We learned from Mahatma Gandhi the lesson that violence is not the pre requisite to win in every battle, aside from this, below are other words of wisdom and source of inspiration to all aspiring leaders.

1. Humility is the character of the great

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

 “I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”

Humility is best expressed in actions: to accept that you err and to learn from it; to get advice from mentors who know the job better; to realise your weaknesses and to derive from it strengths, instead; and to know your limitations but to maximise opportunities, as well.

To be humble is not only a wise thing to do but also a great act that will never go out of fashion. Observe successful people and you will realise that as they go up the ladder of success, the more they stay their feet on the ground.

2. Action is stronger than words

 “Action expresses priorities.”

 “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

 “To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”

Many times we heard that actions speak louder than words; and Gandhi proved it right.

A man cannot adduce anything unless he shows results, and this output can be done through actions only: people with integrity do not engage in nefarious activities; a virtuoso cannot dish out unfinished tasks.

To say that you believe in something but does the opposites of each teaching would mean disbelief. Action proves better than the words you utter.  

 3. Constant change is achieved through constant learning

 “Constant development is the law of life; and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.”

 “A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks he becomes.”

 “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

 “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

 “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world- that is the myth of the atomic age-as in being able to remake ourselves.”

 “Healthy discontent is the prelude to progress.”

They say, the only constant thing in this world is change. As professionals who aspire success in the future, we should pursue for this. But it should be positive change and not the other way around. To grow and to learn is part of progress. Every one must change from time to time- that means to be creative, innovative and pursue excellence always. Constantly learning in everything that we experience is a courageous step to improve.

4. Change starts from within

 “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

 “My life is my message.”

 “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

A person who wishes to see change in his surrounding must start within himself. Discipline.  Right attitude. Good habits. These are essentials in constantly developing into a person who may also serve as catalyst of change for humanity. Change to become the best you can be and start to see a change in this world.

 5. Leadership without people is not leadership

 “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

I learn that leadership is not only for community organisers, team sports enthusiasts, politicians and businessmen but also in anything that we do that involves getting along with people. You can be a leader in doing a specific project in a given time (e.g. handle men and women during bible study, etc.) or have a specific goal just like with other people around (e.g. stop demolition and uphold human rights).

Leadership involves individuals who are willing to follow instructions from a leader. Without these people, who like the leader, aim for a specific vision, there can be no leadership at all.

So to be called a leader, the first thing to do is to find a group of living souls who will recognise you as one. The last thing is to stay the same person they look up to.

6. Saying “No” is as important as saying “Yes”

 A “No” uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a “Yes” merely uttered to please, or worse to avoid trouble.”

A good leader knows when to say “No”. Although, the work of a leader involves pleasing people most of the time, saying “No” for a valid reason, in a proper timing and with conviction is better than saying “Yes” half-heartedly.

 7. Persistence is as essential as other positive qualities

 “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

 Achieving a goal requires persistence. We cannot reach a specific target at one hit so it is better to try again and again until we are satisfied with the result. Persistence is a good quality one possesses because it involves hard work, patience and learning from mistakes; these are all essentials in building success.

8. Believe in the good nature of people

 “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean, if a few drops of the ocean are dirty not everything in it is dirty.”

As a leader, we may encounter diverse group of individuals with a lot of differences. But it is OK. My professor once told us that diversity is healthy for check and balance. The challenge comes in the way handling them.

Sometimes, we may be frustrated when other people are quite difficult to manage. Again, it is OK. If we believe that humanity is formed by good natured people and generally, difficult people are also human beings, we will be inspired to handle them with ease. As a leader, learning each time on how to get along with various people despite differences is a good practice in becoming more effective.

9. Leadership does not mean seriousness and busy-ness compromising laughter and fun working with people around

 “If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide.”

Serious-at-work does not mean suppressing laughter and fun. Sometimes, when we get too serious, people fail to get our message as well as our objective. If we keep on sticking to rules all the time compromising better relationship with people will exhaust positive energy at work. Mostly, people wants to be inspired based on enthusiasm than fear; to be coached than to be drove; to look up to someone who helps to fix the breakdown than to fix the blame for the breakdown; and to have a leader that says “Let’s go!” instead of “Go!”.

A good leader makes his people love to reach their goals by having laughter and fun at work from time to time. Of course, that does not mean forgetting the excellence standards and business ethics the company already have. It only adds up some sugar to spice in the office settings.

 10. Unity makes history

 “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the cause of history.”

If a leader and his followers pursue the same goal, with the same enthusiasm, same positive attitude, same strategy and same expectations, absolutely, they will make history.

 A leader to unify his team mates must coach them, must not depend on authority but on goodwill, instead; and must show how things are done than just to know how things work. It is equally important that a team works as one and allow them to grow as separate individuals in pursuing a common goal.


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