Leadership Dip or Trip

It was a Monday morning at 10 AM in an office in New York. Like all over the world, people had the same groggy look on their faces. To their surprise, when they entered, they saw a big poster on the door of the building. It said

“The person who wanted to stop your growth has passed away. Please join us at 11 AM in the cafeteria to pay respect to the deceased”.

It came as a shocker to everyone. Not only they felt bad that someone had passed away, but they also had the curiosity to know that who was the person who was stopping their growth.

When they reached the cafeteria, they saw a coffin lying in the middle. On top of it, there was a placard which said,

“The person who wants to stop your growth lies here.”

When they opened the coffin, there was nobody. There was just a mirror, showing the reflection of the person who opened the coffin.

Well, the moral of the story is simple: The only one person who can make or break us is we ourselves. It is up to only us, to get ourselves out of the problems we might face.

The person most easily to blame is someone superior to you. Most of us are engineers here and when asked why did they do engineering, their replies are mostly because their parents pushed them to it. True, isn’t it!

And when it comes to their jobs, most of the blame goes towards the managers. Am I wrong? We all know whom to blame for our bad days at the office.

Personally, I got the chance to actually start to lead and manage a team officially only in the last couple of years. Not only I was made the team lead at the office but I also became a Club Officer in my TM club. I always thought that I can contribute my best to the team when I will actually get a chance to lead it. Being a team member, I had my limitations, obviously. But to lead others and take decision for others is more difficult than any team member can think.

How many of you think that you will never be at a position where you have to make decisions for others? The leader is someone who leads and shows the way. You will be a leader at multiple points in life. Even when talking about non-professionally, you will become a parent someday and you will have to take decisions, sometimes tough, for your family.

So, with my experience, I learned a few things. The most important thing is that when you are the leader, you have nobody else to blame. If you cannot make others work for you, you have to try harder. So, how can we be the leader we all want to have? How can we take decisions for others? How can we behave as a leader? What all it takes to be a leader?

With those thoughts in mind, today, I will share some skills with you, which I found in a book I read called ‘Secrets of Leadership’ by Prakash Iyer. These few points really had a huge impact on me and helped me to understand the role of the leader in a much better way. I hope they have some impact on you too.

Analogy is that a leader is like a tea bag.

The real flavor comes through only when the teabag gets into hot water.
The real flavor comes through only when the teabag gets into hot water.
A teabag must be porous. They never mind where they are in the cup.
A teabag must be porous. They never mind where they are in the cup.
Sometimes, one teabag is just not enough. You need to add some sugar and milk.
Sometimes, one teabag is just not enough. You need to add some sugar and milk.
Someone else holds the string. Always. It’s all about how good the tea is. Not the teabag!
Someone else holds the string. Always. It’s all about how good the tea is. Not the teabag!
Eventually, teabags need to make way and get out.
Eventually, teabags need to make way and get out.

Just as the true flavor of a teabag comes through only when it is dipped in hot water, sometimes it needs pressure and adversity to bring out the leader in you.


The above was my speech for Toastmasters Pathways Level 2 Speech 1 for Visionary Communication about Leadership Styles. Obviously, I spoke more than the text above. I have deliberately not written much here as I tried to do this speech on the go, as in I didn’t prepare what I was going to speak. I just relied on the analogies and proceeded.

It went fine.

All the pics used above were courtesy Unsplash.com and Freepik.com.

 

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