Saturday, April 23, 2016

ALERT that doesn’t make one a leader

A lot has been written on what makes one a great leader. I approach leadership from another angle. What does not make one a leader? It is an ALERT to be precise.

A for Aloofness (as against friendly),

L for Lawlessness or Lack of control (as against Systematic),

E for Enigmatic (as against Clarity of purpose),

R for Repetitive (as against Original or Innovative) and

T for Timid (as against Confident).

Leaders cannot afford to stay aloof from the people and purpose as they are expected to lead through their involvement, guidance and support at all levels. They need to portray friendly behavior in order to lead the team. Abiding law of the land is important as nobody and nothing is beyond law. Lawlessness does not just mean abiding by law, it also reflects on orderly structure and flow of things and activities as it drives measurable outflows. Absence of systematic planning and implementation takes away much of what a leader is expected in an organization which aspires for being effective.

It is found that one important reason of failing organizations is enigmatic behavior of their leader. Honest intentions and clarity of purpose which is easily communicable to the followers makes one a great leader. It allows the workforce to pull up their socks for the common goal they want to achieve.

Monotony kills creativity and adds lethargy in approach. It tends to develop a sense of complacency. A leader does not need to be repetitive in his approach rather he needs to use his creative mind to keep on developing new ways through experimentations and to encourage innovation. Originality is bliss for a leader. It provides fresh energy to organizational growth.

Wonder as to how a timid person can become great leader. Timidity is the worst enemy of leadership. A leader has to be confident and dependable. This is the least his followers expect. Their fairness depend on leader’s confidence in them.

The trade and tricks of leadership can easily be taught but the prime condition for joining that school is that one needs to be a person of integrity and should love their workforce for what they are.

[The author is Professor of HR at Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi. He can be reached at]

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