Leadership Development

Leadership Development

The most researched areas in the human behaviour are Leadership and Motivation/Job Satisfaction. Most of the research papers published and a large number of PhDs. are produced around these constructs. I have clubbed the motivation and job satisfaction together because of their strong cause effect bindings, though which is the cause and which is the affect depends upon the person(s), situation and time. The academic research outcomes could not gain the acceptability with the corporates and industries mainly because of the purpose and intentions of the researchers. Most of the research undertaken by the academicians is with the intention to enhance the kitty of research papers and to move to the higher step in the ladder of hierarchy. There is a strong need to bring the academic research near to the doors of business and industry and focus on the identification of problems and offering solutions to the corporates for the critical issues faced by them. There is a strong need to bring industry and academia closer to complement their competencies for mutual benefits. The corporates are apprehensive about the usability of academic research related to human behaviour because of its relevance and coverage. They perhaps believe that the research done on few hundred samples cannot be generalised for a vast universe and does not specifically deal with the problems faced by them. They therefore go for sponsored projects where the research is undertaken keeping in view the specific problems faced by them. Such projects are generally grabbed by well-established national level academic institutions and consulting agencies.

As regards Leadership, there are as many views as the number of books on the subject; as we read more, sometimes, it helps in better understanding, sometimes creates misunderstanding and sometimes it confuses more than enlightening if the views and ideas presented do not match with our perceptions. Sometimes, it is loosely commented that “leadership is most talked but least understood otherwise we would not be facing the scarcity of good leaders”.

To me, the leadership is both Science and Art. It is science because it draws the knowledge from theoretical foundations and provides certain general rules which are validated and revalidated from time to time through research and experimentations. The leadership as a part of science also has significant component of technology meaning by that it provides certain practical tools to implement in real life situation with reasonable success.

Leadership as an Art is mainly depends upon the style and experiences of the artist (Leader), which he/she modifies depending upon the situation and success-failure paradigm. The Leadership as an Art has strong component of the Craft (creating some useful product) within it. Here the products are his/her followers and mentees. The capable leader is always keen to develop the followers who can independently develop themselves without his/ her support to fill the vacuum. Because of impact of individuality there far more dissimilarities than the similarities between the successful leaders. Many of the good leadership practices were discovered not through research but through understanding the leadership styles of successful leaders who have successfully led their organisations through involvement of people. A significantly large proportion of such leaders were the creator of organisations who have created such organisations from scratch. As quoted by John Maxwell “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”. The leader therefore should be capable both behaviourally and technically to justify the quote.

-by Dr. Sharad Kumar