The power of leadership. “One Team One Goal”

Social status is one of the main concerns that we have as humans and a basic need at the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.

Weather we admit it or not, we all want to be leaders…. Without realizing they we are leaders by default!  Being a traditional leader (or manager) translates into being successful and we see this as an accomplishment. That’s why we study and we start working in early ages. That’s why we go that extra mile, and we complete tasks. We aim to be seen and promoted. A higher position brings benefits, but it also brings responsibilities.

The world has always been under the influence of some great personalities. You’ve all heard about the world’s great leaders and indeed, they have inspired generations. Their magnificent minds and their wisdom have showed us how extraordinary goals can be achieved.

I personally consider Mahatma Ghandi (1869-1948) to be one of the greatest leaders of all times.  He was awarded the title of “Father of the Nation”and he actively protested to liberate India. He has as well an exceptional academic journey and his wisdom quotes are still something that we rely on in our days.  Nelson Mandela, the president of South Africa between 1994 and 1999 was another visionary leader that inspired generations and got awarded with a Nobel Prize in 1963. Throughout history we had many outstanding personalities that somehow changed the course of history by being true leaders and by using in a humanitarian way the power of leadership. I can’t help reminding Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Napoleon Bonaparte, Dalai Lama, Franklin Roosevelt, Alexander The Great or Carol the 1st.

UAE has many leaders but the most loved one is Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He was the ruler of Abu Dhabi for more than 30 years. He was the founding father and the principal driving force behind the formation of the United Arab Emirates, uniting seven emirates.

Literally the organizational leaders have a role that usually entails their active intervention in their organization in order to influence the behavior of subordinates so as to get things done in the manner they desire. But if you see beyond the classic definition…. we are all leaders. We lead our kids, and we raise them to be responsible adults, we lead our families alongside with other members, we lead our communities, we lead discussions, and we totally lead our own lives. We all have the leadership characteristics imprinted in our DNA as leadership is more than a work-related term.

I do believe that great leaders (aka managers) are only the ones who are outstanding leaders of their own self. I have met many managers that have less of leadership skills and more of classical boss approach.  Building strong human relations with the team and cultivating empathy, humbleness and loyalty are key elements for leadership. As a leader you should aim to satisfy the social and psychological needs of your team. Employees can be motivated with something more powerful than financial gains.  They must feel appreciated and recognized by their managers. By now you should all know and agree with the fact that  the power of any manager relies on the team that he builds. 

As a manager, one of my greatest achievements was building a strong, smart, and happy team of professional and passionate people. ADCC team comes from all over the world, having different nationalities, backgrounds, and personalities. And yet, they feel like a family! In our ADCC “One team, One goal” Family we respect each other. We listen and we accept. We challenge and support each other! We value each other’s work, and we work together to reach goals. In this “family” we all have specific roles, and we inspire each other to become better every day! We cherish the time that we spend together and we create long lasting memories. Our happy talks, our brainstorming meetings, our initiatives, all the challenges and our professionalism make us unique and special. Here we listen to each other, and we encourage ideas! I could go for pages to write all the awesome things that we experienced during the past 7 years, but I do believe this deserves a full chapter of an upcoming book….so no spoiler alert.  I’ll just say that they are awesome, super smart and very passionate about work and life!

I wish people around would reflect more on the real meaning of leadership. For those who hold the titles, management is not only a business-oriented concept as there would be no business without people, but people also to buy your service and people to provide the service. If you were fortunate to be a manager by now, try to remember the managers you had throughout your years of employment. Do not feel threatened by talented people as you should mentor them to achieve greatness. Invest time and energy in building smart teams!  Keep a humanizing approach and be emphatic with your subordinates. You fail as a manager if you do not have your team’s respect and admiration. They must look up to you, not because of the power that you have. They should look up to you because they deeply admire you. You should inspire them to overcome limitations and to tackle opportunities. You must set an example, motivate, and sharpen their minds. You must keep them focused and engaged. You must see their potential and maximize their strengths. They might be the future leaders and your contribution will, at a smaller scale, help change this world into a better place!

 “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” (John Quicy Adams). And now that we have that cleared and you know that YOU are a leader, please, make sure you’re making an outstanding work! The world needs more then ever great leaders!