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Birth of a leader through Experience

Pragyan Acharya
Friday, December 3, 2010
Pragyan Acharya
A light in the dark, a hope in a shredded scene; one who practices what is preached and remains away from deception is someone whom everyone holds in high esteem. In the Annual Report of the financial firm J P Morgan, Jamie Dimon, CEO of J P Morgan rightly pinpoints, “Leadership is an honour, a privilege, a deep obligation. Being true to oneself and avoiding deception is as important as a leader and as having somebody to turn to them for unbiased advices”. During good times, he would set things right and prepare the organization to deal with the worst situation, so that the organization can deal with unpredictable situations in the market.

While one prepares for the goals set, there are all possibilities of the decision being wrong and at such times all it needs is the courage to accept and that strengthens the trust. Recently, Janakiraman S, the President and Group CEO of Product Engineering Services of quoted an example of Wipro, where one of the shareholders questioned the Chairman, Azim Premji on a delicate issue and the way he tackled it. The shareholder questioned on a loss incurred by them in terms of their real estate that they were supposed to sell a year earlier and whose price declined by a large extent. And the simple answer that came from Premji was, “We turned greedy. We thought the prices would go up more, on the contrary it fell.” It was more of a bold move to stick by the truth and this makes people shine.

Even a small company should try to do something different from others, so that it shines among its competitors in the market. In order to achieve this difference, leaders need to energize people around them and motivate them to achieve the best for their organization. The difference is achieved when one can realize a greater potential in every situation. If the common man has to look at the year of 2000, all they can see is the dotcom bust, but one who has great visions will see that the largest Internet company Google was established the same year. Similarly, a look at history shows that all challenging situations, where everyone lost hopes, gave out one entity who ruled the roost. It’s the mindset and the learning that one finds from the surrounding.

The charismatic personality, whom everyone admires, is built through those learnings and the way one blends the demanding nature with empathy. As a leader, it is accepted to be demanding for better results, yet in the words of Janakiraman, one should be emphatic with the surroundings too. Otherwise, a mere dictator does not gain the trust of his fellow beings and hence, loses the shine. At the end, one has to remember, that if one is in the light everyone follows, but in darkness even one’s own shadow fails to tag along.
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