Leadership and imagination

There’s an obvious application for imagination when you are leading a team. It is in imagining an inspiring vision. “Visionary” is often among the first words used to describe great leaders. And, the word “visionary” is associated with a leader’s ability to conjure a vision few others had thought of. However, there is another place […]

Leadership and consistency – The 200 words project

Essayists like Ralph Waldo Emerson who shaped the 19th century view on leadership defined it around heroic consistency of message – no matter what the evidence. So, political campaigns are now lost the moment a candidate switches views on a topic. While political candidates are often guilty of changing views based on when it suits them, […]

Leadership in 1 page

One of my recurring frustrations with books on leadership is that leaders are often made out to be superhuman. You have to be able to do this and that and then that as a leader. I think the issue with most of these books is that they study the best leaders of their age and […]

Leadership, management, culture – definitions

There are many great definitions of leadership, management and culture. My favorite, and most actionable, definitions are as follows – Leadership: Doing the right things (effectiveness) Management: Doing things right (efficiency) Culture: This is what people like me in this team/organization do Are these complete? No, there definitely are more complete definitions. But, definitions, in my […]

I am leader

The more you find a leader stressing his title, her opinion or simply the fact that he is in charge, the more you can be sure that the team or organization is suffering from a failure in leadership. When that happens, you also know that the leader in question is operating under a false assumption […]

Cattle leadership

On one of Mandela’s long morning walks, he turned to his biographer and said – ‘You have never herded cattle, have you, Richard?’ Richard Stengel said he had not. Mandela nodded. As a young boy of eight, Mandela had spent long afternoons herding cattle for his mother or some others in the village. He explained, “You know, […]

Getting mission statements right – MBA Learnings

We looked at a few mission statements in our Values Based Leadership class – Wal-Mart: We save people money so they can live better. Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad: Our vision is to realize the tremendous potential of the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway by providing transportation services that consistently meet our customers’ […]