A lot of times when we hear somebody say-“Think like a leader”, we make a remarkable mistake of interpreting it as- to run the organization like a CEO. With no doubt whatsoever, such an assumption is chaos!! It is true that we do need leaders who set the vision and then lead us to it, but the term “leader” is not just confined to those things or people. What really needs to be realized is that each and every member in the team should know its role and then act fully in that role like a leader would.
One of the most important characteristic of a leader is the sense of ownership, and when you start to think, feel and act like a leader with true sense of ownership towards your work, you are growing as a leader. The concept of ownership inspires us to be an entrepreneur of our functional areas. You are a software developer? Think that’s your business. Take personal responsibility for the success of your business. Design the software immaculately, inspire new ideas, implement maintainable code. You are a Painter? Think it’s your show. Show your imagination, show the quality of your work, ensure your creative satisfaction. Do whatever you can to make the business profitable as you would do if it’s your own business. By following such practices you will grow in your career and you will definitely grow as a leader.
One other important trait of a leader is to build culture and build relationships. Like a true leader try to build a positive and enthusiastic atmosphere. Interact with people, pass a smile or wave your hand whenever you crossing them, make them feel comfortable to discuss their problems or to seek your suggestion. Instead of cribbing about the work environment, “be the change as you want to see” -as Mahatma Gandhi said. Share your ideas, discuss with people and implement them. Yet don’t be complacent and do what is right. “Being a leader isn’t about being popular, being a leader isn’t about being liked. It’s about doing the right”- as I read somewhere.
Few days ago, I saw a speech over the internet by the renowned author- Robin Sharma at the leadership forum in a business school. One thing that he said particularly impressed me- “Great leadership is tied to who you are as a person, rather than to your official position. Be a real leader, a leader without a title”. So, on that positive note let’s think like a leader to become “rock stars” at work, and finally to awaken the inner leader in ourselves.
PS. This article was recently published for my firm's global news-letter.