14 May 2008


Leadership : what's it about ....

I sometime back read a quote that :
The world is run by top 2-3 % ..
and it is pulled down by the bottom 2-3 % ..
the rest contribute to global warming !!
Though i do not believe in that exaggerated nonsense .. its an interesting perspective to understand why the success and failure of an event depends so much on the leaders. I first time came to appreciate that while watching the movie Gladiator ( one of favorites of almost everyone i met)... and while reading the war stories .. it s quite evident .
Similarly .. even in the corporate scenario and even in the case of country's leadership . One book i read which is entirely about leadership is ART OF WAR - by Sun Tzu . a 1000 Yrs old booko but an interesting read.
I'm no Sun Tzu .. but here are what i feel are Telltale signs of a leader.. or how a leader should be .. I personally belive that though some people are born leaders .. one can always train himself to be one ..

1> The leader has to be assertive. It is not enough to issue clear orders .. you have to be assertive in doing them .. and for the first few times … if u can crosscheck if it’s been done well .. nothing like it .

2> The Leader should have something extra – it can be a quality , a talent or even something tangible which rest of the pack doesn’t have. Unless this is there it is difficult to invoke respect from rest of the pack . Or the leader must have the ability to do something which others do not have. EG: the US had the BOMB and more or less it was one of the reasons why post world war it emerged as an undisputed leader. To be admired or hated .. there has to be this extra thing.

3> People respect Authority – in one form or the other .. the leader should exert his authority.

4> He should lead by example . The leader should never back off from doing things which he expects others to do or follow . Eg : Its very easy for a brave general to inspire his soldiers to risk their life for the country than it is for a weakling who isssues orders from the security of a fortress. So be there.. right in the frontlines of battlefield and lead by example.

5> Compassion: If the people you are leading do not connect with you on a personal level , it is difficult to inspire them to give their best for you , sacrificing their personal space . Though it is not feasible some of the times .. it should be done whenever possible. The guy should never have a feeling that he is simply being –used.

6> It is easy to lead them if you happen to invoke the pride in themselves. If ppl feel they are doing something really useful / important then people can be made to work real hard.

The list is by no means comprehensive not exhaustive .. i'll keep updating them as and when i come across more situations.. ppl are free to add few as well ... in COMMENTS !!

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