In my last two articles I have shared my real life experiences on leadership titled “Leadership is not about title but action” and “lead yourself before leading a team”. In this article I am sharing about how I made leadership as ritual. As per my view, if you are not making leadership as ritual you will not achieve it. Why am I saying this, there is a reason behind that.
In last two years I have worked with some people who followed leadership as their core values. They always lead, they always gives their opinions if I was stuck somewhere. Sometimes it happens that I am in very critical situations but came out very easily with very small opinions from my leaders. Let me share an story with you.
It was the time when I got the title “Technical lead”. I was very excited about the tite I got. I thought it will be very easy life. I was not fully aware of the responsibilities I even didn’t know that I have more responsibility than an engineer. I was failed in my first sprint, then again in second sprint. Reason — I was unaware of the responsibilities I got. I just thought “Life set hai boss (life is set now)”. Soon after some meetings I realised — “No boss your life is not set, but started now”. As per my boss feedback — “I have forgotten everything I was good in”.
I found the reason after introspection – I felt saturated. That’s why I suggest every team member, not to get saturated. Also, I was feeling like a BOSS of my team members but didn’t care about my responsibilities.
Now what I did to get to rid of the situation?
I didn’t do much but to made “leadership as ritual”.
But is it so easy?
Straight forward NO. It took so long and still I am learning to make it ritual. Every morning when you are waking up, think you are leader. But thinking only satisfy the condition? A big NO. Not at all. But you are making up your mind and this would be effective for that day. The day you will makeup your mind you will realize changes in you. You will first check your schedule and start from zero.
Thought process makes psychological effect on your life and let me tell you very confidently you will realize changes from day 1. Some highly experienced people may counter me on this point but I started with this. It was not easy but not that tough too.
First of all, leadership must come from your inside, nobody can teach you. They can guide you but can’t teach you. If someone is teaching you leadership, that means (according to me) it is being imposed on you. They should not teach you but to guide you to grow as a leader. I can share one small story from hindu scripture “Ramcharita manas” written by “Goswami Tulsidas” :
When Hanuman and other monkey army was in search of Sita, they got a clue that King of Lanka “Ravana” kidnapped her. Then everybody was thinking that who can cross the ocean and go to Lanka and finally decided that only Hanuman can do that but Hanuman was not very confident. Then, Jamvanta, give him confidence saying
“ka chup saadh rahe balavaana” (Means : Hey Hanuman, o Brave, why are you silent, You can do it)
According to me guiding is best part because this will totally based on Nature and Nurture. They must understand your nature and Nurture you according to that.
Nature and Nurture is not the point only for your leaders to do for you but for you to do it too. Many times I have seen that we are not able to understand our own capabilities and negative points (Or I can say that we don’t want to focus on our own negative points) and this is our big mistake. The above instance I shared was a big mistake of mine. I was even not aware that I don’t know my responsibilities as a leader that’s why I failed.
I can suggest some points to make leadership as ritual
# Start your morning with your day schedule
Yes, I do this. Every morning I start my day with checking official emails, calendars and other tasks (related to my jira tickets and TODOs). Let me tell you this with confidence that this helps me a lot. Checking my all schedules early morning helps me to plan my day and I got extra time to listen to my team members about their suggestions about what we can do better. This also includes some lighter moment with team.
# Retrospection and Introspection
This is one of the very important part. Because without retrospection you will not get the feedback and without introspection you will not able to work on your negative points.
I did my introspection very carefully and started working on it. And that worked. Introspection will lead you towards your mistakes in your daily stuff.
# Be a good listener
Listening is very important. I have seen many people very impatient while listening others. On every point they wanted to counter others. I always suggest them that listen first then give your opinions. May be you can counter other but it is very important to listen first. Listening first will make you effective inside and cross team meetings.
# Read more and more books
Again, I am including this point because reading books gives you more and more ideas about what you want to do
# Create action items on your feedback and work on them
It is very important to work on your feedback from your colleagues. May be they can be seniors or juniors but feedback should always be welcomed.
In my physical notepad I have a section named feedback and action item and every time I got any feedback from anybody I note it down and try to work on them. I got some great changes inside me while practicing all these action items and practicing them daily made them as rituals for me. Now, I don’t require any effort to perform all those action items.
And Many more. But, these are the things I did for me. Please share yours in comment.