Being a Leader is not a position or event in time, its a process. Its a process governed by some simple ethics and principles.
One of the characters of being a leader is showing Courage when your are expected and especially when you are not expected to show it.
Things are always easy to tell as a story.
A person in my team for name sake I will call him Johnny. Johnny is a productive person from my team. I am proud to have him onboard and he has some skills that add real value to the team.
Our team recently had a change in our core business hours, also over all there are some org level changes going on. All this puts a strain on the entire chain. As my role of Scrum Master, I took all that I could and shield the team from other impact. But there is always chance of me improving and hence some of these strain did got passed over.
Johnny may be took it in a different mindset and decided to call it quits. Its bad we are losing a productive person. But at the same time, till the time he is relieved (which in India is around 1 month to 2 months of notice period), more issues surfaced.
Johnny did not particularly had loss of productivity, but choose to relax and let team take the heat. However, no matter how good he is, when one tries to take advantage of the situation, its not right to allow it.
Release time came, team is taking the heat, fellow peers are asking him to chip by making it to Office in core business hour. Johnny, in his pride took to the thought, I am good and I will not give in to these restrictions. Not unacceptable, if you don't believe don't live it. But in an organization as long as the contract is there, please complete it and go on.
This story continues as this. There is a mail exchange to discuss relieving date. As all these mails are they are beautiful. They show a lot of emotions and affinity and much of it is true also.
I reply to this email, agreeing to the fact, we had great time together and he was an assets to us. It continues to say that this not being lived up to now.
The message clearly acknowledges the fact, that this person was good in his work and that I was proud to work with him, at the same time, it clearly mentioned that current behavior was quite opposite. I even mentioned, that If I were asked to complete the formalities of relieving him, would I sign "OK". I mentioned "NO", I am not ok.
I believe being a leader, you have to take firm decisions, strong but thoughtful steps, which talk about transparency. People should know what is fine working in what situation and what is not fine. No mixed feeling, no confusion there.
Yes you where good in the past, but if it comes to saying "Has he completed his formalities?", the answer is what it is seen as. The past and present are different. A Hero in the past can not get away with his/her ignorance in the present. A Hero has to grow up to be a Leader by being a Hero through and through.