Leading from within
By Admire Mbano
I have witnessed organisations imploding simply because the edifice that had kept other pieces intact disintegrated; the blocks that were supposed to hold together had been prized loose.
In the same vein, there are certain cultures within organisations that are so cancerous to an extent that within a period the fabric of an organization is chewed to the core.
Such institutionalized mishaps tend to disturb the fine tapestry that makes up the identity of an organisation, throwing everything else in disarray. Oftentimes, certain cultures get eulogized as a norm, yet they are detrimental. If they are not red-flagged on time they get organisations bogged down.
But to keep such organisational decay in check requires leaders who are switched on, and very discerning to be able to pick on those malaises and administer timely remedies to save an institution from imminent collapse. In short, it requires able leaders who can shape corporate culture as explained by Engineer Delight Makotose, a Columnist on Leadership.
According to the above, my submission is that only astute leaders can save their organisations from carving in. But this monumental feat would require people who are self-driven.
To start with, a leader cannot take people to where he or she has never been before. It starts with you, and from within you as a leader. In other words, the success or failure of an organisation rests squarely on you as a leader.
To weed out ineptitude within an establishment requires leaders who are quick to look into themselves first for mental strength and encouragement. The next step is to identify and possibly bust up any potential or existing nefarious design within an organisation.
I’m always inspired by this line that leadership has more to do with disposition than it has with position. In other words, strive to be a leader who can draw strength from the inner self, expressing an attitude and aptitude that connotes success.
Conversely, you can be an uninspiring leader who goes about spreading seeds of discontent among your subordinates. Once you realise you have the propensity to do that, make frantic efforts towards redress, or else you will be right in the eye of organisational turmoil.
It would be remiss to proffer that organisations do not face tough times. They do so big time. But a discerning leader can calm the tempests by re-assuring proactiveness, plastering up the fissures before the establishment gets submerged. An inspiring leader is one with an intuitive ability to steady the vessel when navigating troubled waters, and this largely depends on one’s mental fortitude, since battles are won first in the mind.
Issues of life spring from within oneself, as contained in the Holy Scriptures. By the same token, the essence or well-being of an organisation radiates from within a leader, cascading down to the lowly-ranked staff. An effective leader can crank others up and is also well-placed to receive motivation from others when the chips are down. Think of it when negativity and unwholesome talk are all you hear within a company. That kind of culture would need to be flushed out, or else there won’t be anyone to lift the others when they get tumbled by the pressures of life.
Leading from within means going through some kind of self-introspection as a leader, radiating virtues of life to your peers or subordinates, and correcting your wrongs before you corrupt others.
Be the kind of a leader you would want to see in others; try by all means to relay positivity within your organisation. Remember, you are leading people, some of whom have got dormant qualities you would admire in an exemplary leader. In the fullness of time, some will be elevated on merit to assume positions of leadership. Imagine the kind of leaders you would have produced if perchance, some of your juniors gained ascendancy on a ‘tainted’ leadership ticket.
It would be refreshing to meet others later in life, employing those vitalising principles you had instilled in them during your tenure at the helm of that organisation. You would certainly be buoyed by the spectacle of your former employee(s) driving and guiding multinational corporations with those glorious nuggets you imparted to them during your reign. If you lead from within, you will be vigilant enough to implement sustainable strategies. People who are led from within are known to exhibit self-belief and are self-driven. They don’t give room to any self-doubt, for their leaders are known to be both inspiring and motivational.