May 13, 2008

A Quiet Leader

In his book “Leading Quietly: An Unorthodox Guide to Doing the Right Thing” Harvard Business School's Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr. describes what quiet leaders do and how they make their workplace, and their world, a better place.

This is what he says.

They're not making high-stakes decisions. They're often not at the top of organizations. Sometimes a few people were aware of what they did; sometimes nobody is aware of what they did. There aren't medal ceremonies and often the people involved don't think they would deserve one if the medals were being given out. But often they're people, I found…in the cases I looked at carefully, who find that some situation or problem or difficulty affecting a person, affecting an organization, is really bothering them; it gets under their skin. They commit themselves and keep working tenaciously, so that over a period of time they find some ways to get stuff done.

In essence, he is implying we are all leaders. At one time or the other, we have taken a decision that has changed the quality of life of those around us. Surprisingly, we ourselves are unaware of the fact, because, our images of leaders are forged from reading about great men like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and Winston Churchill. To us a leader is one whose decisions change the life and circumstances of a nation or history. Therefore, it is inconceivable for us to look at ourselves as a leader.

So let us stop putting ourselves down. Let us accept we are leaders in our own way and capable of life changing decisions. Let us celebrate we are leaders, albeit A QUIET LEADER.

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