Q: How do you define leadership?
A: Leadership is the ability to lead from the front by setting an example. It is the process of setting vision, building teams, making decisions, motivating people and aligning their energies and efforts to accomplish organizational goals and objectives.
Q: What is the difference between managers and leaders?
A: Managers are missionaries while leaders are visionaries. Managers think within the box while leaders think outside the box. Managers know how to climb the ladder while the leaders know how to place the ladder on the right side of the wall. Managers are efficient while leaders are effective.
Q: To what extent are leaders born or made?
A: It is a debatable issue globally. Most of the leaders are made rather than born because leadership is a skill that can be honed through acquisition of emotional intelligence quotient.
Q: How do the leaders make decisions – by head, heart or gut?
A: When you have full information, you can go by your head. When you have partial information, you can go by your head and heart. When you don’t have any information you can go by your gut and intuition. Above all, decision-making is situational, and it depends on the people you lead, the information you have, and the prevailing environment.
Q: Are companies really interested in developing leaders?
A: Some companies are interested while some companies are not interested. Most of the companies focus on performance not on providing training programs to their employees. It is a retrograde step. In addition, recession has become an excuse for them. The leaders at the top level must take initiative to train employees regularly to improve bottom lines and groom them as leaders. It helps retain the talent and keep cream ready in the leadership pipeline to ensure organizational excellence and effectiveness.
Q: What leadership attributes are required in this globalized world?
A: Technology has made the world into a small village. It brought comforts as well as confusion. Hence, leaders must adopt flexibility and adaptability to manage complexity and uncertainty. They must respect all cultures and communities and catch up with the latest technology. Above all, they have to unlearn, learn and relearn to stand out.
Q: How do we develop the next generation of leaders?
A: You cannot become a crack-shot unless you lose some ammunition. Empower your employees. Encourage them to take risk and explore. Do your duty and don’t expect rewards. Believe in contribution, not in accumulation. Cultivate the attitude of gratitude.
Q: What is emerging as the key leadership model for the next decade?
A: I have coined soft leadership which is drawing attention internationally. It is going to prevail in future. This concept believes in partnership rather than followership. It believes in soft touch; adopts soft tactic; and practices soft skills to lead from the front to execute tasks successfully.
Q: What is your role as a leadership guru?
A: I am passionate about leadership. I do research round the clock to find out new leadership perspectives that are beneficial to leaders to make this world a better place to live. I author books and share my knowledge through workshops, seminars and training programs. My aim is to apply my leadership knowledge to ensure global stability, peace and prosperity.
Q: What is your vision?
A: I want to share my knowledge with the world. Hence, I created blogs to share my knowledge online and through teaching and training programs. My long term vision is to train 1,000,000 people and develop them as leaders. I want to make a difference in the lives of others and to the society as a whole. I want to promote global peace for its prosperity. I coined soft leadership and I want to apply this leadership style in all areas to make people important and special so that they can wholeheartedly contribute for the benefit of mankind.
Q: What is your message to the world?
A: Love your mother, but don’t hate another person’s mother. Love your community but don’t hate another person’s community. Look at similarities, not differences. Above all, make a difference in the lives of others.
Prof. M.S. Rao
International Leadership Guru
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