Its all about leadership


Kartik Raichura
Staff member
It is All About ....
by Raman Bharadwaj

About Leadership

We often hear that leaders are born, not made.

This has been the widely accepted opinion for centuries. However, in
the last few decades, leadership is being redefined. Most experts now
believe that the ability to lead is not limited to the few born with
exceptional talent. Even though an inborn potential doesn't hurt,
leadership is viewed as a set of skills that, with proper training,
can be learned.

What is leadership?

Leadership is getting other people to follow you towards a common

A leader feels that he/she has something to offer or that he/she can
make an existing situation better. Initiative and vision are the
pillars to leadership.

The desire to lead, though essential, is not enough to make a dynamic
leader. A firm grasp on the material, a handful of appropriate
skills, and some relevant know-how is essential to convincing others
that you are the top dog. Having the skills and know-how in a
particular field makes you an obvious candidate for leadership. But
this isn't necessarily applied universally. Someone may be a potent
leader of a sports team, but a mild sheep in the work place.

Having the savvy is one thing, sharing your knowledge with others in a
productive way is another. The role of a leader is to direct the
groups towards a common goal. If you can see the big picture and can
act for the better of the whole than you have the scope to deal with
a group.

Interacting well with the group also carries a lot of weight.
Getting in tune with people's emotions, needs, obstacles, and strong
points can help you to effectively mobilize the forces towards a
shared goal. For optimum results, the group needs to understand the
goals and to be enlightened to alternative strategies and ways of

And a good leader is the messenger that bears this information!
The ability to dish out praise and tactfully offer constructive
criticism is also important. Being receptive to others and creating
an atmosphere of mutual respect will help ensure the happiness, and
success of the group.

But a good leader does not neglect the self. A solid self-awareness
and steady confidence is certainly helpful.

Tenacity, pluck, and curiosity are beneficial attributes that will
convince others to follow your lead. Also the intelligence to accept
feedback and learn from it and the flexibility to alter ineffective
habits will ensure your success as a leader. Your inspiration and
passion for the material is contagious and will quickly infect the

To be an effective leader takes vision, flexibility, knowledge,
communication, and hard work. But those who have the desire and the
determination to sharpen their wits, hone their skills, and
accentuate their virtues can pull away and deftly lead the herd to

What must every person know about character?

a. Character is more than talk.
Anyone can say that he has integrity, but action is the real
indicator of character. Your character determines who you are. Who
you are determines what you see. What you see determines what you do.
That's why you can never separate a leader's character from his

b. Talent is a gift, but character is a choice. We have no control
over a lot of things in life. We don't get to choose our parents. We
don't select the location or circumstances of our birth and
upbringing. We don't get to pick our talents or IQ. But we do choose
character. In fact, we create it every time we make choices - to cop
out or dig out of a hard situation, to bend the truth or stand under
the weight of it, to take the easy money or pay the price. As you
live your life and make choices today, you are continuing to create
your character.

c. Character brings lasting success with people. True leadership
always involves other people. Followers do not trust leaders whose
character they know to be flawed, and they will not continue
following them.

d. Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character. Have
you ever seen highly talented people suddenly fall apart when they
achieved a certain level of success?

The key to that phenomenon is character.

About perceptions:

Long before the century of Chrisopher Columbus, man had developed the
skills of seamanship sailcraft and sailing.when the sailors of that
time looked at the seas, what they saw was a flat surface and not
surprisingly, when cartographers ran out of parchment, they inscribed
the words "Here Be dragons" on the ominous blankeness. Then came
along Columbus. As he watched the ships disappear over the horizon,
he noticed they just didn't "disappear over the horizon, " but the
hull always disappeared first, then the sails and finally the tip of
the mast. In very pragmatic, operational terms, Columbus saw the
oceans differently. Humans are so limited, not so much by the tools
as by their vision. Historians tell us that the notion of the earth
was discussed for five hundred years before Columbus' time. What
Columbus did was to translate an abstract concept into its pratical
implications. He bet something on all the speculations and his own
observations (and came back from the New World convinced that he had
been to the other side of the sphere). He was only half right when it
came to telling about the distance, but was 100% right in opening up
new navigational possibilities. Columbus' accomplishments, once
accepted enabled mankind to use the existing skills of seacraft for
vastly greater undertakings.
What Columbus' exploits and voyages teach us is not to be overwhelmed
by the seeming immensity of what lies before us that we are defeate
by our assumptions about the problem.

