The Power of Effective leadership

By EO Member, Nitin Anand

 

It goes without saying how, today in the modern globalized world, leadership is attracting so much attention in all fields from politics to business as the key deciding factor of fortune or misfortune. This isn’t surprising, particularly given the fact that women and men at the helm of organizations and business activities exercise the most influence over whether success is achieved or not, much like the actions of the head of a family determines the welfare of the entire family.

 

We are one global family made up of all kinds of species, human and otherwise. Naturally, all species look up to their leaders, and therefore leaders must rise to the occasion and prove themselves both effective in delivery and a great role model. Business leadership, of course, is of particular importance, as both the provider of the goods and services of daily consumption and welfare, and as the predominant employers in our economy. For business leadership to be effective, as stated by the late management savant, Prof. C. K. Prahalad, it should reach out to, and have an impact on, the average person or the bottom of the business pyramid (BOP).

 

Effective Leadership

In economics and business, the two eternal and fundamental concepts are supply and demand. These are the concepts by which every business phenomenon, from prices to unemployment, can be explained. However, in business terms, demand must mean ‘effective demand’ which is supported by desire.

 

Effective demand is sustained by desire plus capacity, i.e. the desire for the goods or services exists, as does the money or purchasing power to purchase them. Similarly, leadership, like demand, ought to be effective – therefore, we must strive towards effective leadership. This means leading the companies or organizations in the accomplishment of certain goals. Leadership means guiding in good and difficult times, always showing a good example to others, and taking responsibility or blame for the results achieved.

 

In the context of the bitter experience of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, the effects of which penetrated to every level of the global economics and business activities, leadership is not about power, glamour, private jets, fat salaries and bonuses, perks, exclusive clubs, luxury holidays, and other such things. It is about service, enlightenment, and setting standards. It is not surprising that the late Covey singled out Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) from all other leaders as the model of effective leadership. Gandhi, interestingly, was dismissed as ‘fakir’ by Sir Winston Churchill, for being too saintly and working toward the end of British rule in India. While effective leadership is our goal, there appears to be a good deal of leadership deficiency and a leadership crisis, brought on by the calamitous Global Financial Crisis that is said to be comparable to the Great Depression of 1929-33, the worst economic downturn of the 20th century.

 

Leadership Crisis

On the leadership plight, Nobel Economist Professor Stiglitz is reported to have wondered whether the financial crisis of 2008 would have occurred if the great Fed was headed by a person like the then- Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Dr. Y.V. Reddy. Another Noble Economist, Paul Krugman’s take on the financial crisis – the theory of ‘greed’ – is well known. It is difficult to imagine banking as playing a leading economic role when its leadership is associated with anything like subprime lending; on the contrary, central banking calls for no-nonsense leadership.

 

Oil-exporting Arab Nations suffered a serious blow following the Global Financial Crisis with the fall of oil prices to less than $US 50. We are constantly informed of some leadership fraud and irregularities that carry heavy penalties and criminal actions. China too appears to be involved in this, despite of it being a strict, communist-ruled state. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find ‘fit’ candidates to fill leadership positions at big companies. Among the 1.25 billion population of India, leadership replacements and appointments are becoming increasingly difficult, as leadership is not simply making money and exercising power; leadership is providing good orientations, ethics, and morale. Leaders stand apart from others, taking on responsibilities and risk, and doing so around the clock. This itself is the reward of good leadership, for leaders are set apart from all others for public recognition and appreciation. It is not a small reward.

 

In a troubled world, the young nation of the UAE stands out. What is its leadership model?

 

UAE Leadership Model

A lot can be learnt from the UAE’s leadership role model. The UAE is an exemplary economic and business model of our times. It has grown from an underdeveloped nation of seven principalities at the time of its foundation in 1971 to the dizzying ranks of development that are in evidence today. The founding fathers of the nation such as H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan were charismatic leaders that left their footprints in the sands of history. Uniquely, the UAE’s top leadership is committed to its people’s and environment’s welfare. H.H. Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, has discussed the leadership model of the Emirates in his must-read book Flashes of Thought.

 

Ultimately, effective leadership or model leadership comes with many responsibilities, the fulfillment of which is the model leader’s mission, something akin to a divine decree. The callings of true leadership are ethics, moral uprightness, innovation, social orientation, plus societal and environmental awareness. 

 

About The Author

Nitin Anand

Nitin Anand is currently the Director of Skyline University College (SUC), Sharjah and a esteemed member of the UAE Chapter of the Entrepreneurs organization. The Entrepreneurs Organization is a dynamic, global, non-profit network of more than 10,000 business owners in 48 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. EO members create a constant flow of news on a daily basis, all of which speak to their commitment to entrepreneurial excellence. For more please visit: http://www.eonetwork.ae/

Nitin has been involved with Skyline since he graduated from National American University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Mr. Nitin has provided his expertise and utmost dedication for the smooth operations of the organization for the past ten years and successfully contributed to the implementation of key strategies to ensure its growth and success.

 

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