This is the new trend. Everyone either is an established Leader or wishes to be one. And all are quick to ride the bandwagon of Leadership. Well… I mean all the stakeholders. Just like a few years back everyone was a manager or an administrator and so on… In fact so fast is the human evolution that now the leaders are evolving into somethings altogether new. New and nice sounding nouns are being used. The ones that I heard are thinkers, evangelists, guides, protectors, guards, keepers, conscious keepers (CK), value enhancers (VE), people entrepreneurs (PE) (those who are in the business of creating entrepreneurs out of people!), and so goes the list. In fact each of these names explain the true stage of evolution in which that particular person is. I make a few guesses here. A thinker is one who has done it all and now he thinks… Over a glass of wine or aam panna or lassi (whichever is the latest drink to reduce those bulging arteries), in their nicely done up study by the most well known interior designer (you see they did not have the time to think about how a place will look like where they want to think) it is his / her moral right to think since it is by thought alone can a difference be made in this world.
There is a slight difference between an evangelist and a thinker, while thinking may or may not be positive or constructive, you know I may sit back and think of how wrong the world is going and write a critique of the most well know other thinker or artist or the best bet is to re-write the interpretation of the most well known religious text like the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bible, Koran, the evangelist will be a dreamer, he has trained his mind to remain on the positive side of the world, if not for him or her, the evil would prevail over the good, people need to create and so this evangelist (in business evangelism or he may even float an NGO) has moral duty to create. The common point between both of them will be… They think more and work less. You see they have done their share of work and now others are working on things that they had started in the first place, like turning around the companies they had started and which others are trying to run or save from going bust, struggling to keep those deadlines which they had committed to principally which were near impossible to be met, etc. They have generated a lot of work for others, so it is upon them to think…
Each time I get stuck in a situation in my stressful business of management consultancy and chartered accountancy and running a few enterprises, I feel like one of these things, to become a thinker or something like that… Unfortunately, I don’t think I have it in me, yet…
I end up sitting with my team leaders in understanding their challenges at their ground level, understanding what it must be like for them to go through the grind of facing up to these challenges especially when they have their other personal priorities too, thinking about the possible solutions to the obstacles to solving these challenges, discussing and sorting out the emotional conflicts created by some challenges involving value systems and inter-personal relationships, getting down to feeling the smell of earth which is their playground, encouraging them not to lose themselves in the face of these challenges, motivating them to go and stretch further, talking to them, going over and over their plans to pre-empt a crisis, listening to them when they have been ill-treated by that very client for whom they have been thinking all this time and who they were honestly trying to help, reading their daily and other periodic reports, looking over their co-ordination challenges and helping them come out with their unique solutions, celebrating their successes, thanking them for what all they have been through, and giving them credit for all of this.
Well… My work does not get over here (I wish it did), after this I need to do my bit of work which will involve setting my strategic view in order, refining the strategies which have been set, setting long-range and short range goals, planning on the attributes that will be needed to accomplish these goals, making plans to develop these attributes, looking up the numbers to see if they make sense, scheduling my time to meet all the stakeholders, finding time for myself, and celebrating my own successes with my family. So I don’t think I have any time left to be a leader, thinker, evangelist and so on….
And each time I meet these people who have, I wonder at their evolutionary state and keep guessing how they came to be?…just one thing which I find funny…. Why is it their organizations have so many problems?
But because now I have purchased my new Apple MacBook Pro, I am beginning to get all my answers. This computer has magic in it, though it does most of the same things as my old Laptop (I find some things in it which don’t work and others which are easier to understand). The other day I was sitting in a meeting with someone I had not ever known before and as soon as I took out my Mac (it is not a computer… You see) he looked at me with respect and said, so you too are a mac user… I said, yes only for about three months, he said you must be finding it REALLY NICE… I looked at him and said yes (though I had not had an orgasm due to the MAC yet)… I wondered what he meant… He said he had been using his Mac for the last 4 years and yes IT WAS WONDERFUL…. And we ended up discussing Steve Jobs and Apple etc.
I understood, it was a good conversation starter, all of us were same but we needed some things and names and designations which announced we have arrived and this will help us start the right conversation which will then take us to the next evolutionary level. Ah… I had found the answer!