Posted by Dr. Wilbert R. Mutoko | October 30, 2019, | All articles, Leadership tips |
I believe that every genuine leader has a desire to become better daily. That being said, leadership can be developed in different ways. Moreover, leadership can be learned by observing reputable leaders’ behavior. Thus, one way of getting better is by learning from traditional leaders.
So, the other day I went to speak with a chief because my team and I were intending to make a difference to people in that chief’s area. During our interaction with the chief, we were very inspired by the way the chief carried himself. Thus, I have derived some leadership lessons from chiefs, which I share with you in this article. I think chiefs and kings, as traditional leaders are trained on protocol and character building. Therefore, as leaders, we need to consciously train ourselves to behave as role models and enviable leaders.
In this article, I share with you the insights that my team and I got while engaging with the chief.
On arrival at the chief’s homestead, we were received with honor by the wife. Amazing and honorable woman. She gave us seats and assured us that the chief would come and see us shortly. One could easily tell that the chief was a great man, just by the warm welcome that our team got from the wife. Finally, when he came, we sensed the same warmth and respect that we had felt with the wife. When we were before the chief, we felt that the atmosphere was charged with honor. But this time it was deeper. As leaders, we should be honorable. Otherwise, it will be difficult for people to follow us. If you were to rate yourself on a scale of 0 to 10, 10 being the most honorable; how would you rate your level of behavior?
DECENT WALKING STEP
The way the chief walks is that of royalty, not that slow, yet not that too fast. Each step is decent and intentional. I am sure you have seen the way even presidents and prime ministers walk. Neither do they walk so slow that they look as though they do not know where they are going, nor do they walk too fast as if they are unstable. As leaders, we need to monitor how we walk. Chest out and raised shoulders, is a way of walking that shows confidence and that you have life in you. How is your step?
The chief was calm. He was not noisy or unstable. His calmness was contagious to all of us. This is one of the reasons why a leader will be respected. Calmness, even during turmoil. How calm are you?
When we saw the chief, it was evident that he was a man of great positive influence. His wife showed us great care and hospitality. When the chief arrived, we saw the same reception in him as we had received from the wife. As leaders, we need to be people of good influence. The easiest way to lead is to influence people to do what you suggest without forcing them. A forced team rarely produces good results in a timely manner. But a team that is inspired by the leader can do exploits. How influential are you to your team?
One could easily see the chief’s deep devotion to his people. He asked us some well-intended questions to be sure that after giving us permission to serve his people, we would keep our promises. As leaders, we need to be devoted to our work, devoted to a worthy cause, and devoted to our people. How deeply devoted are you?
DECENT SPEED AND QUALITY OF SPEECH
The way the chief spoke was admirable. He was not too slow in speech, and he was not too fast either. Great people think first before they speak. They are very intentional in their words. As a leader, you need to monitor your speed of speech or conversation delivery, as well as quality. How good is your speed and quality of speech and conversation delivery?
While we sat with the chief, my attention was drawn to his listening skills. He would ask a question and wait for us to respond without interruptions. Some leaders are less effective because when they communicate, they do not listen. Remember you have two ears and one mouth. Thus, you should listen to someone double the number of times you speak. What kind of leader are you? Do you listen, or you always want to be heard?
Eye contact shows active engagement with the other person during a conversation. in many places, lack of eye contact can be deemed that you are hiding something. However, too much eye contact can be intimidating to others. Thus, one needs to strike a balance between the two aspects. The chief’s eye contact was exceptional. It was the kind where we felt that he was actively engaging, yet at the same time not intimidating us. As leaders, we need to learn to use eye contact profitably. What sort of eye contact do you normally use?
FEW CALCULATED WORDS
A chief is a man of few, well-calculated words. The same applies to all great leaders. They are careful with what they say, and they try to limit their words. As a leader, how good are you at using a few but well-crafted words?
Keeping secrets is one of the main strengths of great people. One way in which you know that someone can easily divulge your secrets is when you hear one telling the secrets of other people. You can be sure that one will share your secrets with other people as well. I remember many years ago when I was a teacher in a certain school. I was invited to the principal’s office and she asked me, “Mr. Mutoko, I hear that you are counseling members of staff. Is that true?” I answered, “Yes”. Then she said, “Please tell me who and who have you have counseled, and what their problems are.” I responded, “My sincere apologies Ma’am. I will not be able to breach confidentiality.” The principal was not happy with me. She went on to say, “You see, I am the head of the school. Therefore, I need to know the problems that my staff is facing.” I could see that I was risking losing my job by refusing to divulge the information. But I spoke within my heart, ‘Wilbert, you would rather remain ethical, even if it means losing your job.’ So, I said to her, “Principal, I am sorry. I will not be able to divulge the information.” Then she reluctantly let me out of her office. Always remember as King Solomon once said, “A good name (reputation/good character) is better than great riches. As a leader, can you keep business secrets? Can you keep your colleagues’ secrets?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Wilbert R. Mutoko
Dr. Mutoko seeks to make a global impact on leadership, strategy, and business. He is an Academic, Leadership/Strategy Consultant, Motivational Speaker, Author, and Researcher.
You can connect with Dr. Wilbert R. Mutoko on the following platforms:
Official Website: www.wilbertmutoko.com