Alexander once said “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a Lion”
Lets look at Leadership from the eyes of the latest Celestial Event Chandrayaan 3- India’s Touchdown on the MOON
ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 Mission failed in its lunar phase because its lander ‘Vikram’ crashed into the surface of the moon following anomalies in the braking system in the lander while attempting a soft landing on September 7, 2019. Sivan Kailasavadivu, then serving Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Space Commission was in tears which were witnessed across the globe. Despite the failure a new agenda for the 2023 launch was developed. A Leader can be vulnerable in many ways but that does not project his incapability.
We witnessed the skill of Motivation and Standing By (the widely photographed hug of the PM and ISRO Chairman all over the social media!!)- which was truly demonstrated by PM Shri Narendra Modi. A Leader motivates, inspires and stands up.
Then starts the Mission Chandrayaan – 3 with a new rigour, plan and team but Spirit remains the same.
On the evening of August 23, 2023- 6.03 pm – Chandrayaan-3 South Pole Moon Landing Successful!! Pragyan rover takes a ‘walk on the moon’!!
The team of Chandrayaan 3 ISRO Chairperson: S. Somanath, Mission Director: S. Mohanakumar., Associate Mission Director: G. Narayanan, Project Director: P. Veeramuthuvel. Deputy Project Director: Kalpana. K,Vehicle Director: Biju C. Thomas are examples of real leaders in their own way. The former ISRO chief K Sivan expressed that “it is sweet news, for which they have been waiting for the last four years. We are really excited to see this grand success.” A Leader leads without a Title.
Some of the Key Leadership skills are communication, decisiveness, critical thinking, motivation, integrity and team building. A leader also needs showcase a great sense of empathy. Leaders provide guidance, inspiration, and motivation when achieving goals. They help to create a vision and rally people around a common cause. Leaders possess the necessary skills and knowledge to make informed decisions and solve problems effectively.
A Leader listens intensively- in a fast paced generation we are in this is one of the most ignored skill sets. We are so engaged in our own selves that we have almost lost our ears to hear even the nearest person. With abundant distractions of all kinds from gadgets, mobiles, social media, Alexa’s etc. has deafened the sensitivities of a human mind. Leaders need to have a great listening ability to ensure they allow space of thought and build a platform for thought leadership within their teams.
Author Robin S. Sharma once said, “Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire your team-mates and customers”.
Leaders can be seen in many walks of life and are not just limited to the corporate space. A homemaker is a leader, a single mom can be a leader, and a MBA grad turning down a hot lucrative offer to become an entrepreneur is a leader. Leadership is not in designations but truly is experience in thoughts. Authentic leadership comes from self-awareness, credibility, relationship-building, action, humility, and empowerment constantly and consistently. The best attribute of leadership is it can be learnt and is not necessary an inborn talent.
There are various avenues through which your innate skills of leadership can be refined and nurtured. On the job experience, awareness programs, educational management programs, training sessions are some classic examples.
In organisations, a true leader is always willing to have open and honest conversations with their employees. Being honest establishes a sense of trust with the team, which promotes respect and a willingness to follow your lead. Employees feel valued when they know that you take the time to communicate with them and tell them the truth.
Leadership and Crisis Management-crisis management is the process through which an organization deals with any unexpected or disruptive event. Leaders are often regarded as the face of an organization. Thus, they play a pivotal role in crisis management. A Leader has to ensure that your organization is riding the wave with the least reputational damage.
In essence- “Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths.” — John Zenger