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What gives you power? Your position or your person?

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True leadership is about integrity, inspiration, insight and empathy. Just you being you is sufficient for others in the team to outdo themselves, informs Mohan Joshi, Independent Management Consultant

As the boss, do you derive that power from your person (all the tangibles and intangibles that make you you) or your position (designation and perks)?

True leadership is about integrity, inspiration, insight and empathy. Just you being you is sufficient for others in the team to outdo themselves.

One for all, win for all

There was this youngster who had forgettable debuts in all formats of cricket. Ranji Trophy (10 runs), IPL (1), T20 (26), ODI (12), Test (4,15). (Even if you are not into cricket, you are right not to be impressed by those numbers.) But there was no mistaking a spark, that soon set many a stadium afire.

Today, 10 years later, he is the captain. Youngsters credit him for keeping their spirits up when injury or selection push them out of the team. He has no insecurities about letting his senior predecessor set the field and guide the bowlers, while he patrols the boundary. Because he respects the senior’s capabilities. Because he must be where he can put in the best for the team even when he has the power to call the shots. Because he connects to every member of the team.

Fit and hungry

He is a model for fitness and a winning attitude even outside cricket. He has bagged three top international cricket rankings—the first-ever for a cricketer.

Is Virat Kohli a leader because he happens to be the captain? Or is he a captain because he is a natural leader?

Does being a good batsman help? He says that “knowing the ins and outs of batting” helps him as a captain to read the game better. He puts himself in the rival batsman’s shoes and imagines how he would bat in the given situation. Then he confers with his bowlers, sets the field, and puts his strategy in motion. Talk of using empathy to outthink the competition!

In the beginning, your skillset could be all that matters. Once you don the leader’s hat, however, the only skill that really matters is your ability to motivate the team and inspire each member to touch new heights. For that you must make meaningful, inspiring connections.

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