Leadership is of two types – positive and negative. The history of bygone days is filled with examples of negative leadership and positive leadership. Adolf Hitler, Robert Clive and likes are notorious for negative leadership. Macbeth a leader cum tragic hero in the Shakespearean world is a model of leadership but with negative traits: lack of vision, lack of decision-making skill, lack of insight into future consequences and impulsiveness. In my previous article titled “Macbeth – a contemporary study for leaders on mission to achieve excellence”, I have focused on Macbeth’s negative leadership traits emphasizing the need of positive leadership traits for future leaders.
Swami Vivekananda is a must mention among the greatest leaders in the colonial era of India and the modern period. His character and life is an eternal study on positive and constructive leadership. He is the most popular icon of powerful and influential leadership for the young aspirants. Needless to mention, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru are other two great leaders of that period. However, Swami Vivekananda is the only personality that the youth of all generations relate to. Let’s discuss what you can learn from him to be a successful leader at all levels – personal, professional and social.
Excellent oratory skill is one of the must-have traits of positive leadership. If a leader is a visionary, he should be eloquent enough to express his vision or view into convincing words. Word is the power to drive others towards the goal envisioned by the leader. According to the Bible, word is the chief source of power and means of conviction. You can exercise influence on your fellows and followers through elocution that is gift of the gab in the common speak. Swami Vivekananda was a motivating orator with soul-stirring speech power. He had won the hearts of the scholars in America and other parts of the world on strength of his word power. Through his burning speech, he had encouraged youths to engage in service to the nation, the poor and the neglected. The art of motivating a group to work for a common cause is a positive leadership trait.
The captain of an army is supposed to have no power when he is without the army. “United we stand, divided we fall”. This age-old adage is very true for the captain or leader. A leader should not keep himself away from the reach of his subordinates or followers. He can walk a step ahead of them, but not so far that they can’t keep pace with him. Gautama Buddha was a great spiritual leader. He never held himself above his devotees. He was close to them; he was amidst them. It was the key to his mass popularity. Swami Vivekananda too never thought of keeping away from the common lot. He identified himself with the common people and their collective force. This is a sign of being a true leader.
A leader should stay motivated and keep his followers motivated. Instead of referring to noble men as examples of great leadership, he himself should set an example for his followers by rising over trifles and all sorts of meanness. He becomes a leader not only because he designates a position higher than others. It is a set of specific qualities that set him on high as a leader. Swami Vivekananda emerged as a leader of the youth by dint of hard work, tireless effort, selflessness, and other noble traits. Law of attraction is a rare trait that a few leaders are known to have.