You are the master of your own destiny. This is what most of the published and celebrated motivators sell these days. They are not wrong. It is an absolute truth that we become what we think of primarily. This 'think of' is not about the dream but this should be read as 'What We Think of Ourselves'. The simplest methods and the most complex theories of transformation shall lead to only one thing - Do you Lead Your Own Self!
The success or the failure (as we call it) depends not just on you but the credit or the blame is always placed on your shoulders. This is a fact we all face. Be it our career or our relations, or these are our interactions and attempts at business, the responsibility of your own decisions is on you alone. The phenomenon around you and your efforts shall help or reject the hard work but ultimately the reward is yours. What is that thing which works for and against us in this world? The immunity that we have often talked about is something we need to understand with a straight perspective now. It is a Lockdown, not a deadlock. We can certainly bounce back to better.
The Carpe Diem spirit and the belief that you are the master of your own destiny is based on very few things, less understood by many. We initiate and lead things to their conclusion. The end results add feathers to the cap and we get rewarded as well. There is more to understand here about Leadership, though.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam shared his experience of 'understanding what a true leader is' and here is what he spoke:
The message is subtle and clear. Dr Satish Dhawan did not lead others, he led himself to take the call. He led himself to be a leader of his own life and then all else came into place automatically. The magnet you make in yourself is the thing that inspires others. But the prerequisite is to dare and determine how you are going to live your own life. There will be pitfalls and losses, but what you do with them is the actual change-agent for you. You can get slow and may look bothered by a problem, but if you allow the problem to lead you further, it takes you to say from your strengths. Travel not in your comfort zone, as it may make you lethargic and ignorant. Rather make your life-map in your Conviction and Commitment Zone. Maintain adherence to consistency. Regularise your actions and do not deviate from the major goal. Minor ones can be modified and there is no hard rule to die in a deadlock. You need to interact with yourself, more often than before now.
Either our beloved Kalam Sir or his mentor Satish Dhawan can not be doubted about their competence and knowledge. What makes them the 'prodigies' we still feel inspired by? It was their work, done through the two attributes, that we are putting forward today as the Leadership Lessons in the Lockdown. Before we know the two terms, I learned years back from the legendary Sam Manekshaw, we can understand where do we need Leadership in this Lockdown:
- To Manage Our Own Personal and Professional Life
- To Keep the Interactions with relations and connection on a track
- To Stay peacefully Blind' towards Covidiots and the Ignorance Around us (Refers to what you can change and what you cannot.- The Serenity Prayer)
- For the upliftment of your Sense of Purpose and Sense of Self-Discipline each day
- To Rejuvenate Your Long-lost Passions and Creative Talents that can materialise into Productive Engagement in Lockdown
- To Read and Write, to Speak and Sing and to Walk and Workout (For your health)
We also need to carry the Self-Leadership to stand on our own grounds. The Moral Courage you will carry during this lockdown shall keep the spirits high with a rational emphasis on your ability. Sam Maneskshaw puts it as the Courage to Stand Up and Say Your Piece.
The two attributes that make one a Leader are:
- Professional Knowledge
- Professional Competence
You Knowledge is of no use if you do not have the Competence to execute and utilise the knowledge. The Stock of Knowledge must be kept in a transition. It should keep on moving and the current shall make it a currency you can cash upon.
You Competence has to be polished each day as this is like the daylight which has to renew itself after each dawn and dusk. Constant up-skilling and enhancement of your Competence happen when you commit yourself to Self-Leadership. So, we need to be alert about, not getting trapped in the vicious trend of motivating others.
Watch his Leadership Lesson to understand the two terms that are the focus of this post.
With the Professional Knowledge and Professional Competence, Sam puts forward one more touchstone attribute to us - Loyalty. Again, we will apply it the SELF first. As we know leadership is about 'managing the people and resources'. Hence, to learn it the Eklavyaism way - Leadership in the Lockdown should be Leadership for your own Self. Be with your own self first and be assured that what you are doing is something that your own self appreciates.
My learnings have also come from my elder brother and the Strong Support - Navin Gulia. One of these talks makes sense, each day and each moment. The lesson given by Mahatama Gandhi - You must be the change you wish to see in the world - is what Navin lives for.
Still, he is beyond the quote as well. He inspires us to actually aim for a Leadership which leads us, rather than becoming ring-masters for others. If you love the things you do, then the rest follows. Your Knowledge and Competence should relate to what you are, rather than what the world wants you to be. There are humungous landscapes for you to wander into; there are unfathomed oceans for you to dive into and believe in your own self.