The world is a riddle enveloped in vagueness where all answers are accepted yet none is completely right for everybody. To define a leader in such a scenario is, therefore, a far greater challenge than it might first appear. True leadership is not limited to one facet, it is a combination of multiple talents which can be forged by practise and perseverance.
So, what really constitutes the makings of a true leader? Here are some features that separate a true leader from an illusory one.
Possess knowledge-based courage
True courage is not the absence of fear. It’s about doing the right thing despite the presence of fear. A true leader does not think of fear as a deterrent, but uses it as a tool to become more conscious and careful while taking steps towards accomplishing a task.
Today, when we talk of individuals like Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, Satyajit Ray, Jacques Fresco and more, we think in terms of how they redefined innovation and experimentation. However, the truth is that they did not set out to redefine anything. They simply set out to challenge monotony, subservience and the suppression of the self.
There’s an old saying, “You see the world the way you see yourself.” It’s evident to anyone with an iota of brain matter that our world is made of individuals who constantly bombard its reality by projecting their personal confusion, misconceptions and ignorance, which often borders on self-loathing.
True leaders are self-respecting individuals first, who are understand that ignorance, stupidity and carelessness are acts of cowardice that result in highly unpleasant consequences. Whereas, knowledge and care are virtues that lead to the greater good.
Believe in equal dissemination of knowledge
Not someone to foster self-doubt, a leader is aware that mistakes are a part of the learning process, and he/she ensure they never repeat their mistakes. As a perpetual learner, they know the role that information and knowledge play in creating self-respect. Hence, they ensure there is absolute transparency when it comes to spreading knowledge among employees, as a true leader knows that knowledge is power and hiding it an act of pusillanimity.
Uncompromising on morals and ethics
Leader do not live by handed-down misbeliefs or borrowed systems of fear. They question the existing perceptions of right and wrong, moral and immoral; perceptions that have turned our world on its head. As they journey along the road less travelled, they come out the other side morally and ethically stronger and deeper.
A true leader is both a teacher and student, who strives towards restoring inner balance through actively seeking knowledge of the self. A pioneer is successful not because others say so, but because they are joyful from within.