Leadership is like riding.
– you need to know where you want to go.
– you need a fair idea of how to reach there.
– you re-route yourself if you face a traffic jam or any other situation which might stop you from reaching your destination.
– you decide on the route based on the type of vehicle that you are driving. The routes that you can take while driving a bike is very different from the one that you can take while driving a car, which could be very different from the one that you can take if you were driving a huge 26 tyre truck.
– if you want to reach a specific place at a specific time, you plan to leave at a specific time based on facts like which vehicle are you driving, what route you will be taking, the traffic conditions on that route at that particular time, etc.
– you know when, where and how much to re-fuel.
– you also plan for maintenance of your vehicle.
All of these are the same qualities that a leader needs to exhibit while leading an Organization or a nation:
– they need to have a vision or know where they want to lead to.
– they need to have a fair idea of how to reach there (a plan).
– they should be able to recognise when things are not going according to plan, and be able to change strategies to be able to reach the goals.
– they design their strategies based on their understanding of the people whom they are leading. Strategies that work while leading a start-up will be very different from the ones that will work while leading large scale Organisations.
– they also understand the resources that will be required to reach their goals and find ways to get these resources at the right times.
– they also understand that people and organizations need overhaul and maintenance on a regular basis to weed out inefficiencies and straighten out cultural issues.
So, if you know how to ride from one place to another, you already know more about leadership than you will ever need. The only thing that you need to do is to be aware of these and put them in action.
What do you think of this comparison between driving and leadership. Do let me know by commenting below or by tweeting me (@rmukeshgupta).
PS: you can also watch Popeye’s leadership lessons: