Unleash the Power of Me: Becoming the best version of yourself

It is important to understand that leadership is not just for people at the top of an organisation, it is for everyone

By Dr Vivek Mansingh

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Published: Mon 26 Feb 2024, 5:41 PM

Having worked with David Packard, Bill Hewlett, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, and John Chambers, I have learned from these phenomenal leaders that we must develop a core of three skills, excellence, thinking out of the box, and leadership, to succeed like them. Excerpts from my book, “Achieving Meaningful Success: Unleash the Power of Me!”.

Excellence


Each one of us may not have what it takes to become a Sachin Tendulkar or Ratan Tata, but each one of us has to become the best version of ourselves to realise the potential we have. The result: becoming exceedingly good in our area of expertise, with the knowledge, skills, and experience that are needed. What does excellence do? It builds a reputation and brand that sets you apart from the herd. It makes you run your own race and opens up new paths to success.

A bunch of well-intentioned notions aren’t enough: they must be clear like the sparkling water of a mountain stream: the why, the how, and the what of your specific goal of excellence has to be concrete! Would you like to get into the mind of a person who has achieved excellence? I had the good fortune of getting a peek into the mind of a family friend, Rahul Dravid. He had a deep, burning desire to become simply the best in the game.


His goal was not just wishful thinking. It was reinforced with a solid strategy and an execution plan. The plan had the nuts and bolts of how to achieve his excellence goal—mastering techniques, relentless hard work, fitness training, mental toughness, and so on.

The results of becoming one of the best in the world are fame, recognition, and money. But these were not the drivers, these were the by-products. Like Rahul, I have seen many others reaching excellence over some time through passionate desire, strategy, careful planning, lots of hard work on self-improvement and benchmarking against the best.

Think Outside the Box

My innovation moment came when I worked with Apple. The first product from Apple, after Steve Jobs came back as CEO for the second time, was iMac. The challenge given by Steve was to design an iMac without any fan. We came up with an optimum solution. A remarkable feat that was admired by Steve Jobs himself. We received a big poster of iMac with a handwritten note that said, ‘To Vivek and team, thank you so much for your help, we couldn’t have done without you.’

Leadership

Leadership skills are a combination of skills and capabilities that make you a superhuman. A superhuman who is immersed in taking his team towards collective and individual success.

It is important to understand that leadership is not just for people at the top of an organisation, it is for everyone. True leadership rests in the followers’ hearts, not on a business card. It cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It has to be earned.

Leaders, I replied, need to have a vision. Vision without action is but a dream, action without vision just passes time, and vision with action can change the world. A leader finds a dream and then people; others find a leader and then the dream. Vision must be followed by a strategy and a huge reserve of positive energy.

Leaders must be passionate. They should have energy, vitality and enthusiasm in pursuing the vision. Teams cannot be prescribed ‘passion’ as a dose on a piece of paper or as an instruction in an email. They will become passionate only when they see their leader brimming with passion.

Leaders must be likable. People will follow you only if they like you. You can be likable by placing them first, praising good work and taking the brunt of any harsh feedback received from external sources.

Leaders earn respect and trust by keeping their character, value systems and principles impeccable. They exhibit courage and integrity. A powerful way to build trust is to put the team’s needs and what’s best for them ahead of your personal agenda.

Leaders develop knowledge and skills. If your grip on subject matter is shallow, you will not be able to earn the team’s respect. Leaders communicate well. As some experts say, leaders don’t convey the message, they are the message!

Leaders execute. Unless you are achieving results and helping the team do the same, you are on shaky ground. Persevere, measure progress and don’t rest till you have reached the destination. That builds your brand as a leader.

About the Author

— Dr Vivek Mansingh is the chairman of the Advisory Board for iACCEL Gulf Business Incubator (iACCEL GBI), and Author of India's bestseller 'Achieving Meaningful Success: Unleash the Power of Me!', https://vivekmansingh.com/.


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