If you have ever travelled in a vehicle at night then you know too well that it’s not as psychologically secure as it is travelling during the day. There are many reasons for one to fear driving at night.
As a driver at night you only see a short portion of the road ahead. Although your vehicle has all the lights, these lights can only enable you to see a limited portion of the road ahead. But as you keep on driving the next portion unveils.
Purpose Drives Faith
First you don’t just drive at night because you love it. There are compelling reasons for this; an important purpose to be fulfilled. What keeps you going, as the driver, is the faith that all will be well even when the entire distance is not clear. Yet the knowledge of where you are going, the destiny and the purpose you aim to fulfill keep you motivated along the journey.
You are more motivated by the desire to reach the destiny and achieve your results than the prospects of failure. Along the journey you don’t focus your energy and mind on an accident, vehicle breakdown, and attack by thugs or any such unfortunate incidents.
You keep your eyes on the ball to achieve the ultimate results. Faith keeps you going as you trust that all will be well. And as the driver every passengers hope for safe arrival is strongly vested in you.
Stop Complaining and Start Encouraging
Imagine a driver at night who keeps on complaining just about everything – the road, darkness, vehicle or the load. Imagine a doctor who keeps on reminding the passengers that the brakes are not reliable, fuel is not adequate or that he is too tired and has to force himself to be at the steering wheel.
Supposing this driver, just as you are about to descend a steep hill, reminds you of the unreliability of the brakes again? How would you react? Wouldn’t rather you never boarded that vehicle in the beginning?
A leader has the noble and challenging role of helping individuals, teams and organizations navigate through both good and not so good times. Of course the great leadership challenge is to help the people remain focused, faithful, patient and trusting especially during tough times.
People believe and trust a leader to the extent that he demonstrates the same level belief and trust in himself. Who wants a leader who is the first one jump on tables because of a spider on the wall? Who wants a leader who is the first to complain about the company when things don’t look up?
The Lightning Rod
Leaders operate like lightning rods. They naturally attract light and heat from others. They are most likely to be criticized when things go wrong, blamed if things don’t get fixed and honoured if things go well. When a storm hits, they take the light and heat for the team. The perks and the price of leadership is recognition. People look to you. The downside of this is criticism. No one pays much attention to the crowd. If you are leading others you will be criticized. People focus on the one up front. President Harry Truman said, “If you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen. The key is for leaders to ground it in a positive way.
When the leader is able to communicate a clear line of sight to the destination as a seventh heaven to all, the team shall demonstrate enthusiasm in its endeavour to arrive soonest. But although many people may desire heaven they loathe the means to heaven in equal measure. Similarly if the leader does not sell the journey as enjoyable and fulfilling, many may not fully engage their hearts.
So the trick is not just to clearly unveil the organization’s big picture but to also make the experience a rewarding one. According to Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City Mayor, leaders must embrace the following six principle for them to be efficacious drives of progressive change;
- Develop strong beliefs – define their core beliefs and stick to them in order to achieve long-term goals and visions. Leaders who focus more on popularity than principle risk becoming mired in day-to-day challenges while losing sight of the larger picture.
- Be an optimist – When you can visualize success, it helps you figure out the steps to get there,” Giuliani said. Optimism can be “a magnet that motivates people to follow”.
- Have courage – A lot of people assume that they are not courageous because they feel fear. But “to be courageous you must have fear,” Giuliani said. “Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the management of fear. Fear, can be a strong motivating factor. “We should be afraid of another terrorist attack,” he said, “but we should use that energy positively and courageously” to work on prevention and preparation”.
- Relentless preparation – Leaders must make an enduring commitment to anticipating obstacles and opportunities and devise innovative strategies to grow through them.
- Teamwork – Individual leaders, no matter how outstanding, can become isolated. It’s important, therefore, to work closely with a trusted team. “Focus on your weaknesses and how to balance these with the strengths of the other people around you”, advises Giuliani.
- Communication – When the right ideas and the right team are in place, it’s critical for leaders to communicate their plans and goals. According to Giuliani, “Being a leader has a lot to do with being a teacher and a motivator; you have to get your own ideas out of your mind and heart and into the minds and hearts of other people.”
You cannot physically persuade and take people where you have not persuaded yourself and reached mentally.Share this inspiring article