Friday, August 31, 2007

Producing Leaders

Today India is passing through difficult phases. In the absence of good leaders, India is unable to stop its exploitation. The biggest sufferers are common men.

India is unable to harness the benefit of globalization and technologies. On one side when our parliamentarian are unable to give us direction, The Time of India is busy in searching leaders, I feel the need to write about producing leaders in the midst of leaders to lead leaders. In this country, where everyone is a leader, is it so difficult to find a real leader? Or there are some other problems which no body wants to touch.

In this tired time when country appears divided on even N-deal, I always feel proud to remain focused and innovating. I have done this with my focused efforts earlier and I feel that anybody can do this. Most of the necessary steps have been narrated in my latest book “Unlearn Before U-learn”. I am happy that my own book is able to provide me direction.

At this time when everything appears to be in shambles, we need to create wisdom domain to appreciate the happenings.

Today when I hear the people from Harvard who wants to create a 100 million leaders in the next 20 years and coming to India with hope that they will build their fortune here among English literate Indians, I feel sorry for them, not because I doubt on their capability but on ignorance of our educated leaders of society to rely heavily on imported ideas. I feel sorry on western thinkers too because I do not think they will be able to make Indians fool for long time.

The problems of India are different. The solutions for the problems are different. They have to be understood in right perspectives in different environment. Even the leaders in ET (Economics Times) failed to realise the importance of these differences.

It is good that John Kotter, Professor emeritus, Harvard Business School, took a break from traditional academic writing to pen a book called Our Iceberg Is Melting with the aim to take leadership to the masses. I do not know how far he has been able to create leaders in USA which is still struggling to find feet in Iraq reminding the fallouts of Vietnam but he wants to make leaders in India where people are still struggling to come out of the clutches of communism and other isms.

Unfortunately, we have many of Indian institutions which always remain happy to encourage such foreign thinkers. India has made deBono, Stephen Covey, Jeffery Sach etc. and now John Kotter. One Chenai based theatre group has created a play out of the story. What an ignorance and bad luck for Indians? This is the way we have kept Indians innovators away from seeing the light of the day. Indian excellences have remained deprived due to proper audiences.

It is said that Kotter took early retirement at the age of 54. I feel surprised on the decision. What is this early age to retire? I took retirement at the age of 44 to write my book. Is it something great? He says that Harvard is an elitist institution so he could not get satisfied with Harvard way of working. He wants to create millions of leaders and he is doing this in India.

John Kotter says, “Traditional management books of the kind published by the Harvard University Press were not the best way to do it.” And I fully agree with him here. That’s what I have also done. I have written a book not in traditional way or established ethos or topics. I have written the book which India and Indians have to take some time to adjust with. When Indians are busy in learning, copying and following, I talk about unlearning, creating wisdom domain and becoming own creator. I think I have given right thing to society at right time. India needs my book. Indian needs my ideas. Hope many Indians can get the benefit of my efforts.

I know creating or floating ideas for Indians are not new. We are masters but when question of authenticity of information and creating direction based on the complexities of the present comes, it becomes the challenge. Even Ramdev is unable to Intuitionalise his work. He is more or less working on hearsay rather than a solid research and furthering them. That is where we fail. I have tried to create that and I am happy to shoulder the responsibility of my ideas.

While management is about promoting stability, consistency and order and efficiency, the purpose of leadership is to bring about useful changes. But the problem in today’s India is that no body is talking about changes in a big way. If we want significant results it can never be achieved by incremental changes, there is a need of Herculean changes. How many leaders are there to understand and accept these needs?

A meaningful change can never be achieved by few gods like individual at top but we have to have many hanuman like individuals at bottom who can take lead to achieve and convince changes. We need people who have knowledge, wisdom and caliber to change. We need people who have courage to face changes. We need people who can create wisdom to make change. We need people who have courage to reach to top and not get consumed at lower level. We need people who have courage to remove traditional top people. We need courage to speak up against traditional value systems. We need change.

Leaders can not be produced by searching. Leaders can be produced by raising expectations, removing barriers, encouraging creativity and generating value. Leaders can be created by consciously acknowledging the individuals efforts. Leaders can be created by keeping oneself free from trivialize. India needs to respect their talents. Indians needs to be aware of their responsibilities. Leaders will emerge once excellence prevails. Leaders can appear from society.