being ready to lead a group
Leadership is not a position but an action. Great leaders not only talk but also listen to their teams. We can observe leaders eventually starting from parents in home & teachers in school to bosses in professional life. But, to be a good leader one must have certain distinct skills which I have learnt after undergoing numerous circumstances. Having experienced dangerous & challenging circumstances I realized what sacrifices; courage & patience is required to be a capable leader.
Leadership can be attained by developing several qualities in oneself but the most important which I consider is communication & decision making. Not very early when my friends & I were on the trip to the northern areas of Pakistan. We were hiking a long, tiring & dangerous trek of Fairy Meadows (approx. 3600m high). It was pitch-black. Two of my friends & I got lost in the middle of the hike. We waited for the remaining group, but no one appeared. Instead of panicking & waiting further, I hold their hands & resumed the journey as a lead. They were exhausted from such an arduous expedition & wanted to settle down, but I tried to convince them to continue to the destination explaining all the consequences if we did not move fast. To divert everyone's mind from the distance, I started singing songs. My hands & feet ached but surely, I could not let them go. Slowly & steadily going we saw the peak appear where our camps were set up. There I realized what it takes to make someone move with you.
One should be aware & confident enough to direct well. A Leader does not command but influence. As my professional career started, I have been given the responsibility to lead 9 Quality Control Circles (QCC) in maintenance department having 10 members each. It was quite challenging because our department had not been advancing in the activity for about 5 years. Also, the participants were demotivated due to consistent failure. To revive the teams' motivation & interest, I had to acquire a transformational approach of leadership. I came up with a plan to arrange interdepartmental sessions for revitalizing the teams' vision & reason to work on it. Once vision is invigorated, it became easier to conduct meetings for discussion & feedback. However, most of the times the results were not achieved as planned, but still learning points were highlighted & even trivial efforts were appreciated. Last but not the least, it was the first time that 3 out of 9 circles emerged in Semi Final Round out of 250 circles in all. This phase of was strenuous where I came to know how much focus & appreciation mattered to pull a distorted team together.
A competent leader is molded with countless interpersonal skills. Significant among which are communication & ability to make quick & effective decisions when needed. All in all, leadership is being ready to lead a group by influence & example rather than persuasion or order.