If good things were to be in good number, that would go against the rule of nature! This could be surprising to most; but is real!
If we turn any page of history, we would discover that there were always calls for better leaders, as the ones present in societies or companies were not good enough or in good enough number. I can’t remember any time ever since I gained consciousness, when intelligentsia was not giving call for good leadership cadre to prevent crisis; but that hardly arrived, yet we have all survived.
Further, concerted efforts and coaching to create leaders have only multiplied over years, so is clamor and cry for better ones!
So, where are we missing the point?
Why good leaders are always in short supply!
- Illusion around definition of a good leader –
Pick up any article or book, you would find that good leader is not supposed to be less than a god! Some would advocate 5 qualities and others may advance need of 19 attributes!!
Why can’t there be an agreement on a simple and single sentence to define good leadership – may be this one:
“Inspiring Change in self and stakeholders to secure performance better than the rest”
- Euphoria around development programs –
Take few leadership courses, learn competency matrix, get 360 degree feedback and pick leadership buzz words, and you would be stamped as leader – that seems to be a popular perception in most companies and societies!
Leadership development programs are all about “What you are” and “What you should be”; but with most important link missing “What would take you there”! So, it is natural that people don’t get there!!
- Means have become Models –
Power, position, money, media, technology, tools….the “Means” have taken over “Morals” and have become popular “Models” today. Most have forgotten that leadership can’t be borrowed or bought from outside; but has to be built from inside.
- Mistaken identity –
Most company or country bosses live in illusion that they are good leaders; they are actually not. Many managers of big companies with healthy bottom lines are mistaken as leaders and even visionaries (of universe), especially by media and masses!
I know of couple of global companies with good product range and great dividend paying records. That has made their shareholders happy and general belief developed that their leadership is great. Is that something to do with quality of leadership or product range commanding a premium in market places? A closer look reveals that if leadership was to be good, these companies would have scaled unprecedented heights by now!
- Performance in pulses –
This is the most perennial problem! It comes from the fact that majority of people in leadership position imbibe some qualities of a leader; but not the most. Some are say passionate about business strategy; but lack people skills. Many have good communication skills; but lack courage and fail to manage conflicts. It is precisely for this reason that a leader, who looks good today does not survive tomorrow; who fares well in one situation fail in another.
Rise of most of leaders is prompted by performance in pulses! It is rare that people go on top due to performance as a whole!!
There are 2 rules, which really rule over minds of people:
- When going is good, we take things as grated and that is when we start to go down!
- We fall prey to –ive tendencies or traits much faster than +ives!
- Aversion for certain but crucial areas –
There are areas that are very critical to society, which deserving people just desist to join. Politics is one of such areas! Politics brings power and the two together becomes poison, which kills the goodness!!
In these areas, there is always famine of fair leaders.
Is the scenario grim?
No; at least I for one don’t believe that. Good leaders in poor number seem to be a normal phenomenon.
There would always be demand for better leaders and bashing of current ones! In a way, it is healthy!! It keeps the bad ones under check!!!
Whistle blowing is an important part of our lives and that’s where authors and activists come from!
Reversing the trend and tendency
If we want to arrest natural trends and tendencies, we have to go off the track! Let us do at least following:
- Make definition of a leader simple and put “sincerity” above all qualities.
- Create focus and force behind “what would take you there”.
- What should matter to all us are “Performance as a whole, not in part” and “Goodness as an obvious, not as an option”!
By just doing these three things, we would render one great service to self and society – keep wrong or bad ones under check. This may also unlock possibility for nature to redefine its rule to “Good ones do exist in good number”.