Saturday, 28 January 2012

Multiply growth through developing leaders

In December , 2010 , I  initiated a discussion on a group called" Leadership Think Tank" on  the popular  social network site  Linkedin by asking this question:"Is there any relationship between  leadership and capacity to love?".It attracted an overwhelming response of more than 1500 comments , and even after 14 months , the discussion is on from participants from all over the globe on different aspects of leadership.It is amazing how stimulating , useful , interesting and important the  subject of leadership is .

Leadership can be learned .It can be taught , practised and developed.In the New Year 2012, I decided to improve myself on at least one quality,skill or area of leadership .In search for this one skill , I  selected John C. Maxwell's book "The 21 irrefutable Laws of Leadership" .First published in 1999, it has 226 pages.Let me share with you the result of my search .I feel that the most important law of leadership is:"The Law of Explosive Growth".Out of 21 Laws of Leadership that Maxwell has listed , this Law is at serial number20.It says that "To add growth , lead followers.But to mutiply , lead leaders".
Maxwell has listed a few qualities in a leader.We can learn and improve our qualities of leadership over entire life time .One quality is mentioned in the Law number 6.This Law is called The law of Solid ground .It says that Trust is the foundation of leadership .And character is the foundation of trust .Trust, character/integrity is therefore the foundation of leadership .
The other quality of leadership is sacrifice , mentioned at serial number 18 .This is the law of sacrifice and says that "A Leader must give up to go up."A leader should have a capacity to sacrifice  money , sleep , physical comforts , and  swallow his/her pride  and in extreme cases lose personal liberty and even life.This sacrifice is constant and ongoing, not a one time payment .

The other quality is skill to connect , given at serial number10,as The Law of connection.It says that "Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand"
Skill to have the sense of timing is also important .It is at serial number19  as The Law of Timing .It says that "When to lead is as important as  what to do and where to go."
The most important law is The Law of explosive growth .A leader must commit the largest part of his /her resources , and attention on developing leaders and leading those leaders .Build people who are going to build the organisation.There is no harm in developing the followers , but developing the leaders mutiplies the  results/ growth  exponentially.Development  and mentoring of leaders is the most important  skill that a leader needs to learn .When developing the leaders becomes a part of our culture, we stop asking what we accomplished during our tenure . Rather  we start asking what the organisation and its people accomplished after we were gone .
When we see all around ourselves ,  we find very little being done to develop leaders .We need to focus more on  developing character, trust and sacrifice in our children .This needs to be done by parents , teachers , writers and leaders in all spheres of life .We need to think hard on how to achieve this  development .What concrete things are needed to be done to create a system where this gets done with reasonable efforts?.Maxwell does not tell us how to do it .To be fair ,that is also not within the scope of "Laws of Leadership."We should all be looking for ways in which we can develop leadership in our society and organisations .Do you have any ideas on this ?