A leader is a person who leads or exercise dominion over a group of people. Leadership is the personality trait, which enables a person to become a leader. In every society, community or nation, there is bound to be someone, who stands out from others and act as a guide or leader for them. A leader emerges from a crowd of people because the rest lack the initiative of taking up the responsibility of the masses.
“Great deeds make great men” any person, who excels himself in any sphere of activity, sets an example for others to follow. He became a leader whom others try to emulate. Mahatma Gandhi became the leader of the masses, because of his exceptional appeal and leadership qualities. He initiated his struggle against the colonial rule in South Africa with his principles of Satyagraha and non-violence. When he returned to India, he launched his non-violent agitation against the British rule. By leading a life of self-denial and hardship, he was able to endear himself to the masses and they adored him. Thousands rose to his clarion call of the Civil Disobedience, the Satyagraha and the Quit India Movement. Indian History and World History is replete with stories and anecdotes of great men, who endured hardships and sufferings for the betterment of the society. There have been glaring instances when great men have sacrificed their personal well-being and familial interests for the welfare of their nations.
William Shakespeare said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Some people are born leaders with an inner compulsion or urge, which drives them to accomplish great tasks. Some achieve greatness because they’re faulty of mind is groomed in a discipline to acquire leadership qualities. This is done so as to channelize their innate qualities of leadership in a proper direction. And to achieve this, the endeavor, the training, and grooming should begin at an early age. As it is said, “train up a child in the way he should do and when he is grown up, he will not depart from it.” Apart from the innate qualities of leadership, training endows him with courage, initiative, drive, a sense of responsibility and impartiality. A leader should be intelligent, conscientious, have a liberal outlook and possess excellent communication skills to put across his ideas effectively.
School is the most appropriate place to train and groom future leaders. The rigorism of school life helps one to acquire certain leadership qualities, which makes one tower over others. When entrusted with responsibilities, one would exhibit all these qualities, for instance, while discharging duties as the monitor of the class or the captain of a team. Playfields in schools are, perhaps, the best places for developing leadership qualities among children. Sport not only inculcate a sense of fair play among the children but also help to develop qualities like team spirit, endurance, sportsmanship, and discipline. The captain of a team takes decisions in consultation with his team members, maintain discipline on the field, wine the confidence of his teammates and inspires them to give their best to the game.
Every school and college conduct extra-curricular activities. They provide ample opportunities for students to choose the area of their interest. There are a number of societies for debating, for organizing participating in such activities, they get training in organizing and conducting these activities as well as exposure to speaking to a large audience. It helps them shed their initial fear and in this process, they also gain tremendous confidence, which may later prove useful in different fields of activity. Training imparted in the NCC campus also makes the children disciplined and instills in them the quality of patriotism and the feeling of brotherhood. It teaches young men and women to organize events and command groups.
The success of a leader lies in his ability to command respect from the whole community and to inspire people to act courageously. However, some leader becomes perverted, once they acquire fame and power. Some become so obsessed with their power that they forget their humble beginnings and virtually became dictators. They start looking down with disdain on the very masses the whole adulation had in the first place enabled them to gain their stature and position. Hitler was the living example of a dictator, who was tyrannical and self-possessed. According to Lenin, “A true leader must submerge himself in the fountain of the people. A true leader does not allow himself to be overwhelmed by his status. On the contrary, he becomes humble, tolerant and forgiving. He understands that everyone is not bestowed with wealth and prosperity, and hence, he owes the responsibility of providing them their needs.
A leader lives for others, he should be prepared to sacrifice all for the good of others. Mahatama Gandhi’s life bore a living testimony to this. He sacrificed his personal interests to serve his countrymen. He worked selflessly to win the support of the masses for the freedom struggle. He worked for the upliftment of the backward classes and also tried to dispel the hatred among the Hindus and the Muslims. Similarly, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, though born in a rich aristocratic family, gave up everything and plunged into the national struggle for freedom. Both, along with several other prominent leaders, were subjected to torture and had to spend many years in prison, sometimes even in solitary confinement. But, these leaders had a fiery devotion towards the realization of their ideals and ceaselessly worked to make it a reality. Obstacles encountered on the way did not deter them from marching towards their goals.
True leaders rise to prominence not through bloodshed or coups, but because of the support and trust our in them by the masses. Any leader who tries to become an overreacher is likely to lead his country to ruin as it happened to Germany under Hitler. He misused his qualities of leadership and brought about his own downfall. A prudent leader will never isolate himself from the masses. He does not live in an ivory tower away from the public gaze. He makes constant effort to understand the masses and works for their welfare. He has the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes insoluble. He is articulate in his speech and ensures that the public sentiments are not hurt. A leader’s path is paved with difficulties, but he walks on undauntedly with his eyes fixed on his goal.
Top five Leadership Skills are
1. Passion in leading
A leader should have a passion for leading a team, he should show total interest toward his goal and adopt self-denial.
2. Strong communication
Communication skill is a must to be an effective leader, you should be ready to hear from others and understand their words and thoughts.
3. Commitment to staff
Leadership requires a person to totally commit toward his work and goal. He needs to gather support and appreciation from his staff in order to get success in his work.
4. Commit to team building
A successful leader will always work in a team, he will bring people of different thoughts under one banner and garner their support to achieve his goal.
5. Take Decision effectively
A leader should be capable to take decision effectively and abruptly in any situations. He should have the ability to guide others in a way and show them how to work towards achieving their goal.