Sunday, November 23, 2008

Leaders' TO DO list

Here are some to do for leaders' as I see it from communication and influence point of view, comments are welcome

a. Avoid using jargons when communicating with people, use of simple words and choice of words can make the difference. Simplicity becomes of paramount importance.
b. Create and articulate the vision to everyone around you. Bringing ones own Charisma into picture.
c. A good leader is someone who continuously seeks feedback for what he is doing from people who matter for his decision and action. He who has penchant for listening will become more aware of the situation around him.
d. Preparedness to face any adverse situations or hostility to ones action and anticipating the situation makes the leader effective.
e. A leader who responds to his followers or being there to his followers are respected and followed easily.
f. One of the biggest strength for leader, is having Passion, that unending energy, zeal that gives him ability to perform what he wishes to do.
g. A good leader is some one who can reinvent himself and his mission or goal posts with the changing scenarios.
h. Praise lavishly but genuinely
i. A little controversy if I may add, a leader should look like a leader in his appearance, since the THOERY of PRIMACY says, 90% of the time we make impression of an individual within the first 5-10 seconds , 70% of the time it comes true. Hence appearing as a leader is also important.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What is leadership?

Some of the good qualities of the leaders
a. Vision to what they believe
b. Articulation of their vision
c. Driving people to achieve the vision along with them
d. Enabling the vision to achievement
e. People Management
f. Belief in what he wants to do
g. Goal Clarity and Communication
h. Feedback seeking
i. Business Understanding
j. Market realization
k. Emotional Intelligence
l. Team Building
m. Picking right people
n. Creating right environment

In the current scenario of knowledge workforce where one understands all the above mentioned in detail, what then makes a leader distinct from them,
· May be the ability to apply them in practice.
· Consistently apply these principles in practice
· Not loosing the focus
· Courage to take charge of things
· Honesty in approach

With LMX model, Situational Leadership model, Servant Leadership model, Value based Leadership model, I still wonder there is some thing beyond all this and there is some thing inert to the meaning of the word “Leadership”.

At times I get to wonder whether the word “Leadership is not inborn but can be taught”, since I am starting to believe we will be teaching people How to react to certain situations, or anticipate situations, but it falls short of being called as leadership and tends to get moved to the realms of Management.

May be if I may add so, there is something of a “Charisma”, “Working with people” ability that makes some people leaders’ than managers. I want to quote some filmy names and some best known Indian sports people like “Munna Bhai from the movie Munna Bhai MBBS”, “Bhuvan from Lagaan”, “Andre Patch Adams from Patch Adams”. People like Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Dhanraj Pillay, Ramakant Achrekar, John Wright. If we dwell into these individuals what I find is that, they were not just some great names but had it in them always to take them where they wanted to go and they did it with hours and hours and some more hours of practice and then believing what they could do. Once the people around them got convinced, towing their line was not difficult.

Also I think there is certain degree of TIPPING POINT that triggered their innate quality to come out in public like Saurav’s reading of people and brining them to submission. Killing of Deer in front of Bhuvan to rebel to pay tax or Anil’s handling of Sydney test fiasco.These trigger moments shape the character of the leader and his belief systems. In other words trigger moments awaken the dormant but present talent.

I think I am as confused as my readers here and will be working on bringing certain sanity to this vague argument in some time. Any comments and suggestions are always appreciated.
So is it a combination of having the talent and harnessing it (management) for better

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thanks for the memories dada...

When I was young, my mother used to tell me and my younger sister a thing in Kannada (our native language) which loosely translates into some thing like this “one should be like a fruit hidden behind the leaves, no one should know you existed”, I am sure this is just not me, many of us who are in our late 20s and early 30s are imbibed in ourselves; to be modest and good. Unending supply of middle class values, as we grew older and older, saw the world with our dreamy eyes and all conquering confidence, we lacked what westerners called “Killer Instinct”, since we were reminded of our mothers’ word, we always fell that one last push short. Circa 1996 came a man who removed his shirt at the sacredest of place “LORDS” and announced that we are here to stay not only in Cricket but in all walks of life. He was Loved and hated; respected and scorned. A fighting strategist at times yet a simple tactician on many occasions. An open book to some yet a curious enigma to others, Sourav Ganguly will be remembered as the winningest Test Captain in Indian cricket as well as its great antihero. Thanks for the memories.

If one looks back at his career, one cannot help but say he was lucky to get into the Indian side (well Imran khan had a similar back door entry too) but boy how he took advantage of this... And how!!

