Good Leaders have continuous learning and development plans for all their staff. The best leaders follow the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi and take this a step further.
Ghandi always told his followers that if two of his sentences contradicted each other, and if they thought he was sane at that time – they should please ignore the first one and accept the second one.
This shows several traits of a great leader.
Firstly – Ghandi was very self aware. Rigid consistency was not one of his values as a leader and he knew that about himself. Knowing yourself well – your values, vision and beliefs is a necessary trait in a leader.
Secondly, Ghandi was anticipating the future needs of his followers. If you can know what your team needs, before they know they need it, and provide that information upfront then not only do your team feel empowered by you, they know you care, and perhaps most important of all – you save yourself time by not having to answer lots of questions from individuals.
Thirdly, Ghandi was showing great communication skills – both in terms of timeliness and clarity. Leaders communicate freely and as soon as they become aware of the need to communicate. They don’t wait till a problem has presented itself. Ghandi’s communication was very clear and had a built in caveat (if they thought he was of sane mind).
Lastly – and perhaps the one most likely to be missed in the busy-ness of everyday work life – Ghandi recognised the need for and value of his own learning and growth. As a leader YOUR learning and development should be of the highest priority. If you don’t develop YOU, then how can you develop your team. Equally if your team develop themselves and you do not, perhaps they will grow to need a different leader! (Which explains some staff turnover figures).
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