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I would like to start with a quote by John C Maxwell. He says “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way’. Leadership qualities are mastered through life experiences and it just keeps getting better as we progress through life’s journey. One thing I’d like to emphasize here is do not aim for growth in terms of a better salary or a better designation, aim for a growth in your leadership skills. Bob Bechek, CEO of Bain & Company was the best rated CEO by employees. In an interview with Poets & Quants, a website dedicated to business schools, said “I think the reality of power and influence and getting things done is overwhelmingly about informal authority”. The employees remember him as a man leading by example. I had attended an SSB interview a couple of years ago for a post in the Indian Army in Bangalore and the SSB interview is considered to be very tough. I did not get recommended but I took away something very important from the five days I spent there. One of the qualities that the officers look at while recruiting is ‘Leadership’. As an officer you need to guide your subordinates, take decisions in tough times and encourage your team to follow you therefore, you must have those skills. Post my experience at SSB, I tried to incorporate my learnings in my professional life. Leadership is just not about taking decisions. Its also about sitting with the team and solving a problem. Its also about staying with the team if the team is working extra time. Its also about being accountable and standing up for the team. Its about knowing your team members, their strengths and weaknesses and motivating them to do better. It is also about grooming them which can be a catalyst in their growth. To summarize, leadership is just not about leading, it is also about following. A leader cannot lead if she does not have the quality to follow even if its her subordinates.

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