What is leadership excellence? What are the important features? How is it supposed to be pursued? These are the questions that we will consider. There are 6 steps, which I think, that a leader needs to take in order to pursue excellence. These are:
The leader’s attitude is very important. Self awareness too is very significant. But more importantly, proper implementation of any idea in great detail is critical. Other 3 important aspects are- accepting responsibility, realizing that pursuing excellence is your own choice and determination, and finally the leader must be must ensure that the team members are in a position to live up to the leader’s expectations. Having said that, let us now deal with each of these 6 steps one by one.
Step 1. Any idea or plan must be executed/implemented with great precision. In fact the quality of implementation of an idea is even more important than the idea itself. Leading management Gurus advocate that ‘A’ quality implementation of ‘B’ quality plan is more productive then ‘B’ quality implementation of ‘A’ quality plan. When we look through the finer details of any task, we are able to follow its original objectives. But it doesn’t happen if we overlook the details. Excellence is a continuous process. It is not just an event. It is not just an accident. But it is your choice which you follow step by step, always. This becomes easier if you love every moment of your life and therefore if you love everything that your do from moment to moment.
Step2. Your attitude is extremely important. Excellence is not just a skill like those skills you require for doing anything correctly and nicely. Excellence is your attitude to do every job with at most care and while enjoy at the same time. Precision and enjoyment may appear to be incompatible but they are not. There is no doubt that you have to follow this practice of using eye for detail and getting satisfaction for following the finer details at the same time.
Step3. The good news is that there is no preparation required to pursue excellence for the leader. It depends entirely on their choice- decision and determination to follow the decision. One may decide just now that henceforth from the next moment onwards he/she will do everything while pursuing excellence. Sometimes there may be time constraints and other such difficulties. But the pursuit of excellence teaches you make best use of the available resources. Some people talk of discipline. Excellence is not discipline. It does not ensure quality of work which can be classified in the required category. Discipline is defined as that you must do something at a time when it needs to be done even when you don’t like to do. In a way it cages you while the ‘excellence’ knows no such restrictions. It emerges from the application of your mind and the joy that your draw out of doing something that you like to do.
Step4. The 4th important step that leader must take is to accept responsibility for excellence in a group life. The leader does not teach his follower to achieve perfection. Perfection is unattainable. But when you chase perfection you catch up with excellence. The leader ensures that his/her followers understand it very well. Such leaders have the ability to motivate the followers to such an extent that the commitment of the followers becomes as strong as that of their leader. This is particularly true in respect of the political leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King is one such example. But for him Barak Obama would not have become the President of USA.
Step 5. Self awareness is something that the leader must practice. It trains him/her to observe their actions from moment to moment. They develop the ability to change their action as per the requirement of changed circumstances. Their decision making process does not suffer a jolt even if most unexpected event take place. In our sacred book, ‘The Bhagwat Gita’ such a person is known as ‘Stith Pragya Purush’. It depicts not only the alertness of the mind but also the coordination between the mind and the reaction which lead to necessary speech and or action.
Step 6. Last but not the least the leader has to be realistic. They can pursue excellence only if their expectations are reasonable. Any unachievable task if set before the team is bound to de-motivate them. This does not mean that the team member can take things easy. Life is such that for achieving any significant result you have to stretch yourself. It’s the leaders job that he practices not only himself but also ensures that the team member follow suit.
When the leader undertakes their journey as per the steps enumerated above, it is then that the leadership excellence is pursued.
Thanks for reading.