By Arthur Marara
This past week I was invited to speak at the Delta Corporation Executive Ball Dinner. This was one of most organised events that I have attended in a public speaking escapades. One of the most frequent questions that I was asked is where do I get my inspiration for what I speak and write on? My answer is everywhere, and this particular Friday, I was really inspired by some few things that I observed from Delta Corporation’s CEO, Mr. Matts Valela. It was my first time meeting him in person, but you do not need hours to learn some profound lessons from someone. I derived the following lessons which I am sharing with you this week.
Lessons 1: Celebrate your people
The essence of leadership is not what you can do. It is what you can inspire others to do. It is not what your employees can do for you. It is what you can do for your employees. Leadership inspires, and celebrates them. In the process you also support them, and teach them to do and be their best.
Human beings thrive where they are recognised and celebrated. Human beings and nature are not much different, they thrive where they are cultivated and appreciated. Imagine an event where you just bring your team and their spouses in one place just to celebrate them for all the hard work. Nothing else just to celebrate the people that you work with.
Also just learn to treat people right and see value in everyone.
Lessons 2: Humanise and humble yourself
Delta Corporation has been in existence for the past 125 years, being at the helm of such an organisation that is in the lives of people almost on a daily basis is no mean feat. It also takes great of humility to still be able to connect and communicate at various levels.
True leadership is about humility. Humility enables you to connect with people and connect with hearts as well. As I was sitting on the table I was allocated, I noticed that the CEO was literally moving around all the tables greeting the various team members.
Leadership expert Dr. John C. Maxwell, once remarked that, “a leader touches a heart before asking for a hand”. Touch people’s hearts and they will go an extra mile for the cause that you lead. A number of business leaders prefer to be feared than to be respected. You do more with people who respect than people who just fear you.
The CEO walked through almost all the tables greeting each and everyone together with their spouses/partners. Look for opportunities to serve the people that you lead. “If you want to lead at the highest level, you must be willing to serve at the lowest.” John C. Maxwell
Lesson 3: Inspire the people you lead
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” [John Quincy Adams]. Great leaders inspire action. Leadership is about movement. If you are leading an organisation and there is no change, then you are not a leader. When real leaders come into the picture, there is real and noticeable change. But how do you do that as a leader, you inspire the people that you lead. Draw the picture of what the future looks like, and inspire action amongst the people that you lead.
In the a speech that lasted less than 20 minutes you could feel that the atmosphere was charged and people were encouraged. That is great leadership. The atmosphere changes when a leader steps in. What does your presence do in the organisation that you lead. “Good people do not require management. They need the big picture and support.” [Steve Jobs]. Anyone can bark orders, and boss people around, but not everyone can inspire people towards a shared outcome. Leaders do not boss people around. You do not even need to micromanage people, and treat them as commodities.
Lesson 4: Promote work life balance
I was asked to speak on this topic during the dinner. Now, that is leadership when you help people realise that there is more to life than just coming to work. In fact your performance at work can actually be affected with what is happening elsewhere in life. The CEO passionately encouraged his team and spouses to strive for health, and healthy relationships and work life balance in keeping with the wheel of life.
There are so many demands on the working person and you are often expected to deliver on the various ends. Leaders recognise that they are leading human beings and not machines. Prioritise the welfare of the people that you live with. There are so many facets to the wheel of life; Career, Finances, Physical and Mental Health, Family and Friends, Significant Other/Romantic Relationship, Spiritual and Personal Growth, and Fun and Recreation. The goal of the wheel of life is to make sure that the wheel (our life) is balanced. When one part of our life gets too much attention it can easily happen that other parts are neglected. If the wheel of life is out-of-balance it’s probably going to crash. That’s why it should be evenly balanced around the inside.
Encourage your team to live balanced life, or at least to strive for the balance. This will enable you to see massive results in your organisations.
Lesson 5: The energy you carry as a leader is important
Energy is contagious. The energy you carry as a leader is important. One of the things that I can easily pick in people is the energy that they do carry. I protect myself from negative energy. I get attracted to positive energy. That is what has kept me going.
It is amazing to see how the CEO was carrying such phenomenal energy that easily inspired people. If you are a leader you need to package and carry yourself in a way that inspire confidence. People are watching you all the way. There is no leader with a right to privacy, leadership is about integrity. People see and do what you do.
◆ Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote speaker, corporate and personal branding speaker. He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, strategy and personal and professional development. Arthur is the author of “Toys for Adults” a thought provoking book on entrepreneurship, and “No one is Coming” a book that seeks to equip leaders to take charge. Send your feedback to [email protected] or Visit his website www.arthurmarara.com or contact him on WhatsApp: +263780055152 or call +263772467255.