About Procrastination

Procrastination is a strange phenomenon. It often seems to be a good
solution for making life more enjoyable (by delaying unpleasant
responsibilities). But procrastination almost
invariably works to make things ultimately more difficult and
stressful. And it is a rare individual that escapes the dark hand of
procrastination. Many people struggle for years to free themselves
from its chains in order to forge ahead towards academic success,
fulfilling relationships, a clean house, or a muscular body.

Most people understand that they will feel better once their duties
are done, but the human brain is infinitely complex and
procrastination is not an easy monster to beat. It is not necessarily
the result of laziness or lack of self-discipline, but can be rooted
in a multiplicity of causes. And determining why you procrastinate is
the best way to eradicate it from your list of habits. Once you've
learned why you put things off, you can deal with the real issues at
hand and finally learn to face work and school, to deal with
relationships, to tackle household chores, and to face personal
issues head on. With a good attitude, faith, and perseverance, this
is a battle that can be won!

Advice & Tips


Putting off bill paying? Try getting organized. Instead of lumping
them all in one drawer, separate them. Have one box for unpaid bills
and make sure that you file those that are paid elsewhere. Plan to
pay bills around the same time each month (for example, the first
week of the month). Then you can plan around it.

Promise yourself to touch paper/ letters only once. Throw your junk
mail and unnecessary documents away immediately and file important
papers as soon as you receive them. This promise to yourself will
save a lot of time in the future when you no longer have to sort
through stacks of old mail.

With some things, like cleaning, you can put on your favorite CD and
dance through sweeping, dusting, and tidying. This takes the pain out
of it.
Try to share the chores with someone else and work together (this
might improve your relationships, too, since 'shared hardship makes
hearts grow closer').

Plan to clean for a certain time period, say one hour. If you know
that in one hour you will be finished, getting started isn't so bad.
And you can actually accomplish quite a bit in one hour. Sometimes,
you might even become involved and continue beyond your self-imposed


For bringing up issues with a lover or friend, rehearse in your head.
Write down what you are planning to say, if need be. Visualize how
you are going to say it. Note your feelings of apprehension and
remind yourself how much better you will feel after all is said.
Remember that what you are saying is valid in order to give yourself
courage. What is the worst thing that can happen? And in the right
frame of mind, can't you handle anything?
For jumpstarting a passionless relationship, make romance a priority.
Devote your next day off to spending quality time alone with your
lover. Once you and your partner are focusing on one another in a
relaxed setting, sparks will begin to fly.

With exercise and new diets, start small. For exercise, start doing
something that you can handle comfortably and increase the workout
time very slowly. For example, at first you might only be jogging for
15 minutes 2 times a week. Slowly you can work up to 20 minutes 3
times a week. Of course you will have to tailor your routine to your
desired outcome. Starting too ambitiously leads to failure anyhow.
Don't feel guilty about spending too much time at a plateau. And
don't be discouraged if you fail one day. You have to get back in the
saddle and resume. Psych yourself up for personal change and
visualize the benefits you will experience.

For exercise, try starting a new regime with someone else. If someone
is relying on you to get out there in the morning for a run, it makes
it much harder to put it off.

If you are having trouble getting going one day, decide to go easy on
yourself. Plan to exercise for a shortened time period. Once you get
started you just might keep going.

Another way to get yourself enjoying exercise is to tell yourself,
during the exercise, that you love it. Force yourself to smile. Act
like you love it. Although this might feel artificial, such 'acting'
can actually be convincing. And soon you will naturally look forward
to and enjoy your workouts.

Visualize. Before a workout, imagine yourself doing the exercise with
strength, endurance, and confidence. Visualize what your body is
doing, what your form should be, picture the regularity of your
breathing. Then imagine the cool-down and the great feelings that
ensue a satisfying workout. Such psychological prep work really helps
take the sting out of workouts by getting you into an enthusiastic
and determined 'zone'.

If you have a rather large and formidable task to do (like writing a
term paper), then break it up into smaller chunks. Think only of
completing those smaller portions of the job. For example, if you are
having troubles getting started, you can devote just a short time to
reading one research article. The next day you can take notes -
brainstorm, then sift through it. The next day you can write an
outline. Even within the same day, you can sit down several times for
half an hour each time-to write one paragraph. Spend a short period
of time working on these reduced tasks. Just chip away at it.
Actually doing something will improve your morale and you might find
yourself getting involved and doing more than you had anticipated.

Find a place to work where distractions are limited. Studying or
working in a messy room, for example, is very distracting and
conducive to sloppy work. You might also start clean compulsively, as
every reason to get away from the job to be done is good - plus it
gives you a relatively valid reason to procrastinate. Try to keep
your work area tidy and organized.

In your workspace, display motivational posters or messages to
yourself to remind yourself what you are working towards.

