I love social work therefore I have joined various local associations in Marrakech. Each association has its own specific mission(s) and each working for certain goals. Recently, I have joined one association, but I have been feeling uncomfortable and confused whenever we hold a meeting or set for an action. At first, I did not know the reason behind my feeling, but I soon came to know that the main problem has to do with “leadership” !
The Leader and Leadership:
Good leaders start by leading themselves first before going out to lead others, because when you lead yourself well, you lead others well. Let us start first by providing an answer to such question: “What is a leader?” A leader is a person who has followers under his or her expected commands, and hence arises leadership to define itself as a relationship between those who would lead and those who would choose to follow. However, the question that must be asked is: why would people follow a leader??
Leadership begins with an understanding of who you are, what you care about, what is it that you are willing to put your time and energy into or even suffer or sacrifice for. Once you know who you are, you know what you would do and how you would go about doing it.
So apparently knowing oneself is very important in order to be a good leader, however, this is not the only truth, because you may think that it is always about you –as a leader– and this would certainly lead to egocentrism and arrogance after all.
Recognized Characteristics of a Leader:
The best leaders happen to be charismatic in that they establish healthy relationship with their followers, they connect with people well, and they tolerate each other’s proposition.
In clear sense, effective leaders listen to their followers attentively and take their opinions to consideration, they observe and learn from others, they are conscious about where their team members are and what they are doing, they trust others with no underestimation ever and they actually know how to serve others.
Eventually the best leader is known to be skilled in managing teamwork as far as he or she is concerned with demonstrating a distinguishable picture of how good leadership takes place. Also, a good leader is supposed to create an air of equality so that the working individual would not feel inferior within an organization but comfortable that his engagement is recognized and appreciated and that there is no difference between him or her and the others within that setting.
The mistake that most leaders make is when they try to push their followers to do something and most of the time such thing fails, because when the power your followers give you –as a leader- is not defected back to them, they start giving you less energy and power. Consequently, the right way of leading is leading not commanding; once you have your people following you, then at that moment you deserve to being a LEADER.
Even Martin Luther King put it that way: I have a dream … but in order for this dream to happen, we will have to struggle together, we will have to fight together, we will have to go to jail together, he did not mean you have to struggle and I will keep watching you, also he did not mean you will have to go to jail and I will be free and better than you
Last but not least, being self-aware is the key element that needs to be characteristic of a leader. That is a good leader always asks him/herself what was the worst leader they ever had? Or what are the qualities that make a leader a bad one?? Then after all, he or she decides to improve the way of leading so as to make it unique.