a Counsellor and Coach ,as they tend to get the people who come to you with issues get thinking on their own.
The lesser styles are the Consultant and Advisor, as they leave the people who come to you with issues depend on you, which leads to unnecessary time burden and pressures.However, Practically, we get to see all sorts of People around us ,and we will never know which style of Leadership works for them. We have to be ,all of the above. The Best order to start with is to be a Counsellor, then if it does not work, be a coach, then an Advisor and finally a consultant in a short team like ours and also for a large teams.
I did a soul-searching and I realized , I behave like a Director and Adviser more than anything else, which keeps me under the lower radar of a leader.
To Summarise this short story, the question is not how to be a leader, the question is which style would you choose to be from the above Leadership styles ,which Exist in all of us.
Manoj & Phani Bhagawan