One of the problems with Ganguly is that many of his gestures have been misunderstood because of cultural differences. At the core, he is fundamentally a gifted but lazy guy. And he is confident that his gifted ability will more than make up for his lack of discipline. The lethargy also means that he doesn’t bother to clear up the misunderstandings and lets it fester, even though he is extremely intelligent and articulate to do it. Of all the Fab Five, he is the best guy to play a part in any future administrative setup as he has the sharp political acumen required to survive and win, while having the credibility and intelligence to make a real difference.

There can be little doubt that the story of Sourav Ganguly is the story of blood, sweat and tears. However, all along his wonderful journey he has proved to be a man as hard as granite. He was a captain who always backed his trusted players to the hilt. As a captain, he revived the fortunes of Indian cricket, steering it clear of the mess that was created during the match-fixing controversy and instilling a new fighting spirit in the group. He was a born fighter and a great one at that. And he relished thriving on challenges. Indian captains were supposed to be polite, stoic, decent, not overly, demonstrably ambitious, middle class in sensibility if not lineage. Ganguly changed all that

As the career progressed, he found most of shots in the book: a delicate breeze through the covers, a soaring six over long on, delicate flicks, glances and a couple of late cuts too. In the end it was a virtuoso display, nearly reminiscent of the David Gower era.

Raise a toast Gavaskar’s, Ravi Sastri, Vengsarkar and Mr. More... Dada is much beyond what you thought of him... Don’t ever judge him with just another ordinary player or a human being... He was the king of offside... His long sixes delighted many many fans and inspiring cricketers. He is a true hero and has inspired many a managers in the corporate world... His determination and metal strength is out of a Robin Sharma book... Someone so strong that you cannot help but admire.

Dada... I am sure you have lots of cricket left in you... Surely we will miss you as a player... But knowing you... We know you have lots to contribute to Indian cricket....Hats of to you. Be proud of the fine innings you played ... You are a real roll model...keep walking... The sunset is still far away

Monday, November 03, 2008

And so he went with sagged and torn but very proud Indian cap in his hand ...

And so Anil Kumble, as per character, quietly turned in his badge and walked away from the Indian cricket stage, turning off yet another of the brightest lights of India’s greatest cricketing generation. As the history books will one day say, the Dhoni era was to begin or is it was not to be. Always something is left on the table. Cricket is like that, not exactly cruel but not sentimental either.

But now that he is gone and we can no longer take him as a “given”, maybe we will understand how important his grating accuracy and his relentlessness was to India’s performances. In the Delhi Test, when Anil was way below par, I think we already got a glimpse of the future—-that a Laxman double century or a sublime innings from Sachin count for little unless there is good old Jumbo to hammer in the nails on the coffin cover.

He will always be remembered for more than all those wickets, runs and matches won, he is a true gentleman and a warrior who is worth having as a role model for any youngster who aspire to play any game in India. Such was a stature of the man, not even the “GREAT BETTING GATE” which absolved some of the biggest names in Indian Cricket could touch him or even make a passing remark to him (people like Kapil had to cry on TV, Gavaskar’s locker room was opened, Azhar went out, Jadeja went out, some whispers were heard about some of the other great names). This single piece of evidence can get him role of “AMBASSODOR” for INDIA in any country he wishes to serve (not to forget the Sydney Fiasco earlier this year).

After playing this game competitively I know for sure, this is not a game for romantics, there are no happy endings in here, and it’s the biggest levelers one can hope for. For the good part of late 20th century and early part of 21st century, we have grown up with these 5 stalwarts of Indian cricket (perhaps add Vishwanathan Anand, Dhanraj Pillay, Baichung Bhutia and Leander Paes to the list). Have found joy in their success; have cried with them when they said “sorry”. Trains have stopped, schools and colleges have declared holiday, company board rooms have frozen when they were plying their trade for the badge they adored and we loved every bit of it. As one star after the other is turning off the lights on their illustrious career, I wonder will I be the same dedicated Cricket Fan ever after.

I can’t think of an Indian Team without Sachin and Anil for rest of my life. I think the future team sheets will be mere words put together for the sake of it. They will not carry any weight or scare to oppositions in the near future. We can forgive Dhoni to make mistake by putting Anil’s name in the team sheet next time when he pencils his 11, for all the captains for last 19 years its been a practice to put this quintessential team man’s name before any other names.
Nobody thought it would be so soon, so sudden; his exit, if nothing, signals the end of samurais from the world of cricket. Just like the fabled Japanese warriors, Anil too believed in total loyalty, putting his life on line each time he turned out for his country. He fought with the last ball too, for the last wicket, often surpassing himself when the odds were against him or the team.

It is said that people recognize the worth of their teeth after they are gone.

And so he went, leaving a Jumbo sized vacuum in our cricket and a sudden, surprising lump in our throats.