What do I know about leadership? You may be tempted to ask. Trust me I am fully qualified to talk about this topic. Even before I understood the connotation of effective leadership, especially a craft and a set of skills required to meet the demands of the 21st Century workforce, I had the opportunity of functioning in a few leadership roles such as Relieving Head Teacher English for three blocks or times, Literacy Coordinator for a year, ICT Coordinator for a term, Year Advisor for three years, Debating and Public Speaking Coordinator for four years and Group Leader during NAPLAN marking operations for five years for which I had received Higher duties allowance, period allowances and other allowances which is usually shown in the respective payslips. Misunderstood to be a rebel or troublemaker or shit stirrer, I am much easier to handle when in leadership positions. Extremely critical about everything and everybody, I did not spare the inefficiency of my leaders or authoritative figures.
Recently I listened to the podcast of Kingsley Grant and I am relieved to learn that I am not a weirdo who has “an-opinion-about everything”. On the contrary, I was right about the shortcomings of a few leaders I had known at the different institutions in which I was employed. Kingsley Grant’s podcast on Outdated leadership is Malpractice Leadership made me realize why they failed to leave an impression on me. Most leaders followed outdated methods while facing a new generation with a greater emphasis on only discipline. In other words, the attitude of most leaders were as rightly pointed out by Kingsley Grant, is “Do as I say!; a rigid kind of leadership where if the subordinate disagreed in any way he better be prepared to pay the price.
Any leadership course stresses on the need for self-awareness and while I am aware of my strengths such as hard work, perseverance, self-motivation and positive thinking that I can fulfil the roles and responsibilities associated with the role etc. I am also working on my weakness which is the inability to merge emotions with intelligence in a skillful or efficient manner. A modern-day leader must not only have a clear vision which he or she must make others understand and motivate them to work towards achieving the vision but he should also possess values such as honesty, integrity, ethics, trustworthy, considerate besides soft skills. Talking about soft skills, Grant compares soft skills with steel. Just as steel makes buildings durable soft skills makes a leader strong, one who outlives the organization, as the characteristics become visible in the way he or she leads. Grant’s view that a leader must be in an entrepreneurial mindset then translates into a leader being positive, persuasive, self-motivated, curious and flexible.
Modern day people or new generation like their leaders to be real, touchable, open and vulnerable like any other normal human being who they could get to know, like and trust. Without the ability to be emotionally intelligent, to interact and engage, leadership fails. Leadership is all about partnership, relationship and leading with confidence while telegraphically conveying to people that everything is going to be okay. So, if you are aspiring to be a leader, remember that the key word for success is “emotelligent”.