Leadership Lessons from my Father
We are shaped by the people around us and our societies are a reflection of the individuals who are part of it. Nations are known or measured by what the people of those societies achieve. Our fathers are the first leaders in our life. We learn to fight out first battles under their watchful eyes. Looking back, I realize now it is not an easy job to be a dad just like it is a tough job to be a leader. My father was my best friend. He was the one I could count on whenever I was in need of help. He was the one who never gave up on me no matter what the odds were. He was many things to me. He was my dad, my coach, and my biggest fan. Dads are not around all the time with us, but they make a profound impact with the little time they get to spend with their children. Life is more about our contribution to help people around us. There are people, who watch things happening, and there are people who wonder what’s happening and then there are people who make things happen. The one who talk less and do more, are the once who are leaders.
One of the key things I learned from my father is “First deserve then desire.” We must first develop the capability before we start demanding something. Similarly, to enjoy certain rights we must fulfill our duties first. Those want power should be willing to shoulder responsibility as well.
“Like what you do - do what you like.” Take your work seriously and be good at it. Always give quality work in everything that you do in life and career. One needs to be passionate about his work to be able to convince of its significance to others.
“Leaders are not defined by positions.” One of the things that I learned from my father was that the power to make a difference lies within all. We can all make a difference and must do our bit. We all need to work for the right change.
“Leaders never give up.” No matter whatever the odds, one should never back down or give up on one’s passion and values. We need to continuously strive towards our goal. We need to remember tough time do not last forever.
“Leaders help others learn to do what they didn’t think they could do” My dad was the first mentor that I had, it’s because of his support and inspiration that I could do so many new things in life and work. He was a great coach who helped me realize my potential.
“Leaders provide a sense of security in midst of uncertainty.” It was my father who stood like a big tree under whose shade I could grow and was protected from all the ups and downs of life. He was a man of few words and used to be a very calm person. It’s his grooming that has given the strength to rise above the trivial conflicts and focus on the long-term goals of life.
“Be a person of integrity.” My dad taught me that once we lose our character we can never ever earn it back. Our honor and self-respect rest on our integrity. He taught me that whatever I do in life trust and transparency is important. Integrity of means we tell the truth. This also means being open and giving feedback to one another. This fosters true collaboration.
“Don’t be afraid to fail.” My father was the one who encouraged me to take part in a wide range of sporting and co-curricular activities. This gave me the experience of situation and people, lessons on success and failure. He never reprimanded me for failing. He taught me it’s not a crime to fail but not learning from failure is a crime.
“Start by being a good follower and teammate.” He taught me to start by becoming a good follower and teammate, to reach out to people and always respect the person even though we have a very different point of view.
“Respect People” It’s important to learn to respect others especially elders before we can demand respect from others. I learned from him that one gets back what he or she gives to others in terms of behavior. Always treat people with respect at all times.
“Wisdom and age are not always connected.” One needs to remember that whether young or old, everyone can teach us something. Each person is unique and we can learn something from them.
“Keep your sense of humour.” Don’t be a moron. One needs to have the balance of proportion when it comes to humor. At times, humor reduces the stress and helps people open up. It also helps develop connect and build rapport with diverse people.
“Develop others” Every leader can only give the best his people can produce. Focus on developing people who are interested to learn and help them develop themselves. Mentor or Coach those people who in turn can help others. If we develop people around, we also grow. Leadership is about developing people to enable them to reach their potential.
“Be dependable and build confidence.“ Capability and Knowledge breed confidence. Incompetence and ignorance breed insecurity and conflict. Be genuine to people. Our credibility is key our success.
“Talk less and work more.” Your actions speak louder than words. Always be committed to your purpose rather than getting worried about visibility, power or money. If you are serious about what do, others will respect you and doors to new opportunity will open up. Commit less and do more
“Be courageous and fight your fear.” Never live a life of fear. If you believe in it then be ready to fight for it. A lot of people give up on their passion because of fear to fight for it. If you don’t respect yourself then you can’t get the respect of others.
“When you are at work be at work and when you are at home be at home.” A lot of us love to look busy. We think this will help us look like good workers.Many of us feel the hours put into work equals productivity. They feel this will make them look great in the eyes of others. In reality, it’s quality that counts.
“Create an identity for yourself outside of work.” I learned from him that one needs to make contribution beyond work. What I do for a living and what I do are the key to happiness. Any sports or any hobby can do wonders in our life. I had great fun in playing a lot of outdoor sports with my dad. I learned a community or family that plays together stays together.
“Nothing can substitute persistence and determination.” “Every dog has its day” for someone to reach his destination or goal he must stick to the aim. If you go to the gym you can’t transform yourself in a short span. You need to stick to your training and make an enormous sacrifice to reach your target. The same is true for work and life.
“Country First” My dad taught me to love my country and be an Indian first. He was an Indian Air Force veteran and he taught me that whatever I do in life I must never forget to serve my nation through my work. As a Learning and Development professional I build people capability which is my way of severing my country.
We have two kinds of people that we get to see around us the first kind are the one who believe in growing themselves. The first kind draw energy from growing their own capability, helping people around them; progress and development are at the core of their life. My father was one of them, he was an inspiration to many. The other lot is full of envious resentment for someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages. This learning enabled me to become one who is more focused on building my own capability rather than feel jealous of others. People who are resentful and envious of others fail to develop their own capability and intellect, they fail to give a qualitative contribution, collaborate and learn. They are the ones who are like the “Dementor” sucking out a person's soul as depicted in Harry Potter (a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling ). “Dementor” are people who demotivate and divide people wherever they go. These learnings from my father have given me the strength to face the challenges in my life and career and make progress and to help people around me. We lost him a few years back and 21st December is his birthday. My father will remain my greatest inspiration in life. He will remain my Hero.