That Leadership Journey – 16. Despite The Leader

It is that time of the five year cycle in India, when we elect our new National Government. Election fever is in the air, people are voting and politicians are talking. Mostly rubbish, but there are times when what they are saying has frightening consequences.

There is a gentleman called Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was the Chief Minister of his state. Now, he has installed his young puppy of a son as the Chief Minister, as he himself has ambitions to be elected Prime Minister. Scary.

The Court sentenced a few boys to death for gang rape, and Mulayam Singh suggested that they be forgiven. “Boys will be boys”, he said with an avuncular twitch, “and they make mistakes. Therefore, they should be forgiven.”

Wooow. Scary, scary. Rape is not a mistake. It is a deliberate act of violence against the victim, be that victim male or female. It leads to physical and emotional scars, and cannot be dismissed with a casual avuncular remark.

What is scary, is that such men have designs on the highest chair (barring that of the President) in the country.

Now, many people, including Mark Mobius have commented that India has been held back by it’s political leaders, and that despite this, the country has progressed.

What happens when an organisation has a bunch of inept, possibly dangerous leaders, at the top?

What happens id the leaders not only are poor, strategically, but knowingly or unknowingly, condone poor behaviour, or are guilty of this themselves?

In my experience, these are dangerous times for an organisation, as most people take the easy path of following the leader, and making “hay while the proverbial sun” shines.

It is indeed a rare organisation that is filled with people of courage and conviction to do what is right. This does not always mean that they have to run around toppling the leader. Sometimes, it is needed. However, do they follow the light of their own conscience, or do they follow the shady shadow cast by such leaders?

In my view, in such cases, the seeds of the eventual downfall of the organisation are planted. Rot and decay start from within, not from without. Renewal is indeed necessary, for an organisation. However, it is a rare organisation that thrives when managed by dangerous, or corrupt leaders.

When working for an organisation, it behooves you to examine not only the quality of leaders at the top of the organisation, but through the organisation chart. If the rot extends through the organisation, leave.

The bigger problem, is if this organisation is your political leadership. Mass immigration is not always an option. But, choosing your leaders wisely, is always an option.


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