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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Who is a leader?  What it takes to be a leader?  A leader is a person -- like you and me -- who leads and guides  through his/her examplels,  and finally takes us to the common goal, i.e., his vision.  It takes confidence, fortitude, and courage to be a leader par excellence.   Swami Vivekananda said: "If you have no confidence, you have lost everything in life".  In other words, the greatest loss is loss of self-cofidence.   If you have confidence you will dare to do anything, come hell or high water, you will succeed and be a major force so powerful that it will consume everything in your path.  That, my friend, is the key ingredient to be a leader.
Everyone's dream is to become a good leader in their respective fields, but what most of the people do not know is that even a simple, ordinary team member can become a good leader.   

Let's take for example a King.  He has an army to protect him, but still, a king, whether he rules a small kingdom or big kingdom,  learns all the techniques -- hand-to-hand combat, sword skills, wrestling and all forms of martial arts -- and masters them, why?  Because, during a war, when his commanders and soldiers are annihilated or at the point of losing the war, the king intervenes and puts an end to all the enemies.  He comes as the last resort and defeats them.  His people say, " long live the king!!"

Following the example of a king, a leader should not think that he/she is here to lead the team without lifting a finger, or without taking any responsibilty.  It would be foolish for a leader to think that he/she could lead a team without sweat and blood.  Such a leader will be a failure, a total failure.  He will be confined to the dustbin of history.   Let's say you are the Boss of a company and, one of your employees in the course of executing a task made a terrible mistake, and you, as a Boss of the company,  should not wash your hands off and blame him.  A true Boss -- irrespective of his age or position of authority --  humbly puts himself in the position of that employee and shows him how to perform that task in a correct way, and in doing so, the Boss proves that he/she is a leader.

I would like to draw an example from the animal kingdom.  Take for example, the mightly Lion (male). He is the king of the forests and asserts his authority over other animals.  Unlike his counterpart, the Tiger, the lion hunts with his brute strength for his food; he doesn't depend upon other animals' hard earned food. He, along with the Queen of the forests, Lioness, bring down a buffalo or even an elephant and eats his share (a male lion's share) of the meal.

Tell me: Why the male lion -- not even the size of an Elephant or strong like a Rhinocerous -- became a king? The answer is in his confidence and courage.  Look at the way a lion walks: there is confidence in his steps and courage in his heart.  He keeps his head up, chest out and ears alert.  That is a sign of leadership. They lead the pride (group of lions) and assert dominance over them and other animals.  

In conclusion, a leader also motivates and inspires his people, sacrifices for the sake of his people. He doesn't seek  his welfare, but for the welfare of his people.  He, my friends, is a true leader.

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