Chapter Title: How Beliefs Determine Leadership Effectiveness
Author: Kawsar Koodaruth
Book: She Leads Vol. II
Publisher and Year: ZionPearl Publishers, 2023
Leadership is one of the most sensitive engagements anyone can toss themselves into. Yet, it’s almost unavoidable because it is not determined by the titles and offices we hold, but by who we are and how we live with those around us.
Beliefs, therefore, have an unignorable power in shaping our thoughts and decisions, reactions and feelings, informing how we relate with other people and how leaders lead.
If untamed, they can be dungeons of imprisonment for many.
The ultimate duty
In this ninth chapter of She Leads Vol. II anthology co-authored by women leaders in diverse areas of service and leadership, Kawsar Koodaruth, an author, life and business coach, psychotherapist and entrepreneur, bursts the bubble on how beliefs are determinants of leadership effectiveness.
The bottom line here is that before you become an effective leader, you have a duty to identify any lingering negative beliefs within you, work on them, and adopt a new skin driven by positive energy and constructive beliefs about yourself and others.
A successful leader
But before dissecting the matter, Ms. Koodaruth tells the reader who a successful leader is – one who has been doing the inner work on themselves and is able to empower others to do the same.
One with a heart of giving and not hungry for wanton power and control.
“A successful leader leads by her presence, not by words alone,” she writes.
Introducing the aspect of beliefs, she observes that in childhood, we are surrounded and subjected to the guidance of those around us: parents, friends, media, teachers, and books, among other sources of knowledge and triggers of decision-making, which mold how we see life and what we believe in.
Ms. Koodaruth leans more towards leadership in the family unit, where the parents are the leaders and identity shapers of their children, painting the young ones’ future through leadership-parenting.
“The beliefs parents carry about their children immensely influence who their children become,” she writes.
She adds that when parents view their children as less able and fragile, they imbue on them these beliefs of insufficiency and continuous dependence, affecting their adulthood on matters self-worth, choice-making, self-trust and risk assessments.
Settling for less
According to the life coach, the moment we hang on to the belief that we aren’t sufficiently good is when we start attracting the wrong people and partners in our lives.
We right away begin settling for less, perpetually dimming our light!
The author raises a pertinent issue of wrong beliefs-instigated self-doubt, which she says “…haunts and paralyzes us to never achieve our dreams, and we settle for less.”
Through this, we are pressed to the wall, and stress, depression, grief and negativity hang on every side of our lives.
Typically, with the better part of the physical parenting being done by the mothers, she identifies the many challenges they go through, including culture and tradition-catalyzed beliefs that threaten to entangle them.
With their presence and leadership-parenting being a major determinant of their children’s future, she encourages the kind of parenting that gives children a safe space to open up and share their issues without being stifled.
Beyond the cultural beliefs, she asks, “Are we women, safe harbors for our children? Are we responsible for the lives who are under our care?”
While some cultures lord it over to the mothers to parent their children, Ms. Koodaruth clarifies that the father’s presence is paramount in leadership parenting.
“A father’s involvement in childcare and upbringing is crucial for cognitive and learning abilities,” she writes, citing research that a father’s involvement enhances a child’s sociability, confidence, and self-control.
Fathers also offer the physical and emotional protection aspect to their children, without which it would lead to a feeling of emotional abandonment among the young ones.
Ms. Koodaruth handles this aspect in her other masterpiece, Chained by Beliefs, a book she wrote to unmask the sting of holding on to the wrong beliefs in life and being veiled by them from seeing an achieving your potential.
The chapter also handles the idea of provision, appropriate supervision and protection from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, revealing that these are triggers which, if children are exposed to, make them feel and believe the world is unsafe and people around cannot be trusted.
The dangers of not treading upon some beliefs cannot be overemphasized.
Feelings of alienation and ostracization, inadequacies, and self-doubt are just but a portion, underlining the need to figure out the kind of beliefs we hold dear.
“Anyone unable to offset inadequate beliefs is likely to develop an inferiority complex,” she points out.
Dismantling childhood scars
Ms. Koodaruth ties some of the overhanging beliefs in people’s lives to their upbringing, noting that there exist so many beliefs rooted in people’s childhood, and to be effective leaders, understanding and working on them is not an option but critical.
She says a successful leader is defined by having healed and worked on themselves to a level where she can silence their nagging, negative inner voice, which continuously reminds them of their flaws.
She says leaders who have beaten up their old self, hanged their past beliefs, and acquired positive, fully uncultured self-beliefs, fresh thoughts, and new strategies are stronger and more capacitated to help others and deliver much to the world.
This is not an overnight feat but a journey begging for resilience and taking time.
You need to nurture growth to fully detach from negative, weak, and unworthy beliefs, whether from a culture, upbringing, or mental perceptions and embrace strong beliefs about yourself.
Therefore, her unswerving advice is, “Recognize limiting beliefs and do not delay seeking help or reporting dysfunction. …Make peace with your past through understanding that beliefs are passed on from generations, and from lack of knowledge and skills.”
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: BOOK REVIEW: Chained by Beliefs
More is to be found in her chapter, one of the wonderful reads in the She Leads Vol. II anthology, which can be purchased at Nuria Bookstore, Nairobi, or via Amazon here.