When I started my career, one of my colleagues gifted me a book ": The 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey" I was still a novice in industry and at that time little did I know that one day that book will become my Bible. Today, if I look back, that was one of the precious gifts that I have ever received. I read that book multiple times and prefer to quote points from the book even during any casual conversations with my colleagues. But, can a “highly effective people” become a highly effective leader automatically? Probably NO. To me, there are certainly other traits that one needs to have in order to be recognized as an effective leader. Read on to know my take on “7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders”

Everyone is important: If you are thinking that leadership means just staying ahead of others then you are completely wrong. Leadership means staying with everyone and take a lead in handling the responsibilities of the group or community. To be impactful, you must stay unbiased. No type of external motivation should allure you to defy your responsibilities towards your group. For that reason, you must have a congruent vision and feel for all members of your group.

You are not the King: A King is obviously the leader of his kingdom, but, on the contrary, leaders are not the King. Avoid any type of dominance in your group which can make your followers suppressed and demotivated. A King is having subjects, but a Leader is having followers.

Know the mind: To make a positive impact, you must know how to read minds. You must understand the feelings of your followers. This will enable you to take likewise decision at required times without hampering anyone's feelings. Striking the right chord at the right time often makes wonders and a good leader is undoubtedly a pro on that.

Being transparent: Unless it is a directive from top management or there is a genuine reason to keep it secret for your org, try to be as transparent as possible with your employees. Your acceptance as a leader will go up multiple notches when your followers discover that you are a transparent leader. For example, if you are assigning a challenging task to one of the team under you, explain the rest of the team about the rationale behind that decision.  

Empathy: Go to “Glassdoor” and pick any company. Read the feedback and you see the majority has complaints about their manager/boss of not being empathetic. If you lack empathy towards your team, that will bound to backfire and jeopardize your project or mission. So next time you are planning to have a discussion with your team, your empathetic hat on and see the magic.

Innovative: "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." ~ -Steve Jobs. A leader should eat, speak and breathe innovation. His/her action should encourage followers to contribute more towards innovation. Keeping the regular work aside, there is always a scope of spending time towards innovation and a leader should encourage the team to contribute more to that.

Identify the mission: If you want your leadership to have an impact on your followers, you must have a visionary approach towards the mission you are collectively working for. None of your decisions or actions should be against the mission or towards any personal betterment of yours.

To conclude, the above seven parameters can be met only if you are dedicated, focussed and knowing all means of handling responsibilities. Vision is the only thing that defines the slim yet strong boundary between leadership and impactful leadership. Take up the mission of the group religiously and worship it with your infallible principles and vision. Your leadership is certainly going to make an impact with a great difference.

Inspired by:  

The 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey"

Leadership @ Pega

Workplace experience