In this competitive world, there are lots of people who are smart and adapt to situations around them but a handful who have the ability to see through a problem and think strategically as well as analytically to come up with a solution to the problem. That is to say, there are lots of smart and intelligent people to be lead but few capable leaders to lead.
So, what makes a leader such a prized possession? If we have a look at some of the major companies which have become leaders, the common string which runs in all of them is their leaders. From Sony, GE, Microsoft to software solutions giants such as Infosys, all these companies have had leaders such as Akio Morita, Jack Welch, Bill Gates, and N. R. Narayana Murthy, who put their respective companies a step ahead of others in their league.
That leaders have prized possession to a company gives way to the question – What makes a leader or what attributes go into the making of a leader? This is the key question that is known to everybody but tended to by a handful. As a result, only those handful who make an effort show way to the others who know the question by becoming a leader!
A good leader has a clear understanding of his team and the circumstances and situations around him. This means a holistic understanding of the issues within a holistic framework. This indirectly means analytical thinking forms one of the key tenets in finding a solution to a problem. All effective leaders are blessed with a certain degree of analytical thinking which helps them to view an issue or a problem in a certain ‘light’. This enables them to break the problem down to smaller fragments and deal with each of them easily.
Improvisation is another attribute of a leader. Depending on the need of the hour, they make the necessary changes in their strategies to serve a long term goal. This calls for a great deal of foresight which for some comes with time and others inculcate it in them! Impromptu decision making is one related aspect of improvisation and decision making and requires a certain amount of ‘gut feeling‘ coupled with foresight and vision. A classic example of this is Sony’s coming into the market with handheld transistors when the world was using jumbo sets! So improvisation helped Sony establish and make an impact.
An effective leader also steers his vessel and by this sets an example for others. The leadership qualities enable the person to earn the respect of others around him and at the same time be a model to them. Vision and the ability to predict the forthcoming is something that draws a line between leaders and followers in many cases.
Thus in the present scenario, an effective leader can be made if an individual takes the initiative to lead and makes an effort to stand out in the crowd.