Three Leadership Lessons We can Learn from Mahatma Ghandi
Ghandi is one of the most influential leaders of modern history, and amongst other impressive achievements, he helped India achieve independence in the mid-1900s. So we thought we’d take a quick look at some of the leadership tips he taught by the way he lived his life and led his people.
1. Embrace Continuous Improvement
One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is in thinking he or she is perfect. Ghandi famously told his followers that if two of his sentences ever contradicted each other, then they should simply ignore the first and accept the second – this is because he recognised himself as imperfect, and he always strived to learn new things and develop himself. The idea of accepting his second statement if it contradicted his first represented the fact that he continued learning over time, and his desire and passion to continuously improve himself is one of the things that made him such a great leader.
2. Be a Great Listener
Despite how influential Ghandi was, it surprises many people who study him to learn that he was actually considered a fairly mediocre public speaker. His biggest strength in influencing others was his ability to listen – both to what was being said outright, and to the deeper meanings that went unspoken. It’s fine to be an impressive public speaker – really, it’s not a fault! But it isn’t necessarily what makes a great leader – to lead and influence other people, you must first listen to, and understand, them.
3. Be Open Minded
Ghandi was a firm believer in accepting other people for who and what they were – and this is a big lesson that can be applied to leadership in all areas of life. After all, if we dismiss or judge the ideas and views of other people as being crazy or below par, then we might just stop the next ‘big thing’ from coming to fruition.
Who is Your Favourite Leader?
Who has taught you the biggest leadership lessons? What did they teach you, and how can we apply it to other areas of our lives and careers? Let us know in the comments below.
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