Use role models. Find a dedicated study partner who can lead you down
the garden path of work and persistence. Talk about work or school
with a very inspired and enthusiastic colleague. His or her influence
can help rocket you into action!


In general, it really helps to psych yourself up for the job. Sit
down, and breathe in and out very slowly (3 seconds inhale, 3 seconds
exhale) for several minutes. Calm yourself down and then try to find
that headspace where it isn't so difficult. Recall a time when you
were learning well, working well, writing well, whatever. Remember
how you felt…and try to get back into that feeling. And imagine how
accomplished and virtuous you will feel when it is all done. De-
stressing is an excellent way to prime your brain for enjoyable work
and learning.

If you are afraid of being evaluated or judged, ask yourself whether
this is reasonable or not. Try and realize that you can only do your
best and that that will have to be good enough. And if you get
criticized, well-you are only human and you will learn from your
mistakes. Think of the possibility of getting a high evaluation. Try
to instill inside of yourself the will to succeed, but strive for
personal success. Also try to put the matter into perspective by
imagining your friend in your position. Would people be so harsh with
him/her as you imagine them being with you? Probably not.

Simply learn to manage your time. Try QueenDom's Time Management Test
for evaluation and feedback. Get an appointment book (don't go
overboard here, you perfectionists!) and plan and prioritize.
Self-talk yourself into believing that you will be happier in the end
if you act on things.
Estimate the amount of time you think it will take you to complete a
task, then increase that amount by 100%.
Give yourself rewards for jobs completed. Take yourself out to lunch
if you complete the first draft of your paper, clean the kitchen, or
finish that dreaded project. Buy yourself flowers, take a hot bath,
watch your favorite TV show, call a friend. There is nothing wrong
with giving yourself incentives, as long as you take the incentive
AFTER you have done what you set out to do. This will reinforce the
general feeling of well-being that comes with completing tasks. In
this way you will chip away at that sense of dread or reluctance that
prevents you from getting started.
Don't be discouraged by setbacks. Realize that you are human and try
Remember that the completion of most tasks is mostly for your
benefit. If you are angry at a professor, supervisor, or spouse,
delaying doing something won't punish them, but will backfire and
make you feel worse. The best revenge is to do what you have to do,
to do it well, and to do it for yourself. You will feel better about
If you just don't like work and would rather be kicking up your heels
at the local bar, playing field, dance club, ski hill, or whatever,
then it might be worth considering the fact that those fun things
might be even more fun if you have a clear conscience. Even though
you might be pretty good at blocking out your unfinished
responsibilities, they certainly are eating away at you to some
degree. Actually finishing something gives you license to kick up
your heels!
If burnout and fatigue is the cause of your procrastination, then
make rest, relaxation and recuperation your top priority. After
getting rejuvenated, you will find it easier to get on top of your
Sit down and prioritize your tasks on paper. Get it very clear in
your head what is important and what is less so. This helps if you
have a lot to do and don't know where to start. Obviously start with
the most important task. Break it up into sizable chunks if
necessary. Forget about lesser tasks until another time. For example,
you might cite, at the top of your list "Visit Grandma in the
hospital" and "Create outline for Friday's report". You might demote
such items as "Buy cushions for new sofa".
Visualize how much easier it is to do a job in smaller chunks. If you
do it bit by bit, it will be done painlessly before you know it.
Examine WHY you are procrastinating. Mull it over, write it down if
you have to and think of solutions.
If you are easily distracted by things other than what you really
have to get done, tell yourself that you will work for 1 hour and
THEN you can attend to whatever it is that distracts you. Learn to
delay these distractions until you have spent a predetermined length
of time on what you need to do.
Have fun doing what you are doing. Tell yourself, "Once I get
started, it won't be that bad", or "Just relax, have fun with it". It
doesn't have to be drudgery-that is only a state of mind. Learn to
get into a zone where it is fun (get in the flow). Pretend you love
doing the task. Such acting will eventually convince you that the
work can indeed be fun, rewarding, and worthy of effort.
Announce your goals to family and friends. This will put some
pressure on you to actually do what you claim. Post your goals on the
fridge, around your workspace…
Getting started on a task on time takes practice. It has to become a
habit/routine. You will experience setbacks, but with a bit-by-bit
approach and persistence, you can definitely teach yourself to attack
that which has to be done.
Create ways to save time and use them (templates, flowcharts,
outlines of strategies and procedures) - when you know where to go
and where to start, it's easier to get going.


New member
G8 article, I lean towards the opinion of leaders are BORN, not made. Although training can nurture leadership qualities.


New member
this is great.. an article that desreves thumbs up..

"the greatest lost is untapped potential"