Wednesday, March 6, 2013

  New paradigm in developing Leadership pipeline

AUTHOR : Anubha Maurya Walia, International Trainer and Facilitator
Research paper published on 6th March 2013 at ISTD & NSDC Conference

“Leadership is not the magnetic personality – that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not making friends and influencing people” that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standards, the building of personality beyond its normal limitation” – Peter F Drucker.

Indeed of the most important sets of skills required in a changing world are the skills of leadership. This has become increasingly evident as we have attempted to adapt to the escalating changes in our society and workplaces over the past century. Effective leadership is one of the keys to our future and more important is creating or nurturing New Leaders by existing leaders. This paper looks at the current moral state of organization performance and business leaders. It identifies the underlying of the current leadership skills exist and the need for a new leadership paradigm—a shift from being the best in the world to the best for the world; a shift from what’s in it for me to what’s best for the common good; and a shift from “I” to “we” by emphasizing on how existing leaders and organization together can create new leaders in system. 

To understand this one and only question will always keep coming in mind - What is leadership, and who has it? Or can you develop leadership ability, or is it something you must be born with? Some say leadership has to be learned and earned. Others say leadership is a gift that cannot be taught.

Much of the literature on leadership focuses on "characteristics" of good leaders. These characteristics, however, are often too general to be of much practical value to someone trying to become a better leader. For instance, to say that good leaders are "gifted optimists" or are “honest" and "inspiring" provides little practical basis for specific skill development or improvement. These are typically judgments about our behavior made by others. 

In defining what effective "leadership" is, it is important to distinguish between (a) a "leader" (b) "leadership" and (c) "leading." The position of "leader" is a role in a particular system. A person in the formal role of a leader may or may not possess leadership skills and be capable of leading. "Leadership" is essentially related to a person's skills, abilities and degree of influence. A good deal of leadership can come from people who are not formal "leaders." "Leading" is the result of using one's role and leadership ability to influence others in some way.

In its broadest sense, leadership can be defined as the ability to influence others toward the accomplishment of some goal. That is, a leader leads a collaborator or group of collaborators towards some end. In businesses and organizations, ‘leadership’ is often contrasted with ‘management’. Management is typically defined as "getting things done through others." In comparison, leadership is defined as, "getting others to do things." Thus, leadership is intimately tied up with motivating and influencing others which further helps in creating a new leader.


Source of Data- The study was based on both primary and secondary data.

Primary data was collected with the help of observation and personal interview and secondary data was collected through journal articles, dissertations, theses, books, magazine articles and internet.
Instrument- Unstructured interview was conducted to gather as much as relevant data as possible from HR managers, Trainers, Junior - Middle – Senior level from various sectors.

Before further understanding how we together can create - The New Leadership Paradigm, one of the insightful thought has been given by Nocholls (1988) about different perspective of leadership that is Micro, Macro and Meta Leadership.

Micro, Macro and Meta Leadership

Nicholls (1988) has pointed out there are three fundamentally different perspectives of leadership: Meta, Macro and Micro.

  1. Meta leadership creates a ‘movement’ in a broad general direction (such as civil rights, home computers). Meta leadership, "links individuals, through the leader’s vision, to the environment. In doing so, it releases energy and creates enthusiastic followers."
  2. In macro leadership, "the leader’s role in creating a successful organization is fulfilled in two ways, path-finding and culture-building... Path-finding can be summed up as finding the way to a successful future. Culture-building can be viewed as drawing people into purposeful organization - one which is capable of traveling along the path that is found or of fully exploiting current opportunities...Macro leadership activity can influence individuals by linking them to the entity - be it the whole organization or just a division, department or group. The leader influences the individual by supplying the subordinates with answers to such questions as: what is this organization all about? where do I fit in? How am I valued and judged? what is expected of me? why should I commit myself? In the process, the leader creates committed members of the organization."
  3. In contrast to both of these, Micro leadership, "focuses on the choice of leadership style to create an efficient working atmosphere and obtain willing cooperation in getting the job done by adjusting one’s style on the twin dimensions of task and relationship behavior. Choice of leadership style depends on the particular subordinates and the job/task being done, it is, thus, situational and contingent...the leader directs people in organizations in the accomplishment of a specific job or task. If the leadership style is correctly attuned, people perform willingly in an efficient working atmosphere." 
It has been observed Micro leadership primarily addresses issues at the levels of environment, behavior and capability: i.e., where, when, what and how.

Macro leadership focuses on issues at the levels of beliefs, values and role identity: i.e., the why and who behind the where, when, what and how.

Meta leadership emphasizes the levels of ‘spirit’ and identity: i.e., the who and what else which form the vision and purpose behind all of the other levels of leadership.

After understanding and analyzing different perspective of Leadership, we tried to analyze what Characteristics of Leaders they possess.

The key leader characteristics help the leader acquire necessary skills, formulate an organizational vision and an effective plan for pursuing it, and take the steps needed to implement the vision into reality (Kirkpatrick and Locke, 1991). It is not necessarily the individual possessing the most formal authority who is the leader in an organization, large or small. The leader is anyone who exerts influence over others. Specific traits, characteristics, and personal attributes that will predict superior performance in any given role, team, and organization can be identified and defined. On a whole the Leaders after observation and interview with subordinates / employees stated, best leaders mostly posses and are:

·         Great Motivator & Communicator
·         Target achievers & Committed
·         Charismatic as believes in Self
·         Creative & Innovator
·         Strategic thinker

RESEARCH FINDING: Practise on Creating New Leaders

We need a new leadership paradigm. We need to grow a new set of leaders—leaders who operate from their souls, rather than their egos. We need to find these new leaders urgently because the problems of existence are now urgent and global. We need our business leaders to see beyond global competition. We need our political leaders to work with our business leaders and civil society to build industry charters that regulate competition within a framework of global policies that support the evolution of humanity and the global common good.


Based on above, we observed with Leadership characteristic, many leaders have begun to refer to the “what” about future leaders and how to make new leaders. We identified the two aspects for same

1-      Organization perspective – OKE Model
2-      Leader Perspective -  The 4S (based on 4 Skills)

I – OKE Model

The methods in which Companies are improving its performance in successfully dealing with the changes in the near future is to employing, selecting training and guiding the right people in the organisation. Companies leaders focuses on “OKE”  that is  being used as best strategic practice to achieve that can be normally referred to as a profile-fit practice. This practice are used by Companies who don’t have to make its employees undergo extensive training on behavioural front after recruitment and selection but consider Attitude first and work toward experiential learning with ongoing development of skills and knowledge which is taken care by Leader by using their 4S skills. 

This strategy is the person-organisation fit practice. In this case, organization seek to recruit and select persons with good morals who are able to meet the organizations’ values, culture and structure in the changing sociological aspects of the society first foremost and further enhance skills and knowledge related to job. Human resource management practices in the company have been utilized in measuring the analysis of the OKE carried out by organisations. These practice guided the management in selecting persons with desirable attitudes and characteristics suitable for the job description.

OKE - Outlook, Knowledge. Skills / Expertise, is termed as systematic enhancement of Attitudes, Knowledge & Skills / Expertise needed by an employee in order to perform a given OKE resulting to business performance and development. Development is the growth of an employee in terms of capability, understanding and awareness. Organisation are emphasising OKE  through training and development followed by coaching approach used by Leaders can help company to;

  • Develop a workforce that can perform higher-grade assignments
  • