A warm welcome to everyone present here today. I feel honoured to be given this opportunity to give a speech on leadership. I hope this speech makes you think about what a leader is. What is the role of a great leader and what are the true leadership qualities?
Let us go back to the history of the world. Many events happened around the world. Events such as injustice towards people, slavery, racism, and dictatorship. During all these events the universe provided us with a few people who rose to the occasion and helped humanity to fight injustice. They taught us how to fight, they led us towards a better future, and those my friends were leaders. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin king Luther Jr and so on were present to lead and guide people towards a better future. One quality that was common in all of these leaders was that they had this amazing ability to persuade people to respect and follow them.
Firstly let’s just not confuse leadership with dictatorship. A good leader will never dominate or subjugate people because of their sex or position in society, that is done by a dictator and the best example of a dictator was Adolf Hitler. Surely he had thousands of followers but he dominated them and made them forcefully adapt his mentality, a good leader will never do that. The world is full of people who have a great desire to take charge and forcefully rule over other people’s lives and call themselves a leader which rests assured, is not a sign of a leader.
So who is a true leader? Well, a true leader is someone who is known for his work ethic, A true leader is someone who earns respect through his rightful actions and mass following without any dictatorship. A true leader inspires others in his or her group to be better persons. A great leader will inspire other people to follow in his/her footsteps to become a guiding light for humanity. A good leader will always lead the people towards the path of growth and progress by carrying the torch of wisdom. As the phrase goes ‘Action speaks louder than words, a true leader will never tell people to follow them but the benchmark he or she has set and his or her actions will allow people to trust in him or her. A good leader will always set the goal and will start working towards the goals to achieve it without compromising morals and ethics and this is a sign of a true leader.
Features of Leadership
Leaders play an important role in the growth of any organization. A great leader can establish and maintain good interpersonal relationships with subordinates or followers and motivate them to achieve their desired organizational goals.
Here we are discussing some important features of leadership that every good leader possesses.
Influence the Behaviour of People - Leadership is the skill of an individual that influences the behaviour of other people or employees in any organization so they can work together to achieve a common business goal.
Interpersonal Process - This process occurs between the leader and his followers. The relationship of the employees with the leaders determines how efficiently and effectively the business goals would be met.
Achieving Similar Organizational Goals - The objective of leadership is to provide a direction to the employees to attain common business objectives. The leader combines the people and their efforts for the same.
Continuous Process - Leadership is a time-consuming and continuous process. At every point, employees need guidance from the leader to ensure that they are working in the right direction and their efforts will pay them back. Moreover, a good leader makes sure that his employees are not deviating from the path.
Group Process - Leadership is certainly a group process. Imagine if there are no followers then to whom will the leader guide? Therefore, leadership involves the interaction of two or more people that allows them to discuss their issues with their mentors and get relevant solutions.
Dependent on Situations - A leader is dependent on the situations that he has to tackle in the current scenario. His leadership style changes when the situation changes. The advice which he gives to solve a situation will also be effective to tackle other problems.
Leadership style refers to the approaches or strategies adopted by a leader for motivating his followers while trying to achieve common targets. As discussed above, leadership style is dependent on situations. This means that the way of handling a problem can change depending upon the present scenario.
Leadership styles are classified into three types. These are-
Autocratic Leadership Style - In this style, the leader takes all the necessary decisions by himself without discussing them with his followers.
Democratic Leadership Style - Here, the leader consults his subordinates before taking the final decision.
Free-Rein Leadership Style - It is also known as the Laissez-faire style. In this, the leader gives complete freedom to his followers to take the decision.
Let us take the example of Mahatma Gandhi, you could ask anyone about him and the only general answer the crowd will give is that Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader. A journey of a great leader starts with an incident and this could be applied to Gandhi as well. Mahatma Gandhi had settled down in South Africa with his family practicing law but one night during his train journey he was exposed to the cruelty of people in the society towards those with different skin colour. He saw that he was a judge because he was an Indian and was considered to be inferior because of his skin. This incident is considered to be the turning point in Mahatma Gandhi’s life. After the incident, he decided to change the perspective of people and also to free India from British rule, and as they say, the rest is history.
Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi possess a great quality of effectively channelizing their energy and also devote themselves to a cause or the growth and progress of humanity. Nelson Mandela, Martin King Luther Junior, and many more have this ability and are considered to be a pattern found in great leaders. The restrictions or the obligations they faced only enabled them to rise against all odds and never bow down to any circumstances.
Leadership is not an easy task and I can assure you that it cannot be cultivated within a day. It is not for people with weak hearts who cannot tolerate hatred, betrayal, and jealousy. A true leader will always have a goal and vision and he or she with his or her team will work every day to accomplish that dream. We often see that in a few working places many bosses call themselves leaders but are never present to help or appreciate the work the employee has done. This is not a sign of a leader. A true leader will always work with the team and listen to the concerns of everyone and also note down the ideas that would be helpful to complete the given task. A true leader never boosts himself or herself for the work and will always try to understand the team.
My dear friends, I want to conclude this speech by saying that it is not easy to become a great leader in a day, week, or year. It is a process of facing your fears, discomfort, and failure. A true leader will always learn from his past mistakes and will always try his or her best to correct those mistakes. A true leader will also respect his team members and will always help them, guide them when they are in need. So if you want to be a good leader, start practicing gratitude and always respecting people irrespective of their profession. Thank you.