Sunday, December 03, 2006

Leadership Mantras

I had the privilege of listening to Rudy Guliani , the erstwhile Mayor of New york City on the unfortunate day of 9/11, at the HT Leadership summit last month. He spoke on leadership. According to Rudy, leaders above all their qualities are ones who love people and take responsibility of people who work around them. If a leader doesn't have the above quality he has no business to be called one. A leader must

  1. Have Strong Beliefs and Convictions to set direction and goals
  2. Demonstrate Courage to decide, take risk and go on against all odds.
  3. Show Optimism to think success under all circumstances and situations
  4. Prepare relentlessly to get plans, resources, people, course corrections right
  5. Be a Team player to be able to utilize every one's strengths, in the team.
  6. Possess Communication ability to connect with every stakeholder, at every level

Beautifully put. Though billions of pages have been written about leadership the world over I believe that the essence of leadership is captured in the above few points very well.
He described the moments when the news of the air strike to WTC was communicated to him. The information just said that an Aeroplane had collided with the tower. He said that this information did not communicate to him the full gravity of the situation, and it could not have to anyone. When he reached the location he could realize the gravity of the situation with news of more strikes coming in on one side and people panicking/jumping to their deaths. But there was no time to think but yet decisions had to be taken immediately. Since there was never any plan ever made for such and eventuality he had to draw from the various different plans they had made to confront similar such situations. They had to draw from the plan to face the anthrax attack mass casualties , the plan for high rise firefighting plans etc to be able to face this calamity. An organization led by a good leader according to him would almost always have planned for various kinds of scenarios and in emergency situations some parts these various plans come in handy. Its here that relentless preparation comes handy.

In another context he mentioned how his father used to tell him 'funerals necessary, marriages discretionary'. Its during losses and reverses that people need you more than they need you during happier times. Rudy was saying this in context of the leadership but I was thinking that how parents and cultures all across the world say the same thing in so many ways . The world after all is one big brotherhood.

I thank Rudy Guliani for sharing his mantras so lucidly but I must pay my Gratitude to Preety and Atul Kumar for inviting me to to the summit and getting me the opportunity to listen not only to Rudy but to many more illustrious world leaders.


Miranjit Mukherjee said...

Mr Karwal ,
Lovely article . I have read the book on Leadership by Rudy Guiliani and I can tell you its a storehouse of advice . The best advice in my view is "PREPARE RELENTLESSLY"

Miranjit Mukherjee

Dushyant said...

Hey Rajeev,

Excellent article. Everyone may not be privileged enough to attend a Leadership summmit but you have done a commendable job by sharing these Leadership Mantras through your blog. Hats off!


rohit said...

Dear rajeev
Let me add from my experiences on leadership

It is that inner force which porpels a man to stand in front of a crowd and motivate them with hs talk to sacrifice peronnel gains for a better collective reward. you get this power only by being passionate about your AIM.

Dhawal said...

Dear Mr.Karwal
Excellent article.
Leadership indeed is all about influencing people and caring about them, to get the best out.
On the point that the world is one big brotherhood, we find ironical situations in and around.... how many of us care to stop to look after a person who just met an accident.....where our brotherhood feelings go now..???
I feel the real hero (leader) is the one among the hundred pass-byers who stops and cares to look after.Important is to act rather being drawing room revolutionist.
In the end keep blogging and share your experiences.

Dillip Kumar Swain said...

Dear Sir
Really beautiful article.
Under a good Leader Ship flag....Leader view their people as an asset,build relationships through trust,take the care of individuals,expect accountability from each team and individual.
Thanking You.
Dilip Swain

Rose said...

"An organization led by a good leader according to him would almost always have planned for various kinds of scenarios and in emergency situations some parts these various plans come in handy. Its here that relentless preparation comes handy."

Now I understand the importance of the preparation you used to put us through..



punjabidude said...

Dear Rajeev,
I have tracked you in business magazines from LG days - U have performed everywhere except that I have heard you are now leaving Reliance - I look forward to your next carrer move and future accomplishments!!

Sujeet Sinha said...

Rajeev, hi,
The article seems fine but you have put it rightly that billions of pages have already been written.What do I mean?
Can good words, good deeds,good thoughts,be done just by reading good or listening good or seeing good?I wonder!
So in that context everything good whether written or spoken or taught has no meaning because it in actual produces no direct result.We are taught about this fruitlessly thru out our life but net result is entirely unpredictable.
In this context I see leadership as shamelessly taking the responsibility and challenges.Why shamelessly because we have 542 leaders in loksabha and god knows how many in rajyasabha and hell a lot if you take into account state assemblies.
Coming agaiin to leadership issue, leadership has got nothing to do inner voice as such. A good leadership has got to do with creating an environment in which everyone attached to a certain cause has same goal and is allowed to persue the common goal either independently or with some guidance.To some extent you can say good leader is one who can mobilise people towards a common goal.And to do this I don't know how much inner voice is needed.yes Inner voice is needed to take decisions because you don't always know about the outcome of the decisions.So you listen to your inner voice, gutt feeling, intution and believe me this inner voice lets you down also quite frequently so beware of it also.Now don't say that if your inner voice has let you down that means you are badly connected with your inner voice.
Coming again to leadership,Gandhi jee was a better leader because he was able to mobilise more people than his other contemprories because he was able to mobilise more people towards the goal of independence.
Bye there
Sujeet Sinha