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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

High Designation Doesn't Mean Higher Level of Leadership Skills

The experience of coming across someone with a high designation in the organization but low level of leadership is quite interesting. I had such an experience recently.

One Experience on Leadership Skills or Rather the Lack of It

For some activity the person's department was selected, probably for the first time. On top of it the person missed some of the email communications sent earlier and when a direct communication was sent to him subsequently (by someone who was authorized but having a lesser designation) it was taken as an insult.

The person tried to wriggle out of the whole thing by asking basic questions - why me? if not earlier why now? why no one told me earlier? why is this needed? what is needed from me?

What Can We Infer - Some Feelings

It brought the following feelings: 
  • Amazement - how this person got promoted to such a high designation? leaders can't be leaders in the true sense if they have closed mind and hard attitudes 
  • Anger - how can someone react to a 'change' in this manner? leaders are expected to not just accept but also drive changes. 
  • Agony - how someone like this can help in organization's culture building? leaders are expected to help build and nurture organizational culture through positive actions. 
  • Anxiety - how someone like this can possibly destroy the organization's value and systems? leaders are supposed to demonstrate organization's value and systems in every instance.
Why this Happened - Some Probable Reasons

Equally important to what happened is to try to understand why it has happened. Here's my take on it:
  • When one thinks he/she is above the crowd and expects special treatment as a birth right
  • When one is the proverbial blue-eyed boy and think he/she can get away with anything
  • When one sees change as a threat and responds to it by opposing it
  • When one is not sure of his/her abilities or the way he/she performs the work
  • When one thinks he/she is indispensable to the organization and can pressurize others
Why Such Persons are not Needed in Modern Organizations

Whatever it might be such persons should have no place in professionally managed and progressive organizations. And the logic is simple, in a knowledge economy such attitudes are obsolete.

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