Before we go ahead with discussing the leadership traits that we can imbibe from our parents and grandparents, let us define the term ‘leader’ first! No, we don’t want the definition from the dictionary – that would be too clinical. Let us make it more personal, let us create a more personal definition of this word ‘leader’ so that we can slowly implement these traits in our lives too.
A ‘leader’ is a person who:
- Whips the entire family into shape! Oh NO! – We don’t mean the physical whip – we mean the mental and emotional whip – the family will simply do what the leader decides – whether they like it or not!
- Does not mind becoming the ‘villain’ of the family in the process. He/She knows that one fine day – we will understand and decipher the wisdom of their ways.
- Is strict and flexible depending on the circumstances.
- Knows that different people have different priorities at different times of their lives.
- Works hard to keep the entire family together.
- Who has a high sense of discipline – physical, mental and emotional!
- Understands the diverse needs of three or more generations and does his/her best to keep everyone happy.
- Sacrifices and compromises willingly when the situation demands it – often this is done so quietly that people take such acts for granted! L !
- Teaches values by example.
- Intuitively understands the problems of all the family members.
- Knows how to scrimp and save to curb expenses and also knows how to spend lavishly when the occasion demands it.
Plays the pivotal role of the entire family but is the servant leader in the truest sense – his/her life is dedicated to the service of the entire family.
Leadership traits that we can imbibe from our mother:
It does not matter whether the mother is a working woman or a home maker! The traits that we can imbibe will be the same to a great extent:
- Is an early riser.
- Dresses up in clean comfortable clothes.
- Maintains the cleanliness and hygiene of the entire house.
- Ensures that everyone is punctual.
- Makes and packs simple, delicious, nutritious food with a lot of love and dedication.
- Takes care of the academic progress of her children.
- Knows when to help them and when not to help them out.
- Allows her children to make mistakes.
- Keeps them grounded when they experience success by deflating their ego.
She bridges the communication gap between her spouse and children. She sensitises her children to the feelings of seniors of the house. She KNOWS how to look at the same situation from different perspectives and does her best to bring the entire family to a common consensus. She forces all the three generations to look at things from the other person’s point of view by airing them openly. This may create some discord initially – but proves to be effective in the long run because they simply have no option – they have to come out of their comfort zone and rigid thinking patterns and understand and accept one another’s real life challenges. She knows when to keep quiet and when, how, where, why and whom to talk to in order to resolve the problem.
Leadership traits that we can acquire from our father:
- Bears the financial burden of the entire family.
- Works round the clock to ensure the well being of his entire family.
- Sacrifices and compromises willingly for the entire family.
- Willingly exerts himself even when he is tired – and takes his family for a much needed outing.
- Is happy to see that his children are progressing in a better way when compared to his own childhood.
- Is grateful for the sacrifices and compromises that his parents made for him when he was a child.
- Understands and realizes that it must have been more difficult for them in those times.
- Gives his children all the freedom to learn the value of money.
- Knows that only if he gives them that freedom, they will understand the responsibility that it entails.
- Teaches them how to use money judiciously.
The fathers of the house may be the ‘absentee’ members of the house – because they are busy earning the bread, butter and jam of the family. That does not mean that they are unaware of the happenings within the family. They may be liberal minded when it comes to money or habits – but they expect the entire family to understand that they need to be responsible enough to not waste good money or lose focus about crucial things in life. When their liberty is misused, they will express their feelings with anger – which literally sobers up the lackadaisical habits that the entire family may have slipped into. A true leader in the truest sense – he empowers but expects responsible behaviour too.
Leadership traits that we can learn from our grandparents:
Add three decades of experience to our mothers and fathers – and we have two seasoned leaders in our family.
Our parents work hard to earn money – they lead hectic lives and for them – ‘Time is literally money!’ So they will take a flight or take a cab to save time.
Our grandparents have been through that phase – know that this builds up stress over a period of time.
They have realized the hard tough way –that things that truly matter in life are not related to money in any way.
But they also know that money plays a very crucial role in ensuring the quality of our lives – so they understand that their sons and daughters are doing the right things at the right time.
In their own little way – they will help them out –by doing little things around the house.
- Switching off lights when not in use.
- Walking instead of taking a rickshaw.
- Using the bus instead of the rickshaw.
- Chopping vegetables perfectly.
- Add life to broken things by mending them – cobblers, tailors, raddiwalas – they believe in the ‘waste not – want not’ concept and KNOW – really KNOW how to live within their means.
- They know the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.
- But will allow you to make your own mistakes and learn your own lessons at your own pace.
- They know how to seal their lips along with all their thoughts and emotions and smile with love!
- And most important of all – they ensure that the house is filled with positive vibrations throughout the day.
They are the spiritual anchors of the family. They know that materialistic comforts will not bring in lasting peace in the family. So they work on things that truly matter – inner peace, reducing conflicts within the family by keeping quietly mum about things that they don’t really or truly understand.
They are flexible in their approach and refrain from enforcing their beliefs and values on their children and grandchildren.
They will confine their beliefs to themselves and are more focused on leading their lives peacefully by quietly and willingly making all kinds of compromises and sacrifices that most of us do not even understand.
They rarely remain idle and do not allow illness or sickness to confine them to bed.
They create their own circles of friends and relatives and enjoy the golden years of their lives by adding more meaning to their lives instead of getting embroiled in petty household issues.
They know that at the end of the day and at the end of their lives – relationships alone matter. They carefully nurture each and every bond that they have forged over years, create new ones and go around spreading good will by indulging and getting involved in charitable acts.
This gives them a lot of peace and they understand that in order to experience bliss, joy, serenity and everlasting happiness – they need to have a great relationship with themselves first before they enjoy their relationships with the other members of their family and/or community.
We are all born leaders! We are the result of our grandparents and our parents put together. We all have these traits embedded within us even before we were born. We just need to fine tune them and bring them to the surface by experiencing life to the fullest and implementing all the leadership traits that we constantly learn from such great grand people around us!