Life and Lessons for and by next CEOs

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Blueprint For Effective Leadership

The idea of leadership has gained wide traction in the corporate world since the turn of the millennium and there are already several hundred thousands of books written by experts, successful businesspersons, and charlatans alike. The concept is so widely proliferated that if you ask a roomful of people what it takes to be a good leader, there is a chance everyone has an opinion which it considers unique and most accurate. This is not a bad thing: in fact, we must cheer, because what it reveals is that the urge for leadership is innate and common to every human. This means that regardless of differences in race, colour, creed, or social status we can all be leaders.
Consequently, then, any attempt to identify the one defining trait of a good leader would almost certainly lead to a multiplicity of answers, which would, in turn, leave the question hopelessly intractable. This is so because leadership involves a complex set of responses –active, reactive, and sometimes even inactive. Some may wonder why a good leader would be inactive at any time; but unlike as popularly thought, Leadership is not always about action, but about appropriate action.
However, while leadership may be inborn, effective leadership is not. Leadership instincts may be common to everyone but the capability is not. This is precise because leadership is a skill, which requires rigour and dedication to hone into expertise like, say, swimming since the cost of failure sometimes is too great to allow for one’s business, team, or corporation to sink.
How then do you stay afloat with the weight of responsibilities on your shoulder?
There are a few qualities leaders can learn and practice to allow for a more effective management of their undertakings. Some of this include:
Self-assessment
Sharp perception
Communication
Negotiation
Self-Motivation (and of others)
Curiosity
Risk-taking
Vision and goal setting
Resource-efficiency
Each of these qualities serves specific purposes on their own but forms a formidable arsenal when possessed in combination by any leader. These qualities can help a leader in formulating, advancing, and executing different strategies that may help an organisation achieve its desired success. Leaders often learn from history to make things happens in the present while keeping an eye on the long-term effect and prospects of any plan. Leaders are required to manage difficult situations, to be innovative in their thinking, methodical in their processes, playing by the rules, and sometimes playing against these very rules. It would appear that the first rule of leadership is that there are no rules to leadership, only an intelligent combination of steps and actions as the situation demands.

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