The 16th and current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Damodardas Modi is considered a famous and powerful leader not just in India, but in the world.
Modi was involved in Indian politics since a very young age. However, things did not start out smooth when he was young. When he was just a young boy, he helped his father sell tea and then later ran his own stall. Somehow, Modi was introduced to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which can also be known as “National Patriotic Organization”.
It was then Modi started to learn about politics and leadership. After his graduation, he worked full-time for RSS and was then introduced to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), where he built his leadership qualities and became the Chief Minister of Gujarat for over a decade. Due to his hard work, Modi eventually won the national elections and became the 16th Prime Minister of India.
Leadership Quality # 1. Setting the Example as a Leader
Narendra Modi is considered one of the most respected leaders in the world not because of his position, but because he set the example as a great leader. He is the man that everyone looks up to and respect because of his personality, his characters, traits, and qualities.
If you want to be a leader, you must first act like a leader. A leader cannot win the trust and hearts of others if he does not possess the qualities and characters of a leader.
The problem with most people is that they often think that leadership qualities will come after they become the leader, which is completely opposite. You should look, act, and set yourself as an example before you can actually become a leader.
Just like the saying, “Fake it until you make it”. You need to become an example before people will acknowledge you as a leader. And Modi clearly shows his larger-than-life characters since a very young age, which eventually influenced his political image. He was born into a poor family and has to help his father to sell tea in the railway station, but despite all the odds, he still manages to shine as a leader and become one of the most respected leaders in India.
Modi has presented himself as an example of a great leader. Even to this day, he is still a well-behaved man who does not misuse his status quo to garner false-respect from others. And this is what a leader is all about.
Leadership Quality # 2. Express Intense Enthusiasm
One of the most important leadership qualities one can learn from Modi is his intense passion and enthusiasm for his work. He loves serving his country so much that he spends 18 hours every day at work.
This is no doubt a crucial quality that commonly shared by all the leaders in the world. Bill Gates was also known as a very hard working man when he was young. He said this during an interview, “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one. And I’m still fanatical, but now I’m a little less fanatical.”
The same goes for all other highly successful people in the world. When you are enthusiastic about your work, you are willing to work for it for free. Even if no one pays you or when you face tough times, you are willing to persist because you love to do it.
The sad truth is that most people are not passionate about their work. This is why most people will give up when the tough times come or choose to avoid their work when they do not feel like working.
If you are serious about becoming an extraordinary leader like Narendra Modi, you must express intense passion and enthusiasm with what you do. When you are enthusiastic and you love what you do, nothing and no one can stop you from moving forward.
Leadership Quality # 3. Understand the People
Regardless of whether it is in politics or in business, if you want to be a great leader, you need to understand the people. In business, you need to understand your team and your customer. There is no way you can build a successful business without knowing what your team and your customers want.
Modi always knows this. And this is how he managed to win the trust of the people of India and hence, was elected as the Prime Minister of the country. During his tenure as chief minister in the state of Gujarat, the GDP growth rate of the state soared to a value above that of the country as a whole. And during Modi’s administration, Gujarat topped the World Bank’s “ease of doing business” rankings among all other Indian states.
Modi understands what the people want. He knows that the only way to win the election is to win the people’s heart. And to do that, he has to learn to be a great leader and to serve his country in a better way, which he did.
Most people understand and think that being a leader or a business owner is all about making all the profit. This is why many businesses fail in the first five years of their launch. They focus too much on making a profit and forget the most important key to success, which is to understand what the market, the customers, the clients, and the people want.
Leadership Quality # 4. Act Confidently
This leadership quality is so important, so necessary, that without it, leadership cannot exist. And this quality is confidence. Self-confidence is the fundamental basis of which leadership grows, without confidence, it will be like building houses on a foundation of sand.
Narendra Modi clearly demonstrates his confidence in his political career. He is confident that he can win the general election and focus on getting rid of corruption, played on his image as a politician who created a high GDP growth rate in Gujarat and portrays himself as a person who could bring development to India. It was Modi’s strong confidence level that won him the election and became the Prime Minister of the country.
When it comes to becoming a great leader, having a high level of confidence is vital. Imagine when you are leading a team and you lack confidence, what do you think your team will think of you. They will lose their faith and confidence in you too. As a result, people can never proceed further without confidence. They will act in their comfort zone and live in fear.
