Sunday, October 22, 2017

Leaders bring certainty and, along with it, comfort - Reason 16

We can see how much people feel lost as things change faster than they expect.  For example an article on climate change published on Scientific American has shown that change is much faster than was first projected.  In this article, scientists say we know the direction, but not the rate.[1]

Same is happening with all other types of change: politics, social structure, economic, ideas, dreams and much more.  We know more or less the direction, we know change is taking us into a general direction, but by not knowing its pace, it is possible we reach there with no preparation.

Leaders will allow their vision to guide them and will help give guidance to others too – it is a certainty among the increasing uncertainty that is welcome.  As a leader you can comfort others and encourage them to keep moving on, because you understand change and you are aware of its benefits and how to be ready for them.

In this way, as a leader you are beyond the usual social exchange of just sharing pieces of gossip or discussing match results.  It becomes a chance to support in a holistic way those people who find themselves as victims of fast change.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

[1] Scientific American, November 2012 -

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Your specialties inspire - Reason 15

All of us are special and we have qualities that are unique in our context.  Those specialties impact our family and friends, our jobs and the contribution we give to the community.  Specialties define us in relation to how others see us and also how we feel about life, and can therefore become valuable components for self-esteem.

A normal person can experience qualities that help harmonise relationships, increase self-esteem and attain some success, but a leader is one whose specialties will motivate others.

Many years ago, I had the chance to be with Dadi Prakashmani, the then Administrative Head of the Brahma Kumaris[1].  We were in a car, without translator; Dadi spoke very little English and I spoke very little Hindi.  This would be a problem for many people trying to communicate, but not for us …

Going beyond words and cultures, she gave me the best leadership seminar and the greatest inspirations ever, all in about an hour.  This is because it came from her own life, and from those specialties that flowed and influenced her words as the powerful leader she was.  In fact, I don’t remember what she said as much as how she said.

By being a leader, a person does not need to talk too much.  Actions and behaviour will do all the speaking, since the leader’s specialties will resonate with the others’ hearts.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

[1] Dadi Prakashmani (c.1920 – 2007) was an Indian woman of Sindhi origin who administered the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University from 1969 until the time to her death 38 years later.  The number of students increased from about 3,000 to almost a million during that period.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

You have all resources you need to transform the world - Reason 14

Whilst most people complain about the world, being a leader means to be here to transform the world.

It means being the instigator of change since a leader has all skills he or she needs to change the face of reality.  How does that work?

When a normal person does something, she or he fulfils a certain role and duty.  That gives the person a sense of social belonging, and success comes when whatever this person does is extraordinary or very useful.

A leader will go beyond that as she or he will think of doing it in a different way, and may even change the course of a company or country completely.  There is the classic example in management of Andrew Grove, when he changed INTEL from being a company selling computer memory to a company selling microprocessors[1].  As a normal manager, he wouldn’t do that; on the contrary, he would excel in his tasks and make INTEL an even better memory producing company.  As a leader, he challenged the status quo and changed computer history.

One cannot change the whole world if it doesn’t start with one’s own point of view and life.  As the example above, when a leader changes the world around himself or herself, eventually the whole world changes.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

[1] Andrew Grove (1936 – 2016) was one of the first people to work with INTEL.  This article talks about the book, written by Grove, Only the paranoid survive: How to exploit the Crisis point that challenge every company and career.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

There is achievement at every step taken - Reason 13

There is no waste in a leader’s life, as he or she takes a step if it is likely to bring some type of benefit.  This is not fuelled by any selfish desire of course, because the concept of leader itself implies service.

If that step takes the leader closer to success, she or he uses that opportunity to help others to reach their own attainments in life.  The leader shares methods and ways that inspire and encourage.  Those other people go on to share the same with others, and so on: a ripple effect.

If that step takes the leader closer to failure … well, that is also good.  Fiasco is a very good teacher and by being a leader, that situation can convert into a rung on the ladder of success.  After all, the only common thing between everyone who has been successful is the experience of failure at some point along the way!

It is good to be a leader who knows how to take something useful every time from every situation, having also the chance to help others in that process.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Life becomes a challenging wonderful game - Reason 12

Have you ever been to a game and felt horrible because your team or country was not winning?  And yet, after that, you probably went to ‘celebrate’ anyway, even though it was in a bad mood... 

Just like the people who celebrated victory, your team’s defeat turned into a subject to talk about with friends, so it became a means for enjoying a relationship with others.  Eventually, you forget the loss and start to hope for victory next time.

That is the magic of games: even though you lose, you are still a winner inside.  The reason is the effect games have on people: they enjoy them, but also want to win.  Enjoyment and competition coexist, which allows you to see the loss as something small, something that will make you laugh at some point.

For leaders, life is THE game, and so being a leader is to be enjoying and competing all the time.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Tolerance means to give others the best of you - Reason 11

We do live in times of tolerance…  Or rather you could say, in times where there is an increasing need for tolerance.

Reason is simple: we live in a period of growing diversity and, as a society, we are not that ready for it.  Diversity makes people feel insecure, as they tend to label others and protect themselves and those who are equal to them, and it is that insecurity that makes intolerance grow.

Normal people bear with what happens to them; they cope with other people’s ways of being or just go out and sue them.  A leader … well, leaders are different, because their perspective is unique and may be summarised in one word and that is service.

Meister Eckhart said something related to the capacity a leader has to tolerate: Do exactly what you would do if you felt most secure.[1]  It is this deep sense of security a leader has imbibed that enables him or her to deal with situations with a broad mind and perspective.

As a leader, you are able to look at others in a way that sees their highest potential, abilities, and which gives them hope and encourages them, for tolerance is in fact not only to accept others, but to give them the best from your heart.

Maybe you have heard that the best image for tolerance is a tree laden with fruit, which gives away irrespective of people throwing up stones in order for the fruit to fall.  By giving your fruits as a leader, then over time others will become content, and will eventually end any attacks as you have left a beautiful impression on their hearts.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

[1] Meister Eckhart (c.1260 – c.1328) was a German philosopher and theologian.  You can find the whole quote in this page:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Values are not just words, they are actions! - Reason 10

Most people use values just as nice words.  It is good to say I am humble, I am gentle, and I am kind; however, by just saying it, there is no impact as they could.

Values are a part of the self, a direct connection with the spiritual core within all of us.  If actions are disconnected to the value, they are not coming from that genuine core; by aligning actions with values, particularly those that accompany a leader in her or his journey towards the future, life recovers its true meaning.

For a leader, values are much more than words and they are present at every step, giving a reason for everything he or she is doing.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)