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What IIM, HBR and New Age Gurus don’t Teach

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Urban Development

(Below is the blog published by me in my company portal. This is to set the tone for Ashwin Mahesh's campaign for the upcomming elections)

With the ever changing dynamics of the business world, the trait of the Leader has also been constantly evolving with the passing of time. Thus several books, columns, articles and workshops revolving around leadership have also been evolved by highlighting and providing up-to-date tools to learn and adapt. Periodicals like the Harvard Business Review (HBR) or, workshops on ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ are examples of tools which showcase and enable the leaders to learn and adapt to the new business environment.   

Understandably, the trait of today’s leader is different than what it was yesterday. Therefore, to ensure one is prepared with tomorrow’s requirement, today’s leader needs to understand tomorrow’s need and start planning now.

Today the most widely spoken topic worldwide revolves around ‘Sustainability’. Any project discussed needs to revolve around Business and Environmental Sustainability. Any business undertaken with exclusion of environment impact (disregard to the environment ecosystem) is frowned upon.  If one is a leader of the business domain, be rest assured that critics and public will be all over you criticizing your insensitivity. You would be blacklisted and despite your industry-leading growth margins, you would be looked down upon.

In India, however, we have a long way to go in changing attitude and understanding sustainability. As growing job opportunities feeds into the growing population of the country, sustainability is often the last concern to be looked into. This is a huge irony for a country which, since Independence, has been going through perennial issues related to civic amenities, power supply, water availability and mass transport. In this regard, there are several uncertainties which haunt us. Are we assured of water supply for the coming summer?... Will BMRTC discontinue bus service to unviable routes ( and ply only on profitable routes)?... Is the final city master plan drawn by the authorized body indeed final?  ..and many more.

In such a situation, the question most often arises amongst common citizens ‘what can we do about it?

Indeed one can. In the words of a leading social activist, Ashwin Mahesh “The problem we face today are complex, and they cannot be solved without hard work and the political participation of the best and the brightest among us. Get involved”.

Leaders ( big and small) from different spheres need to change with the changing dynamics of the ecosystem. They need to shift from the boardroom to undertake city grooming activities. Some have already taken the leap, however much more are needed to make this movement possible.

Contributing to the sustainability of the ecosystem is a critical trait for leaders. After all, businesses can never be assured of continuity in the face of environmental disaster, leading to economic breakdown

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