For the case of Modi, confidence is even more important because he is leading the entire country, not to mention the country with the second largest population in the world. And if he does not show confidence in what he does, the entire nation may suffer along with its people.
Leadership Quality # 5. Visionary and Think Long-Term
Another leadership quality you can learn from Modi is his long-term thinking and visionary leadership style. Under Modi’s administration, the Indian GDP grew tremendously and making it the world’s fastest-growing large economy, at a rate higher than China. In economic terms, Modi has a vision of making India a global manufacturing hub by introducing the “Make in India” initiative to encourage foreign companies to manufacture products in the country.
Besides that, it is also part of Modi’s plan to improve the overall public cleanliness in India. He has launched the “Clean India” campaign that aims to eliminate open defecation within five years. Millions of toilets have been constructed in rural areas to encourage people to use them. The government has a plan to construct 60 million toilets by 2019.
A leader should think long-term like Modi. Take a look at Elon Musk, he is famously known for his long-term thinking skill for wanting to use renewable energy and reduce pollution on Earth; hence, he created Tesla, the electric vehicle company. Not only that, he has the vision to colonize Mars in the near future. When you think about it, bringing people to Mars and living there is surely one of the big and crazy goals that ordinary people will never dream about.
And this quality is what you need to develop as a leader. Try to be visionary and think in longer terms. There is only so much you can do in the short term, thus, be a visionary leader and bring your plan to the people and your team.
Leadership Quality # 6. Adaptability and Stay Updated
Besides being a workaholic, Modi also shows his ability to adapt to the current technology. He has been using social media since years ago and is the second most-followed leader in the world, with over 34 million followers on Twitter.
Modi has made his appearance not only on Twitter but also Google Hangouts. His appearance there made him the first Indian politician to interact with netizens on live chat.
In this new Information Age, people love to connect with each other through social media and handling the speed of information is one of the factors to every leader’s success. Therefore, if you want to be a great and well-received leader by others, you must keep yourself updated and be able to adapt to the current situation.
By doing this, you will ensure your influence to the younger generation, which will contribute to your future success in what you do. Charles Darwin, the famous scientist once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
If you do not learn to adapt to change and the environment, you will be obsolete and soon be out of business. Look at the big businesses like Nokia, Motorola, and companies like Yahoo or Netscape. These were once big companies and the market leaders, but because they are unable to adapt, change, and evolve quickly enough, other players come in and claim a huge market share from them.
So develop the adaptability and learn to keep yourself up to date from time to time. As a leader, you should have the awareness of what is going on around you so that you can adapt and make changes before the change kills you.
Leadership Quality # 7. A Powerful Public Speaker
Ever since he was young, Modi has shown his brilliant skill in public speaking. Modi had an early gift for rhetoric in debates and this was noted by his teachers and students. He is a great public speaker who can address the huge crowd confidently.
Of course, being the leader of a country, Modi needs to have an exceptional skill in public speaking. And the same goes for you. If you want to be a leader in your organization, you must be able to speak with confidence and act like a leader.
Public speaking skill is important because communication is the backbone of our society. And as a leader, the ability to speak with charisma allows you to win over the crowd, to motivate and influence people, and also to demonstrate your skill as a leader.
Many people are afraid when it comes to addressing the crowd in public. The good news is that public speaking is a skill, which means that you can develop it and become good at it. The key to improving this skill is to simply use it more often.
Just like Modi, he trained and developed his skill from an early age. When he was in school, he chose to perform and enrolled in debates than in his studies. This has made him a natural public speaker who is able to influence the crowd and gain trust from them.
As a political leader, Modi’s ability to speak has helped tremendously in his journey to becoming the Prime Minister of India. He is able to bring the right message to the people and somehow convince them that he is the right candidate to lead India. Without having the ability to communicate effectively, a leader cannot deliver a clear message to the followers, which will result in losing trust and influence.
