Grow Great Leaders

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Grow Great Leaders

  1. 1. How to grow great leaders?
  2. 2. THE TITLE may suggest that unlike money, leaders grow on trees, and are there for the plucking. Is it true? May be it is.
  3. 3. <ul><li>The blitz or blizzard of papers and articles on leadership that the Harvard Business Review (HBR) has been exploring all the dimensions and dilemmas of leadership with a reiteration of the obvious. The latest is the tract on &quot;How to Grow Great Leaders&quot;. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Are leaders born or made? Do leaders shape their times or do times throw up leaders? What does it take to be a good leader? </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>What should he do to stamp his personality and vision on the length and breath of the whole enterprise, by ensuring that communication flows unclogged through its arteries and capillaries, especially in this age of ICT revolution, knowledge explosion, multinational operations and global networks? </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Casting its macabre shadow over them all is yet another nettle of a question which few writings on leadership dare to grasp. And that is: How many actually in the thick of action in organisations read all this heady stuff, and more pertinently, how many find them helpful in taking decisions or tackling situations? </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The article on growing leaders, focuses on tensions between the field and headquarters, and talks of &quot;silo thinking&quot; and unimaginative career paths characterising most organisational structures, lack of venues for &quot;airing and resolving conflicts that arise when there are competing priorities&quot;, &quot;misguided reward systems that pit unit performance against enterprise considerations&quot; and the paucity of &quot;well-rounded&quot; leaders </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Immersed as he is in issues and crises on a daily basis, a practising manager in a leadership slot is unlikely to make head or tail of such rarefied generalisations. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>As a leader of men, a leader is a repository of dealing and managing them. Leaders practice mission-and-people-based leadership, leading organizations through complex situations. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than (what) the science of management says is possible... Leadership is not rank, privilege, title, or money. It is a responsibility. Leadership is not a popularity contest. If a person is very wary and vigilant about not offending anyone, but still wants to get things done, and also wants everyone to like him and admire him, the chances are that he will never make grade as a true leader. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Parking himself behind a massive desk a leader can become an effective barrier to the channel of candid communication. Whereas, conducting a meeting in a compact, round table will emit distinctly different signals favourable to participation. The scenario suggests accessibility, which is so vital to creating trust and faith among the employees. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>A leader has the prime responsibility to be available to his people, when they need him. In order to succeed in a global economy, a leader must facilitate an active and constant inflow of concerns and suggestions from his employees. The day people stop bringing their problems to their leader is the day that leader would have lost his leadership among them. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Leaders never let their ego get so close to their position as they know that that when their position goes, their ego also goes with it. Effective leaders create an environment in which employees enjoy both authority and responsibility. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>You are free to attack the problem in ways you deem appropriate, as long as you stay within your allocated budget and follow the broad guidelines. Go ahead and push the envelope, bypass entrenched processes and habits, ignore traditions, and whatever you do, don't bother asking for permission. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Another theorem in the leadership philosophy is that the untidy truth is better than smooth lies that unravel in the end anyway. An unfailing method that most effective leaders employ is the process of digging and probing. If they dig and find a mess, they initiate steps to clean it up, besides preventing recurrence. If they dig and find a diamond, they celebrate, and continue digging </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>The job of a leader is not to be a good organizer; but to be a good disorganizer; a disorganizer is one who continually picks at the routine, who lifts up the covers, looks under the bed, runs a finger along the top of the bookcase, and eventually and invariably poses the question, What are we doing — is it right or wrong — and how can we improve it? Digging is hard work, especially when the soil is rocky and resistant. However, if it opens up new facts and exposes fiction, it is good for the organisation and its people. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Every organisation should tolerate rebels who tell the emperor he has no clothes... Don't be afraid to challenge the professionals, even in their own backyard. People who want to have an impact on their organisations can seldom duck or escape this responsibility, when warranted. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>In most corporates, however, there are some people, who have the flair of defying authority and an ability to deliver bad news — combined with a fine sense of civility, good timing, sound thinking, and a sense of humour. They know how to disagree, without being disagreeable. They call a spade, a spade, but in a manner, which safeguards the dignity and self-respect of all concerned. Of course, they do run the risk of being taken to the woodshed, for which they are quite prepared, in the overall interest of the organisation. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>No one starts a war, or rather no one in his senses should do so, without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war, and how he intends to achieve it. If a business leader substitutes the word business for war in this postulate, the substance will still be valid in the commercial context. Leaders must only take on clearly defined projects, which are promising and pragmatic, and which have been proven to be profitable even in the pilot stage. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Effective business leaders ensure that the corporate objectives are compelling and unambiguous, that there is a sensible action plan in place, that the right resources have been brought to bear, and that their vision has critically analysed and found all the answers to the questions likely to arise during implementation. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>&quot;Why would you follow somebody around a corner? Or, up the hill? Or, into a dark room?&quot;. &quot;The reason is trust&quot;. But how does one build and cultivate trust? Competence, character, courage, confidence, empathy, loyalty, sacrifice, and selflessness. But leaders must live by these virtues that they espouse. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Last, but not the least, the price of leadership is the pain of loneliness. Command is always lonely. A sense of solitude is endemic to leadership at all levels in all organisations. It is something that every effective leader learns to live with and accept as part of the game. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Great leaders know when it is time to leave the stage. They subject themselves to continual public gaze, scrutiny, and pressure; perform at 100 per cent always; stand alone as exemplars for the behaviour but when the time comes, they gracefully give up all the power and authority to make room for a new generation of leaders. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Just like Lord Tennyson says, The old order changeth yielding place to new, and God fulfils himself in many ways, lest one good custom should corrupt the world. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Thank you </li></ul>

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