What is strategy? It simply means plans and approaches to overcome a particular task.
Leadership on the other hand means being a captain over a group of people. A leader is one with the ability to command the attention, respect and deeds of a certain group of people in line with specific targets.
With the above concepts, any leader that doesn’t have strategy has already set out to fail in the accomplishment of dreams and aspirations. A person becomes a leader because he/she has set goals and overtime gotten people to believe and buy into the idea. The next step there is the strategy which involves getting people not just to believe in your vision but to see to its accomplishment and their satisfaction. As a leader, you must be sensitive to the kind of people you have around you; especially the group of people that believe in your vision and are willing to follow you to accomplishment of same.
I have worked with several persons and I have learnt a few things that has helped restructure my view on leadership concepts. Humans are by far the best assets anyone can have but can be very problematic too. I have worked with people that love my idea but that’s as far as it gets, when the work comes, I’m strictly on my own. That taught me that it’s not enough to just have people that love your personality but they should not be afraid to get their hands dirty in accomplishing set goals. On the other hand, I have worked with people that love my vision and didn’t even allow me do anything till it was accomplished. This showed the quality of my influence on the people around me. You cannot actually decide which of them to get because it takes a time to figure that out.
While at the University a few years ago, I prayed for ideas on how to reach out to people because I was an extreme introvert and an aspiring leader. The Spirit of the Lord gave me an idea. Have a bright smile when I’m meeting new people and part of my default questions was “Have you eaten?” And in most cases, if that answer is no, I’ll make sure I give money or the person takes my food if I had. The smile helps them feel comfortable, the question gives me access to their emotions and the action melts their heart. Exciting right? You should try it. This approach showed people around that I cared and wanted to know how they were beyond the look on their face. After doing this for a few times, I observed that I connected with people in new ways and they began to seek counsel and advice from me for areas of their life. Also, I noticed that each time I wanted to do anything, they were willing to produce their best output as long as I was involved. This is what charisma does for your leadership journey.
I told a few people some months back that there are two things that makes a great leader. The charisma of the individual and the quality of their outputs. Charisma of leadership talks about the personality of the person that makes people follow them. Features that naturally attracts people to your personal could include family background, the way you talk, carriage, outward appearance and so on.
Every exemplary leader must always develop new strategies for accomplishment of his goals. One of the most important strategy is harnessing the unique talents and skills in every individual under you. Truth be told, it is difficult to do that but you must accept the unique nature of every person before you can harness their skills.
As a leader, let your strategy be in line with your personality which will help inspire people that are following you. Personality here can be likened to your charisma as mentioned above. It is not enough to have a strategy but knowledge about your environment, yourself and the nature of your business or personal endeavour which will for sure impact the strategy you create. As a person of continuous reference and influence, your strategy shows your uniqueness and make it difficult for people to steal your style. People are allowed to clone your style but they cannot operate according to your level as a result of the uniqueness of your personality. This shows that you must strive to remain unique. I don’t want to be like anybody because if I’m like another person, it means I’m not relevant and people will never enjoy the special effect on anything I do. Never loose your uniqueness to association or competitors.
Even the world understands the importance of being unique hence why companies are purchasing patent rights for their business idea or processes. Your uniqueness gives you class and above all, an identity. Remember in your leadership journey, don’t seek to be a carbon copy of another person. You can use a similar strategy but make sure your own flavour is added that will make you better than the one you are trying to create a pattern from. I tell most of my friends this “I don’t want to be like another person, all I want is to be the best version of myself”. This makes me do things that makes me happy and run in the accomplishment of my goals.
A few days ago, I learnt something new about who a leader should and should not be. I worked on a project with my boss at that is like a mother to me and she came into the office on a particular day and said I must not leave until a particular item for an event the next day had arrived. I never knew how long I was going to wait but because it’s her I decided to wait. Before I go on, what made me wait? Working with her for slightly over a year showed me that any leader that will always attract the attention and sacrifice of his or her followers, must lay good examples in terms of duty and also commend the efforts of those that do the job behind the scenes. This is the part of the things a leader should have.
Continuing my experience, two colleagues and I ended up leaving the office at about 9pm which was strange but guess what? We were excited to do it and she told us to resume between 7 and 7:30am. Believe me, I will only do this for her and one other person in my office freely with being coerced. In fact, I will even volunteer myself if I see it’s an assignment with any of particular people in my office. While the work was going on, I found out that this my boss kept overworking herself and even resumed earlier than us to ensure the work was done. She got insults and last minute disappointment but kept on going even at the expense of personal events that needed physical and mental attention. Other so called leader came and shouted or spoke anyhow to my colleagues and I even it if wasn’t technically our work to do (exactly what a leader shouldn’t do to the followers). At the end of the event, this my boss started thanking me for being there to help do the work that we were not appreciated, recognised or even applauded for.
What am I saying in essence, leadership has no manual or best way to do things because there are different contexts and approaches but in my opinion, a person of great strategy especially for the satisfaction of the followers, will always produce more quality results. Strategy in leadership, will not allow you to be bothered when people copy you but instead it will keep people hungry to know more and discover new ideas at every point. Leadership is a universal term but strategy in leadership is contextual in its application.
As a Christian, the Bible is for sure our manual for creativity in every area of life. Welcome to the new age leadership for maximum results.