All of us would have witnessed many leaders in our life and some of us are a few who the human race around us look at with pride. Well, there are a few leaders who we can’t even stand. As you read this blog of mine, you would recall those who you admired and still consider as the best boss that you ever had and your memories would also remember those dreadful ones who ate you for their breakfast every day. The fact is that in life, we have had many such leadership styles around us and all of them would have imparted some learning to us, some taught us what leadership is all about and the other what leadership shouldn’t be.
As leaders are always on the stage, many eyes are on them and often we forget to see them in real as we become blind to their persona or their commands or we get entangled in their power. We get entwined into their charisma and the way they handle situations and sometimes our true self, get guided by their words. Only a critical mind can question the inner dimension of leadership around us.
Have you ever come across a leader who shouts and screams? The one who throws ego around, the one who fishes for faults and reacts to it as though the situation is all because of your fault, the one who closes his doors and expect everyone, even his/her senior leadership team to wait outside his door for a meeting? The one who doesn’t have the patience to see the situation in broad view and jumps to conclusion based on his prejudice, the one who looks for credits to himself, the one who approaches your situations based on hearsay of his ear eaters? I am sure you all have many to add the types you work with or have worked with in the past. The beauty is that they are yet regarded as leaders by the society and the human race and some proclaim as self-made leaders and I call them as leaders by accident.
On the other hand, we have come across inspiring leaders who live as examples of wisdom, humility, cheerfulness, and patience. Many are world leaders like Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, Dr.Nelson Mandela, Warren Buffet, Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson and much more. Well, not going that far, we have many at our own vicinity whom we admire for their sense of understanding, discipline, compassion, self-reliance, confidence, love, calmness, composure, conscientiousness and resilience. Also, there are many accidental leaders who the world has witnessed, some even ruled Nations, I shall remain silent on those names, though.
I am sure many of you would now be remembering those leaders who touched your heart, who taught you the sense of true leadership, who guided you in your life, who worked along with you, who held your hand and lifted you up, who took you their side and made you feel important, who valued you, who treated you with respect, who taught you the importance of trust, who subconsciously taught you to be perfect, who took time to talk to you, who stood solid in front of you when faced with failures, who stood behind you on your successes, who smiled behind a painful cry, yet not let you knew the agony, who took the stress for you and still shared the stress which you have to take to be strong, who threw you out of the window instilling a confidence in you that he/she is there standing beneath to catch you. I and you can go on describing such leaders of our life.
What makes these two different? We have many accidental leaders around us who just happen to be there for wrong reasons for humanity. I have been thinking of the accidental leadership for quite some time and realized that one who cannot manage the most sophisticated instrument on this universe– “the human self ” consisting of the body, mind, emotions and life energies, how can he ever manage thousands of people working under him? If you cannot have a control over your anxiety, anger, emotions, greed, fear, then how can you control others? This is where accidental leader’s identity gets exposed.
Leaders have an important part to play in the joyfulness of the nation, the organization, the province, the family, the team and imagine all of them playing in the palms of accidental leaders. I am not against accidental leaders, but an accidental leader who has walked in the path of self-realization is an inspiring leader and this is where most of them fail as the power and wealth they attain, make them live in the boundaries of the physical world and curtail their inner calling for stepping to be aware of the fundamentals of human existence.
When a leader meets say, five people, every word he speaks, every action of his, every move of his impacts people. The choice that the leader has is this that they impact them positively or negatively or let it go. If you impact them positively it is called leadership, if you impact them negatively it is called crime, if you let it pass by, it is called half a human being.
A systematic leader is expected to deliver what is expected from anyone. A charismatic leader is expected to deliver what everyone is not able to. But the type Accidental leadership is one thing which spurted out all of a sudden by an external force and some conducive situations. It could be money, the sudden power bestowed by the environment, or by democratic election or by hereditary in some cases especially in the ancient years. These are the kind of leaders who fumble and yet survive as leaders. They if you notice closely is a bunch of mess, like a gold plated empty box. However, some accidental leaders learn as they go and become the best systematic or charismatic leaders and win the hearts of many.
It would be dreadful to work with accidental leaders. If any of you are currently working with some like that, you would understand what I am referring to. If you have to fear to walk into a leader’s room, no doubt that leader is an accidental leader. Accidental leaders are the ones who cannot be inclusive. If you ever had to work with leaders who you would like to avoid meeting or would like to run away from their presence, those are accidental leaders and it’s a pity if those leaders don’t take time out to observe these critically and consciously for transcending their style.
If you have walked out of a leader’s room energized, call yourself lucky as they are those leaders who influence you and the ability to influence comes when one is able to feel inclusive. Accidental leaders fail to be inclusive. What is inclusiveness is probably the question that you may have? The whole existence in the universe is all about inclusiveness and it’s unfortunate that we do not feel the inclusiveness but runs after one victory after other always. This is what happens with most accidental leaders. They have a focus to make more wealth, pride, fame, forgetting the feelings of people around them, forgetting that the people around them are the reasons for them to be in that accidental leadership.
When you see your subordinate standing in front of you and if I ask you, where do you see him or her? Obviously, you would say that you see them in front of you. Isn’t it? No, you don’t see them in front of you. You see them inside you. It is the light falling on them, entering your eyes through the lens, inverted image in the retina and so on and so forth. Now you know that you are seeing them not in front of you, but inside your eyes. So fundamentally you see people not outside of you but inside you. Once you start seeing everyone around you inside you, you will become inclusive and the moment you become inclusive, you start seeing yourself impacting people positively because you start seeing everyone as part of you.
Everything that our sensory organs come in contact with become part of you. It’s like you watching a tree, the tree is within you and not outside. You eat an apple, the apple becomes you in few moments. Meaning it is included inside you. The moment you start becoming inclusive of everything around you and if you are a leader, you naturally start emitting scintillating energies around. Unfortunately, the accidental leaders struggle to get this fundamental right.
As a leader, one manages minds of others. If you manage 10000 employees, essentially you are managing 10000 minds. But if you are not able to manage your own mind, how the hell are you going to manage the minds outside yours. This is where we see charismatic leadership distinguished from any other forms of leadership.
If your interaction with your boss turns out negative every time, if your boss is more on the emotional front, if he is more focused on semantics of conversation, if he is more on finding blames, then be sure that you are dealing with an accidental leader and all you gather from him would be negative energies.
Because of this accidental leadership, you see these leaders always like a pressure cooker, about to burst anytime, highly egoistic, highly sensitive and they are often frantically searching for security. They are narrow-minded and always in fear. This happens when one doesn’t turn himself/herself to the fundamentals of their own body, mind, emotions and energies. The stupidity is that when such leaders try to hide their own weakness of lack of control on these elements of the life.
The young leaders growing up must start noticing these type of leadership which exists in the universe and will continue to exist always. The growing leaders are blessed if they interact with accidental leaders knowing the inner dimension of such accidents. It is also a blessing if accidental leaders start realizing that they are leaders and their existence demand them to be inclusive of the world around them, then the seeking for the unlimited potential happens naturally. It is important to realize for all accidental leaders that people buy into the leaders before they buy into the vision.
Inclusiveness is a successful dimension of leadership.