Today’s blog post is from an active community member of the World Business Dialogue. Vedant Sharma shares his thoughts with us and tells how a responsible leader has to be, especially at this time with the pandemic.
For the imagination, he gives an example with a pack of wolves and shows the parallels and the main requirements to be a good leader.
Leaders come in various shapes and sizes, with their unique qualities. There are multitudes of ways by which one can identify a leader. According to Merriam-Webster, a leader is “a person who leads”. It is a definition which is widely accepted by people. Many identify a leader as someone who possesses certain “leadership qualities”, such as Public Speaking, Management, Interpersonal Skills etc. However, in my eyes, a leader is a person who possesses certain qualities about him/ her that makes the people around him/ her follow him/ her. Also, a leader should be someone who not only leads but also follows. Let me explain this with an example. When a pack of wolves travel, there is always one wolf who leads the way and one wolf who stays at the back, to ensure that no other wolf loses his/ her way. Going by the most common definition of a leader, we can identify the alpha wolf, the one leading the group from the front, as a leader. However, in my opinion, the wolf who stays at the back to ensure no strays is also a leader. If the wolf at the front is a Leader, then I would call the wolf at the end as a Responsible Leader. Being a leader is never about being the most visible, or the loudest. A true leader is a responsible leader, someone who leads from behind. Responsible leaders share their success rather than bask in the glory and even take the fall when something goes wrong.
Responsible leaders make decisions taking into account the interests of all its stakeholders, such as workers, clients, shareholders, the environment and even the community as a whole. And the action that these leaders take to lead their respective groups is what we call RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP. Showing responsible leadership is no easy task, especially in today’s day and age, when the world has come to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic and most businesses have taken to being virtual. To minimise loss, companies have terminated their employees or cut their employees’ salaries by a large margin. To secure their jobs, leaders have only a few options.
They can either focus on their clients and generate profits, saving their jobs in the process, or they can show responsibility for their teammates and the environment, but risk losing their jobs if something goes wrong due to some external factor as a result. It is truly a dark period we live in, where a leader shows responsible leadership depending on the time and place the action takes place.