A simple question yet very rarely answered in the right way. “What makes a leader?” Some would say ambition, some would say vision, some would say emotional intelligence, and some would say you are just born with leadership qualities. Nobody knows the exact recipe for becoming a leader, but Ishu Singh considers it his responsibility to share every ounce of knowledge he has about this topic. Shedding light on this frequently pondered question, Ishu Singh would like to clarify that, sadly, there is no one magic ingredient, which can make you a leader. Rather, it is a mix and blend of many. Clear vision, integrity, teamwork, gratitude, communication, empathy are some of the main ones from the recipe book of “what makes a leader”.
Ishu Singh likes to balance dreams and realism. Undeniably, a clear vision leads the way to become a strong leader but if there is no gratitude, communication, and teamwork backing it up, the vision will never become a reality. Whom will you lead if no one follows you? To make them follow you, you must communicate your vision to them. You must make them a part of your dream for them to follow it too. You must have a team to lead on. People must be confident about your plans, your ideas. You must make them trust your vision or else you will be the only one running in a race. Leadership can only be achieved if you are capable enough to have followers. A leader is nothing without their followers.
Ishu Singh is well aware of the fact that becoming a leader is not a task done overnight neither is everyone’s cup of tea. Still, he likes to remain positive and confident about achieving the goal of becoming a leader if maximum elements are present. According to him, the world has moved on from the idea of leaders just having an intelligence quotient or IQ. He has detected a strong emphasis placed on the emotional intelligence of a leader at work too. Is emotional intelligence a term used for a person with stable emotions? Not exactly. Emotional intelligence is just of those magic ingredients, which we mentioned earlier. The list is long and exhaustive.
A leader must have a high level of self-awareness in terms of their own emotions. How will you lead others when your mind is cloudy? People seek clarity from leaders and this clarity is only a product of self-awareness. Is being aware of your own emotions enough to lead? Well, no. Knowing your emotions is just one step forward. The ladder of leadership has many steps. Self-management is the next fundamental of leadership. If you cannot even identify the storm inside you, how will you manage the flood outside? Leaders are great managers too. They must know how to manage, when to manage and where to manage and this comes only from self-management. Once a person knows self-management, they can stick to their goals and prevent others from deviating from those too.
Suppose you are self-aware and know self-management. How will you benefit others and yourself with these qualities? Well, Ishu Singh considers empathy to be an answer to this question. Only an empathetic fellow can convey his emotions to others and understand their emotions as well. Empathy in a leader is like salt in food; even the tastiest food will become bland if there is no salt in it. Salt binds everything. Similarly, empathy binds the leader to their followers. A leader must be capable of attuning to other people and this can only be done if he or she understands what others are feeling and going through.
Last but not least at all, your social skills. It might appear obvious because leaders must communicate, interact, elaborate, work in a team, etc. However, as shocking as it may seem, some so-called leaders lack basic social skills. Social skills work like fire, which must be lit for your recipe to cook. Even if you have ingredients like self-awareness, self-management, and empathy in a pot, it will not cook unless you lit the fire. Likewise, social skills combine it all and put the work into action.
Therefore, to answer the question “What makes a leader” in one line is everything and anything that makes you a better human first.