Thoughts Scribbled on Paper

Scribbles on Technology, Innovation, and Leadership

Five Actions of Leadership

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I often wonder what it takes to lead. What are the actions of great leaders? What do great leaders do on a daily basis to influence themselves and others in a positive way? I am referring to ‘actions’ as opposed to traits, characteristics, or ‘acts’ of leadership. I believe ‘actions’ instill the core of leadership and therefore, are the cause while ‘acts’ the effect.

Classes, seminars, talks, and training sessions on leadership that I have come across focus primarily on what it takes to be a good manager and not a solid leader. Most leadership gurus that I have encountered so far confuse the term `leader’ with that of `manager’. You can become a good manager by sufficient training and developing proper soft skills. You become a good leader by focusing on a few deep and intrinsic values and facing adversity and circumstances that put those values to test. Only life experiences can train you on how to lead. There are no books, blogs (including this one), talks, or training that can infuse you with leadership; they can infuse you with hope and motivation, however.

I did not come up with some 4 P’s, 5 C’s, or an acronym of actions, primarily because I am still developing the poetic skills of a rapper. Instead, I have identified five simple (or not-so-simple) actions that I can incorporate into my daily routine to help me develop the core of a steadfast leader.

Introspect – Look within to find your strengths and live with purpose. Inquire and think deep.

Energize – Motivate and excite yourself and people around you. Be positive. Inspire by example.

Connect – Build a strong sense of community and camaraderie. Communicate and relate.

Envision – Have a vision for the future. Imagine, dream, and aspire.

Pursue – Seek truth, knowledge, and insight. Learn and understand new ideas and paradigms.











In the process of thinking of these actions I realized that each action feeds another; there is a cycle of positive feedback within these five actions. This feedback works well because each action re-enforces another and over time these actions can only become habits.

When you identify your inner strengths, you are excited about yourself and your purpose in life. This positivity and energy permeates through people around you. You inspire by example and motivate people to find their own purpose and strengths. This, in turn, helps you connect with others; you succeed in forming a community through camaraderie and communication. You envision a future that is much greater than your own self and your personal aspirations. Your dreams when realized will perhaps leave footprints much bigger than those of your own feet in the sands of time.  In pursuing your dreams, you are able to open up your mind to new ideas and paradigms. Your quest for innate and intrinsic values–either in your own or new ideas, either through your own or new paradigms–helps you to seek more knowledge and insight into things. You enjoy the process of learning and applying new concepts and knowledge to solve problems. Some of the best solutions to complex problems, as I have found, are simple, in fact, extremely simple.  Pursing insight, knowledge, and the best solutions forces you to think deep and hard. You often end up looking into yourself to find your strengths and purpose; it is back to the action of honest introspection and self-realization. The actions complete a full circle, and this is what I mean by positive feedback of the five actions.

Only time and circumstances will test the efficacy of these actions.

What are your actions?


Written by Pragyan Mishra

August 28, 2010 at 12:33 am

Posted in Leadership

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