CMI Sri Lanka Branch presentation

Leaders are made after they are born!!!

While some firmly believe that some people are born with the vital ingredients that make them successful leaders there are many others who may argue that leaders are made through what they learn and skills they develop in later years in life. Even the best of leaders do not emerge from their mothers' wombs or from adolescence with all the skills in place to be an effective leader.

While one may possess the basics that makes the key factors to be a leader there are many characteristics that need to be inculcated in people for them to become good leaders. Members and guests of the Sri Lanka Branch of Chartered Management Institute UK recently had the opportunity of listening to distinguished Toastmaster Arunasalam Balraj as he analysed in detail how leadership can be developed in a person born with the essential ingredients for the role, at an evening presentation they arranged with a large gathering.

Real leaders need to have been born with the basics in place but they will never become good leaders if they do not develop the important characteristics needed to drive their vision forward. One has to be born with intelligence - the ability to learn, understand and develop, be intellectual - should be able to form ideas and opinions from what you learn and develop.

The inherent talents you are born with and the basic value systems that you inherit and pick up from your parents becomes the keys in later years in life. With these four factors in place you need to have the desire to lead as an inborn quality and then you can develop the other characteristics that can be added to make you a better leader as each one of us play some leadership role in our own way in day to day life.

The following key factors, which are important to become a good leader, could be developed through learning as explained in detail at this presentation by Mr. Balraj

  • Responsibility for achieving the task at hand, the courage to face up to the many challenges while driving your team towards the desired goals
  • Passion to achieve your vision, the passion to drive what you really want to achieve
    3) Being humble and extending the virtues of humility
  • Being humane - unless you are humane you cannot be feeling for others and respect others - you have to believe in serving others to be a leader.
  • Caring and sharing for others - because, if you don't care for others' feelings you will not gain respect from them as a leader

6) Transparency in the decisions you make

7) The ability and the acceptance that there is always room for development by learning more than what you already know - because "a leader perishes the moment he stops learning"

8) Attitudes and beliefs - that things can be changed for the better

9) Ability to analyse situations and options - your power to drive towards the vision through analytical thinking

10) Your philosophy in life - which will always be guided by the core values you inherit

11) Communication skills - the ability to express, articulate your vision and to drive your vision forward - charismatic leaders are a result of the way their message is communicated to their followers

12) Being amenable to change while being in control of the task and while believing and driving your core objectives.

Good leadership is essentially a combination of 4 Cs

* Character you inherit from birth and leadership traits you develop through learning
* Your competence, the important skills and ingredients that you acquire. Those that make
up all the features of a good leader
* Caring for people and understanding people's feelings and emotions
* Common core values that you believe in

When you get close to the people you lead and when you are amenable to change and grasp others' ideas, people will be relaxed and be with you for you to give them the leadership to achieve the desired objective.

Thus average people can become dynamic leaders, excellent role models - to inspire, persuade and motivate others and create a positive environment to take any organisation forward if they can adapt to changes that take place in the world and be amenable to them, while being close to and understanding people's feelings and emotions.

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