February 11, 2015

Contingent leadership

My country is currently being run by a prime minister who is a conventional businessman and he is failing miserably. This is his third tenure and he was not able to fully complete his first two terms successfully and was forced to step down. Where he and his team are more than capable to devise marketing strategies to get him and his party elected, without questioning the legitemacy of their actions, the leadership qualities are absent. His networth puts him unquestionably among the richest people in the country because even as a prime minister his priorities face a conflict of interest. His ability to run a business and to lead his companies to profitability does not qualify him to lead a country. Just because a person can lead a group of people to achieve something does not mean he can be assumed a universal leader. There will always be variables and they cannot be ignored. Different situations require different leaders armed with the appropriate skillset.

Here I refer to the lifeboat excercise we had in class where one of the teams chose a managing director as the leader for the situation. They based their decision on the fact that this person had people skills and that his age reflected maturity. But what does that have to do with a lifeboat situation? When you have a person retired from the Royal Navy on board, would an aged person really be your first choice? The parameters of the situation define the requirements of the leader.

If we started establishing universal leaders, the leading MNC's would start hiring high ranked army generals to lead their organisations. I in my right mind would never do that, would you?


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