Featured Article:

JUST MY PERSPECTIVE

Sis. Shashi Bala Singh, Chief Coordinator, Education International, Asia & Pacific Region

Many people believe that a person can be born with certain leadership characteristics. For me, this is not an assurance that a person could become a leader. These characteristics must be exposed and honed up, utilized and recognized and be given the chance to play an active role in a team, organization or society in general. I believe that a leader performs a multifarious role, working together with colleagues and followers. A leader is in her best when she guides people well, directs path enthusiastically, conducts programs objectively, and facilitate affairs clearly with a purpose of driving people and efforts to succeed. A leader is in her most when she has significant influence over people who will side with her fairly to realize team’s goals. Scaled through a leadership yardstick, I humbly consider myself a simple leader motivated to working together with people who share the same values, objectives, vision, and mission; I find fulfilment and purpose as I act as facilitator in biting, contagious, and learning discussion, be able to connect relevant points provided and use these to reach certain decisions expected of a leader.

Leadership is the force – that something which we all possess and can access to varying degrees; however, the potentials and promises of good leadership are futile if these will not be discovered, used, or optimised. I believe that a person who is expected to take a lead and guide must be strongly motivated first before driving other people to actions– that is a basic rule, leadership essential.

Leadership, in essence, is inspiration. We inspire. We move people from their words to their actions. We make them realize that for every struggle, there is a success. We lead them to believe that objectives need to be outcomes. Inspiring people does not only challenge the cognition of the team but also its emotion. We excite as we engage.

As a leader, I am inspired too! I am inspired serving members and teachers to the fullest through long-cherished traditions and standards of commitment, transparency and collective decision. I am inspired to prove that there is no disparity between a man and a woman’s experience when both are trying to get into a leadership position in the union and society. To me, the feats and progress of an organisation do not depend on the gender of the leader---it is correlated to competence and commitment that the leader has.

Expectations are rather high when you are in the leadership position. Responsibility becomes manifold; decision-making more critical; social obligations are intense; accountability becomes more serious. And a good leader has a lot more. Amidst all these, members and the community expect your formidable strength. As a true leader, you are bound to find ways in making members feel secured and involved by showing your positive self-image strengthened by messages and meanings of “you can”, “we can”, “you will”, and “we will.”

As long as we have built up firm foundation of good leadership and sound management, which are reinforced over the years, trust me, under our tutelage, a new generation of great leaders will evolve. I for one cannot do this if the strong desire and will had not been ignited by leaders before me.