A good leader always keeps people engaged
Aug 14 2014
Think of school, where children are asked, “who wants to be the class monitor today?” And 50 hands shoot up, like stars! They all want to be in control. Some may be untidy monitors, while some are so rowdy themselves that they create mayhem. Some are strict who are not listened to, while some are so overwhelmed that they falter. Some are just incapable and the same could happen in an office. Some department heads get there due to seniority and there is nothing to do with merit. Or politicians. Or corporate heads. Some leaders are so short sighted that they only want to be in the ‘power seat’ to be ‘seen’. They walk with a self-important air, a squeaky attitude that wills you to look at them. But there is little action that speaks for itself. Or you have the reckless strutting head who has an air about him and cuts across conversations always having their say. They never encourage a conversation, but merely a monologue. When an action rather than word speaks of the person’s confidence, it is impactful and real.
For example, you could have a director of a play who shouts and directs with a raised voice. Or you could see him act out the scene himself with what he wants done, thus, showing the way. Engaging and involving people are the key to leadership. We live in this world and its people who we live with, who we work with, who teach us compassion, who teach us patience, who teach us forgiveness, and who teach us love. People also teach us how to control rage and convert it into tolerance and patience. I never realised the value of that irritating person who always bugged me by never listening. Actually the universe put him there to teach me patience, not vice versa. It took me a long time to realise this and when I did, he had vanished from site.
I think as a leader you have to be honest with yourself and see how a 100 people take one step forward rather than one person takes 100 steps forward.
(The writer is a theatre director and novelist)