Redefining Contemporary Leadership

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 1232 , Published on 06 November 2014

“If and when you find yourself, don’t ever lose your SELF again!”

Leadership is an art. Only the talented and experienced can master it to be the voice of those beyond the wall. Leadership, I believe, is therefore a way of managing people with a specific style. This style is synonymous and must be comfortably aligned to the people in concern.

Image Courtesy:, sheelamohan

It is evident from today’s scenario that people are sensitive to change. It does not mean that people do not like change. What it simply means is that people like changes which they think are for their betterment. Leadership in this age has therefore taken a new swing. Most intelligent leaders have recognized this trait and adapted their styles with the people they lead. So it is apt to say that the new age leadership is a mix breed of management and style.

Looking at the leaders from a global perspective, a successful organization should not have leaders who are different from their workforce. In fact a true leader is the one who emerges from the very core of the organization and sustains for as long as the organization breathes in the industry. A leader can achieve greatness only by being comfortably certain about the uncertainties posed in his way. This means that a leader has to truly understand the organization from within, its people, its products, its work culture, its peaks, its downfalls, its strengths, its weaknesses, its nature, its attitude. This includes anything and everything about the organization’s identity prior to its inception and beyond its demise. Only then the leader will truly be able to comprehend and respond to the organization’s needs in the best possible manner.

Ratan Tata, Indian businessman and Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons is a pioneer in this regard. A leader who gave birth to the Tata Group and is still nurturing its roots and stems for sustenance and growth in the global business scenario, Ratan Tata is a living legend and a true leader in all aspects. Needless to say, his sheer commitment and faith has led the group to where they are today.


But are these traits we are talking about really in-born talent or acquired behaviour? The answer to this question is simpler to realize but complex to explain. There are many leaders who do acquire this kind of behaviour as well as thinking with experience. However, there is one critical thing that is a pre-requisite, and must be an inherent part of any successful leader, which is, his “attitude”. You read it right! Attitude of a person is one thing that cannot be acquired with experience but only matures with time. So this means that successful leaders do have a few traits which together substantiate their attitude inherent to their nature. And probably these are the leaders who go ahead and acquire other requisite traits and head over the path of success.

If I have to quote an example, the charismatic and design-driven pioneer of the personal computer revolution, Steve Jobs, was not a born leader. 1972 marked the inception of Jobs’ career as a technician. Soon after, in 1974, Jobs planned a visit to India in search of spiritual enlightenment. After months of self-realization, Jobs finally returned to California to his former job as a religious practitioner of Zen, a religious path that he picked up during his interim stay in Japan. Thereafter, Jobs found it difficult to align his thinking with people with different cultural roots. Had Jobs not realized the importance of inner peace and attaining direction at that point in his career, he would not have grown as the leader of innovation in the years to come.

Therefore, I restate and reinforce the fact that modern day leadership deals with both management and style. And the two can coexist irrespective of the fact as to whether the leader has inherent skills and competencies, or, he acquires the attitude required to turn him into a successful leader.

My sincere advice to the readers of this article is try and introspect yourselves, and find out, what is it that you already have which you can leverage to the fullest to become a better leader. I say “better” because I am assuming that you’re a good leader or have the potential to be, but what is required in the modern age lived by Gen Y is to be the best.

Imagine if all people in your organization achieve this greatness then how simple it would be for the organization to climb the ladder of success and sustain at the top level. And then, imagine if all organizations across the globe understood this fact then how positively competitive the global industry would become. Sometimes the smallest of changes within can in fact solve the biggest of problems!

“The pessimist complains about the wind.

The optimist expects it to change.

The leader adjusts the sails.”

-John Maxwell


This article has been authored by Shruti Saxena from SCMHRD 


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