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Leadership lifestyle, by Eleni Rizikianou

The desire to go deeper on the meaning of leadership came though working for so many years with so many different people. Reading contributed as well in this quest. As all of us, in my journey I met people with limited literacy that earned my respect and loyalty; I also met people in high positions who didn’t have a clue how to deal with people and teams. So I wondered how is it possible to be a leader and not knowing about leadership terms and how is it possible to have multiple degrees and not knowing your way through people.

Starting with leadership, the first thing I learnt was that I was standing where I was supposed to stand and if I hadn’t go any further it was because I didn’t deserve it! Cruel, don’t you think? Cruel but true. I understood that I realized what I always knew; if you want to move forward, you have to work with yourself only; you have to stop mixing other’s people defects in your mistakes and try to be better than you were yesterday and do it for you.

We keep talking about leaders and leadership all the time lately and in many different sections of our lives. But what’s in it to be a leader really? The deficit of leadership creates a deficit of values and then bankruptcy at all levels: individual, corporate, social, economic and national.

A leader doesn’t have to be the first on the hierarchy of a company. Leadership doesn’t come with you business title and has nothing to do with management. Leadership is a lifestyle; it depends on who you really are, on your values and on your personal development. Leadership is an attitude that others see in you and makes them to want to follow your lead. The leader inspires, shows the way, empowers, earns peoples trust, while the manager deals with practical things as money, information, resources, time, procedures, etc.

A leader takes responsibility of their actions, which are based on these core skills:

  • Self-knowledge
  • Self-monitoring
  • Empathy
  • Social influence

All these skills come as an outcome of a person, who has particularly developed its emotional intelligence, an ability that develops and improves during a person’s life through repetition.

Being a leader is not a property you can hold on forever, but only as long as you have the abilities to be a leader in the minds and the hearts of your associates. Some of those abilities are:

  • Listening actively what other people have to say.
  • Urging people to work on their best assets
  • Being a respectful professional
  • Meaning what they say
  • Being moral, polite and efficient
  • Knowing and keeping the correct boundaries
  • Processing their beliefs keeping their mind open
  • Removing the stuffiness
  • Being objective and non absolute

 

Leaders know where they want to go and are able to make a plan to achieve their goals. They are also able to change their goal, if they understand that it has to be changed. It takes persistence and common sense balance to be an authentic leader, when you understand that life is a Labyrinth, not a Marathon. Most of all, everybody needs to understand that one can first be a leader of its own life and then of a team in every field.