A third-generation corporate aristocrat, Mahindra has aggressively expanded the big conglomerate through acquisitions in autos, computer services, aeronautics, and more, while maintaining the company’s standing as one of India’s most sought-after employers. The company remains well regarded in Indian society as he has reinforced a policy of integrity in a notoriously corrupt environment.
With rare skill, Polman has combined noble corporate goals with savvy management in his five years as CEO (UL). Of course, strong leadership also often goes hand in hand with bold ambition: Polman took a big risk by declaring his — to double the company’s size even while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact. He is pulling it off and energizing employees in the process.
In exhibiting leadership, there are essentially three things you must accomplish if you hope to make the company a success. These three things don’t represent every facet of leadership, but they do form the foundation on which leadership is built and are an integral part of leadership at every level.
Instead of pursuing their big dreams, most people settle for less. Somewhere along the line they were convinced by the world that following their passion wasn’t possible. And now they’re on a mission to discourage you too: “That’s why you need faith – a deep-down belief that, regardless of the evidence, you are going to make it! You are going to achieve what you have set out to accomplish. You are going to make a difference in this life.”
Some ideas for leadership inspiration include being genuinely passionate about or goals, helping followers feel included in the process and offering recognition, praise, and rewards for people’s accomplishments.
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“It’s fascinating how differently the same business can perform with two different leaders. We look first for intellectual honesty. It drives me crazy when you meet with management and there are real issues and they act like they aren’t there. Also important is a contrarian bent, a confidence to go against the prevailing trend. You generally don’t want people who are saying this is what we should do because this is what others are doing. You want people who are spending when others are not, and taking chips off the table when everybody else is putting them on.”
Before you appoint a leader, or go out looking for one, make sure you have a clear understanding of what it is you want them to achieve. Make sure they have the qualities and characteristics of a good leader, and whether or not they are a good fit with the team they will be leading.
Earn your team’s respect: Always lead by example. As a team member, it’s a lot easier to get behind a leader who is in the trenches with you. Understanding what your team does and how hard they work will help develop that respect. Also remember that honesty leads to credibility with your team. If you realize you’ve messed up, admitting it quickly will be admired.
Call him the guardian of American jazz: Pulitzer Prize winner Marsalis has relentlessly played, composed, and taught throughout his career, and built Jazz at Lincoln Center into a bastion of the art form. Moreover, “he has developed a generation of musicians,” says longtime friend and American Express CEO Ken Chenault.
I would say his/her humility. True leaders recognize they’re nobody special; they’re just like everybody else. Therefore, they treat people like they would be treated; no being high and mighty. They also like to roll up their sleeves and put work in like another laborer. Isn’t it true that in wartime , the soldiers will listen to the officers with wartime experience much more than the officers out of West Point, Annapolis, and the other military academies?
Reinforce positive behavior when employees are accomplishing their goals and objectives. This could be recognition in front peers and other rewards that don’t cost money, but are meaningful to the employee.
Tegan is the commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider. She hosts the podcast Sass Effect, for which she was recently named one of the 100 most influential women in games in Australia and New Zealand, and was nominated in the 14th Annual IT Journalism Awards. Outside of her professional life, Tegan loves history, food, geek culture, books, and her Siberian kitten, Khaleesi. Full Bio
“And it’s like, it’s almost like it made me feel like it may not be right what I want, you know? All these things, it’s like it made me feel young. It kind of made me feel ignorant to the game. But it was an exciting record even though the tempo is slow. That’s what I want … The ‘I suppose’ moment in there is like, it’s almost like you’re doubting yourself for a second. But at the end of the day, I just want to be successful. So that’s what the record meant to me.”
2. Self-awareness. You need to be clear on what your strengths are and what complementary strengths you need from others. This includes understanding others and learning how best to utilize their strengths. Many unsophisticated leaders think everyone should be like them; that too can cause their downfall. They surround themselves with people like them. “Group think” can blindside them and cause failure.
Even more dramatic, Alex Todorov at Princeton has shown us that judgments of political candidates’ faces in just one second predict 70 percent of U.S. Senate and gubernatorial race outcomes, and even, let’s go digital, emoticons used well in online negotiations can lead to you claim more value from that negotiation.
Different situations call for different leadership styles. In an emergency when there is little time to converge on an agreement and where a designated authority has significantly more experience or expertise than the rest of the team, an autocratic leadership style may be most effective; however, in a highly motivated and aligned team with a homogeneous level of expertise, a more democratic or Laissez-faire style may be more effective. The style adopted should be the one that most effectively achieves the objectives of the group while balancing the interests of its individual members. A field in which leadership style has gained strong attention is that of military science, recently expressing a holistic and integrated view of leadership, including how a leader’s physical presence determines how others perceive that leader. The factors of physical presence are military bearing, physical fitness, confidence, and resilience. The leader’s intellectual capacity helps to conceptualize solutions and acquire knowledge to do the job. A leader’s conceptual abilities apply agility, judgment, innovation, interpersonal tact, and domain knowledge. Domain knowledge for leaders encompasses tactical and technical knowledge as well as cultural and geopolitical awareness.
Show your commitment to your team’s betterment. For your organization to grow, everyone has to get better. This has nothing to do with just you being great — you have to make your team great. Ideally, when the task is done the team will say, “We did it!”, not you exclaiming, “I did it!” It’s about the whole of the group, not the one.
Before you start working toward changing your mindset regarding what it takes to be successful, you must know your desired outcome — clarity is power. Being clear about exactly what you want is the first step in achieving any kind of improvement. The more specific your goal is, the easier it will be to take the actionable steps needed to achieve it. Focus on what you do want, not what you don’t want, because energy follows focus. Why send your energy towards things you don’t want? Instead, clarify for yourself what you do want and train your brain to notice things that can help you make it happen.
While the type of person can vary immensely, more often than not, they will all have a certain set of skills and personality traits that make them a good leader. According to recent surveys, many groups find that a good business leader will often have several or all of these characteristics.