Leadership is not an inherited gift, but a skill that requires to be nurtured and developed with every challenge that life throws at you. A true leader is defined by quality actions and not mere designation assigned by people. Leadership principles are extremely important and are applicable everywhere, whether it is in conducting business or academics and beyond.
This #Transformation Tuesday let’s revise our leadership principles by taking lessons from the famous book – ‘It’s Your Ship’ by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff. The book consists of a story about how the ship named ‘USS Benfold’ which was known for poor crew and displaying underperformance, became the best in the fleet under the leadership of Captain D. Michael Abrashoff.
As Gandhiji rightly quoted, ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world’ fits right for every leader who wants the team to give their best and achieve the success he or she wants to attain. Two Key takeaways from the book ‘It’s Your Ship’ that can polish your leadership principles and make immense contributions for the journey ahead to perform as a team is summarized as below:
- Be an aggressive listener:
Leadership is about knowing the team’s potential and capabilities along with their weaknesses which help in identifying the possibility of success and failure in every work taken in, as a team. Every individual is smart, talented, and filled with a variety of ideas as every person thinks in different ways. Thus, a true leader who listens and knows the teammate’s likes, dislikes, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses; will always have the ability to utilize them in the proper direction and can make the best out of them for accomplishing any mission given to them.
Being a keen listener means you are giving the person your attention and it assures him or her importance in the team. The validation for every action taken and appreciating every little work done is a motivation which only a leader can value. So to be present as a listener and a fellow team member are vital to the success of the role a leader plays for the team.
- Self-Accountability Check
This is a crucial value that every leader needs to have in their life. Accountability to yourself in every action taken has to be evaluated in terms of its pros and cons. One of the interesting tricks to check your own accountability was given by Captain Abrashoff where he analyzed his actions and decisions taken by applying two parameters: 1. Proud and 2. Embarrassed. He always reminded himself that if the Washington Post publishes his article on the front page for the decisions made and actions taken while leading his crew for the sail; will he feel proud or embarrassed when he read the article? Thus, creating one’s own accountability criteria is very important for a leader so that power cannot overwhelm his ability to do right for the team and never make decisions in the swing of authority.
Being a leader is about qualities you exhibit to make the team believe in you. Ethics and integrity serve most when it comes to earning loyalty and good performance from your team members since they look up to the leader for every decision they make. Thus, communicating as a leader with the team with meaning and purpose can deliver the best results in completing the mission and attaining success. Remember, ‘Optimism rules’. An optimistic leader can see the future in difficult times and lead the team by insightful practical strategies and best teamwork is resulted.
Written by Faber Aleena Thomas & compiled by Faber Mayuri Pandya