Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Built To Last

I often think about leadership and management. The way they are perceived by society and industry. The concepts that encompass the said entities. I ask myself: Is what is common, the right way to do things? Is what you see right in front of you the only yardstick to measure great decisions? What constitutes sound decision making and what constitutes poor ones? Can one learn to lead even in non-ideal environments? Can one compare individuals as managers? Can one emulate individuals we look upto and succeed? Does being a clone guarantee success/failure?

It's a complicated discussion you know. Coz there can be frameworks to follow, but no guarantee of success or long lasting impact of following the said rules/steps. Down the years, there are companies that have left an ever-lasting impact on industry an society.

How easily we remember the Golden Arches of McDonalds or the association of Coca-Cola with anything remotely a soft drink. The treats at Taj that one talked about in college or the quaint presence of the Strand Book Stall. The roar of a Ferrari to the magnificence of Singapore Airlines.

There are companies that leave an impact on the conscious of an entire nation, an entire generation. Surf with Lalitaji or a generation immersed in iPods. Do you wonder how Airtel has brought India a call closer to each other?

I really think about the people behind these great companies and wonder about their styles, motivations, experiences that they bring to the table.

To me, leadership is sacred. It's about taking the people forward together, leading from the front, being able to be the shield for your team and take a disciplined, but humane approach to business. I don't know about how the pundits perceive leadership: dictatorial, servant et al, but to me the leader is one who stands out for his/her thought-leadership as well as man-management. Today, leaders seem to manipulate their way to get work done, but ideally, I think good leaders would have people willingly commit to their vision.

Above everything, to me leadership is about taking responsibility and being committed to the task/vision/outline, irrespective of whether you can always grasp the big picture or not. It is about standing stead-fast to the norms of what constitutes "correct" in ones own eyes rather than having a committee decide for oneself. It's about being serious about doing a good job that might go unnoticed, rather than a quick-fix that shines, but falls flat later.

I wonder many times where I stand. How good a person/manager I will be in the future, what legacy I will leave behind.

And then an inner voice saying: "You'll do just fine man. Work hard and leave the rest to Me."

Built to last...

2 comments:

Shweta said...

nice post .. as usual :) .. and ya u ll do just fine :)

arch said...

1)Is what is common, the right way to do things?
A) I say no.What is common may not necessarily be always right or best way to do something. Am sure you'l agree.
B)Is what you see right in front of you the only yardstick to measure great decisions?What constitutes sound decision making and what constitutes poor ones?
A.Right or wrong decision are again very situation specific.Also it depends on an individual's perception.What person A may think of being right or great person B might not. However the underlying principles remain the same . The moral values behind it. Though its really ironic that the people who make the decisions are the ones that define the values .
C.Can one learn to lead even in non-ideal environments?
I think being able to lead in a not so ideal environment will showcase an individual's capability.So no matter the obstacles if one has the determination to overcome them ,that's the sign of a great leader.
D.Can one compare individuals as managers?
A. Its really hard to compare people as managers as everyone might not have the same set of problems or the same working environment or the same set of people to work with.
E.Can one emulate individuals we look upto and succeed? Does being a clone guarantee success/failure?
A. We can learn from great leaders. Learn from their mistakes. Follow certain values but it does not necessarily guarantee failure or success. Eventually its upon us to decide a path for ourselves.Being a clone will not guarantee anything .

Having said so much....i know " u'l do just fine ....actually even better than fine " :)

Good post ...