When we go through our social media handles and come across a page of non- profit organization, what is our first reflex thought or action? It is to open their page and scroll through their work. Later if we like and appreciate their work, we even think about liking or sharing their work and donating to their organization in any way possible.
But do we ever think about how the organization has built up the way it is? Who initiated the idea, how that person planned all the actions to build such a community and how many years of patience and hard work did it take to bring it to this level?
Similarly, when I joined Uttejana Foundation, at first, I was only focused on helping the children, doing my part, and helping community in any way possible. I didn’t pay much attention to the roots of it until recently, when in was asked to write a blog about my experience with Uttejana’s Founder-President. When I gave it a thought, I realized that one of the reasons we have been experiencing such a smooth journey at the foundation is because of the President, Mr. Anurag Sehgal
As soon as I started working for the Uttejana Foundation, I realised how challenging and remarkable it is to be able to manage an organisation. Mr. Anurag Sehgal, the Founder-President of Uttejana Foundation, possesses original vision when it comes to serving the community. It can be seen in the way he serves the community. He not only manages and coordinates with the core team and volunteers, but also is present whenever he is needed at the field. He believes and propagates in working with enthusiasm and kindness in your heart, as that’s the only way through which you can bring a change in the society.
He as a leader makes sure that everyone feels like they belong together alongside with making sure that the required work is done. For the same, we have online meets as well as real life meetings after our visits to the slum area, so that we could discuss some new ideas, perspectives as well as strategies to help make the organisation as well as its work better in every aspect.
Even though it can be challenging to be always motivated to work when you are already occupied with other obligations, Mr. Sehgal has consistently motivated us by being a role model to us. He has done this by inspiring us to go above and beyond in our efforts to bring about a positive change. He as a leader, always surprises us by his never-ending zeal to work towards the betterment of the society as well as the community. He also makes sure to challenge us at every step, so that we realise our potential and reach new heights every day. As a leader, he can showcase many different traits to different people. Here are some of them which I believe makes him different from others.
- Critical and Analytical thinking: A strong leader is able to analyse the group or team they are leading critically and gain a thorough awareness of its advantages, disadvantages, opportunities and threats. When important, they will be able to make course corrections and evaluate their work to see how it fits into the wider community goals and strategy.
- Interpersonal Communication: Effective leaders must be able to communicate with others in a way that comes out as sincere. There are many exceptional leaders who self-identify as introverts, therefore being a leader doesn’t necessarily need you to be an extrovert. Instead, it entails being able to show empathy, practising active listening, and developing strong working connections with everyone in your immediate vicinity.
- Authenticity: One of the most important traits of a leader is to be authentic and self-aware enough to identify their weaknesses and strengths and to develop a genuine leadership style that is consistent with who you are and how you perform at your best. Instead of trying to fit into a template created by someone else, you want to be the best leader you can be. Trying to embrace the characteristics that make you unique , doing so will inevitably result in the authentic leadership style.
- Open-Mindedness: Being a successful leader entails being receptive to novel concepts, opportunities and viewpoints as well as realising that there is no one correct approach to carry out a task. Knowing that change is necessary for success, being open to new perspectives that can spark innovation, and doing your best to think beyond the box are all characteristics of effective leadership. Leaders need to be able to observe, listen, and be flexible when necessary.
In my opinion, these are some of the qualities that are embodied by the leaders of non-profit organisations. The usage of these qualities is what set the leaders apart from each other.