Leadership Quality # 8. Be Very Decisive
In 2001, The BJP lost a few state assembly seats in the by-elections due to the allegations of abuse of power, corruption, and poor administration. And the BJP sought a new candidate for the chief ministership, and Modi was chosen as a replacement. Modi was offered the deputy chief minister by BJP leader, but he rejected the offer, saying he was “going to be fully responsible for Gujarat or not at all.” It was his decisiveness that made him the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Being a great leader requires a lot of decision making. And it is the decision that you make each and every day that will define who you are. Ordinary people do not dare to make an extraordinary decision, and that is why they remain ordinary. Extraordinary people, on the other hand, are very decisive. They make their decision quickly and they are committed to it.
Warren Buffett is considered one the best investors in the world. He is known for his ability to pick the right stock for undervalued companies. However, what most people never notice is his another ability; to stick with his decision, that made him billions of dollars.
Everyone knows that the stock market prices changing rapidly. And most people lose money because they act according to the market sentiment or price fluctuation. The moment the stock they bought falls in prices and people around them shout “Sell”, they will be affected and go on to sell the stock. However, this does not happen to Warren Buffett.
Therefore, learn to be decisive and commit to the decision you have made. If you are spending a lot of time thinking about what to lunch and dinner, it simply means that your decision making skill is not well-polished enough. Learn to be like Modi, it is either you go big, or you go home.
Leadership Quality # 9. Become a Powerful Networker
In his early years, Modi met Lakshmanrao Inamdar, popularly known as Vakil Saheb, who introduced him to join RSS and became his first political mentor. During his time there, Modi also gets to meet with other political members of the BJP. Modi may not be the best networker in the world, but he considered networking a vital part of his political success.
When Modi left home and spent two years traveling across Northern and North-eastern India, he met many others who then shaped his life, including the Swami Vivekananda who founded the Hindu ashrams. Modi says that Vivekananda plays a vital role in influencing his life.
When you network with the right people, they can influence you and help you in your journey to achieving what you want in life. This is why networking is extremely important as a leader.
You can see that the leader of a country or a business travel overseas to meet with other leaders around the world to get to know each other. They want to network with other successful people so that they can support each other. And you have to do the same too.
Leadership Quality # 10. Lead with Courage
In Modi’s early political career when India went through a state of emergency, he was forced to go underground in Gujarat and frequently traveled in disguise to avoid being caught. He also involved in distributing pamphlets opposing the government and organizing demonstrations. He was even forced to move in disguise, once dressing as a monk, and once as a Sikh.
This is the courage you need to have when it comes to being a true leader. There will be a lot of times when you will have to take risks or run away because of a tough situation, but to be a real leader, you must learn to be courageous in handling these circumstances.
Helen Keller has a great quote, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” You must dare to be the first to make the move and be willing to be called. Being a leader is not easy. You must have the courage when everything else is falling apart. And more importantly, you need to let go of your comfort zone to go further. Remember this, “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
Modi has gone through many tough times, including the 2002 Gujarat riot. Those times may seem challenging, but they are necessary in order for you to develop the qualities of a great leader.
Leadership Quality # 11. Have the Charisma
Finally, as a leader, you need to possess the charisma to lead. Modi projected himself as a strong, masculine leader, who would be able to handle difficult decisions. He has often been called a fashion-icon for his signature crisply ironed and half-sleeved kurta. Plus he also wears a suit embroidered with his name when he met with the then US President Barack Obama. The public has portrait Modi as someone scholarly, energetic, and also charismatic.
Pay attention to how the great leaders in the world dress, walk, talk, and presented themselves. You will see that they all possess a certain type of charisma. Do you aware that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and the youngest billionaire in the world wears the same shirt every time?
A true and successful leader always portrays himself as someone charismatic. They seem to have the energy to influence and motivate others into doing things that they desire. Just like Mahatma Gandhi, he may be poor, but he has the charisma to influence the millions of people across India and led them to their independence.
Charisma is the ability to attract, inspire, and motivate followers into taking action. Without charisma, there is no way you can attract and inspire others to do as you desire.
In the business world, charisma is important for a leader to inspire their employees to work for a greater cause. Think about it, most people prefer to work for big companies like Google and Microsoft because those companies seem to be able to make them feel proud. And that is the kind of charisma you need to develop as a leader.
When you are charismatic, people will listen to you and they will become your loyal fans. Modi has truly demonstrated his charismatic leadership style and went on to win the general election and become the 16th Prime Minister of India.