Part 1 of PERCEPTION: The Bedrock of Leadership

A few days ago, I came across a very funny situation. As usual, I was coming down from the library, lost in thought. Until, I came to a street where some Kids were playing football (Americans call it soccer). Now, I think they were on a short recess and decided to entertain themselves with a little debate. They had drawn the Number 6 at the center of the road and had divided themselves into two teams, (at least from what I could tell).

The team at the left side of the street said the number was 6 while the team on the right said that the number was 9. The whole scene was so weird that I just had to ask as to what was going on.

Then, one of them filled me into the details and said, “What do you think uncle, isn’t that number a 9?” He looked at me with a puppy-eye look and I just melted saying, “Yeah, I think it is a 9.” To say that he was ecstatic at my response would be an understatement. He immediately pointed at his friends screaming at the top of voice, “I told you so, I told you so” and I just felt sorry for the other kids. At that point, the debate was over and the football game resumed as if nothing had happened.

Now, lost in deep thought again, an epiphany suddenly came to mind; We all want approval for our different perceptions and seek support from an authority to validate our selves. I mean think about it, why else do you need to go to college to get a degree in something you can easily look up on the internet?

Albert Einstein actually once said, “Don’t memorize anything that you can look up.” The simple answer to this mystery is this keyword: ‘Validation.’

Physicist and Nobel Prize Winner, Albert Einstein. Famous developing the Theory of Relativity

Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s nothing wrong with people officially proving that we are competent in a certain field. However, this line of thinking becomes tragic when it comes to leading people. It’s okay for a manager to stay in his lane but if you are going to succeed as a leader, breaking the Status Quo has to be second nature. Leaders don’t need much validation from others because often times they are the ones at the tail end of that equation.

So, what does perception have to do with anything?

Well, how you perceive the world really determines how you lead yourself and others. As the Bible proverb goes, “So a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

A leader’s perception of a situation is largely dependent on the vision that he has. Whereas others see despair and chaos, a leader sees opportunity. But how can this be?

Well, its because the only person that needs to validate a leader is himself. Since they don’t need much validation from others, their perception of who they are allows them to make such leaps.

Come to think of it, I could’ve sworn that the number that was drawn by those Kids really looked like a 6. Or maybe its just me trying to get validation from those sad kids because I felt bad… (no pun intended).

Anyway, the bottom line is that if you want to lead effectively, you must work on a self-validation basis. The perception of your circumstances on personal level, business level or even national level depends heavily on how you think. Having the right perception, you will ultimately become the leader that you are destined to be.

In my next blog, I will take a look at some of the Strategies that one can take to change his perception and release the trapped leader within. Please, make sure you wash your hands regularly. Wouldn’t want the Corona Virus to get to you before my next blog now, do we? So, stay safe and see you then Vigilante Scholars!!!

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