During a recent speaking engagement I asked the audience for a show of hands, who wants to be a leader? The results were unanimous. We all want to be leaders, don’t we? Some people aspire to be a leaders because they want to be in power. Whilst there are some who want to be leaders because they feel it is their call of duty to be a leader, and they want to be of service.
Being a leader is not easy. You are “the role model” that people look up to and respect. It feels good to be one but people tend to overlook the responsibility that goes with it.
One of the greatest responsibilities for leaders is decision-making. Leaders are decision makers. A responsibility that comes with great accountability. The irony in decision-making is when you are faced with a decision — to decide using your mind over your heart or your heart over your mind.
Decisions made when the heart takes precedence over the mind are those that involve the humane aspect. In fact, we are all faced with this kind of situation. At one point in our lives, we need to make subjective decisions and not objectives ones.
In making subjective decisions we need to exhibit clemency. Clemency is when you handle arguments, disobedience or wrong/poor choices in a reasonable manner. You do not decide with an iron fist but you are more open to giving weight to all circumstances while looking at the entire picture. This is the kind of decision-making that will earn you the respect and admiration of people, not just as a leader but as a human being.
On one hand, objective decisions are made with firmness. This decision-making is most common in workplaces. As a leader, you are the voice of the people. You take full responsibility in making decisions that will benefit the greater good. Thus, your decision must be supported by hard facts.
Whether you make objective or subjective decisions, most importantly as leaders you need to bring out the best in people. Encourage them to give their best in everything they do so that through your guidance and support, they can be leaders in the future.
“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” — Ralph Nadar
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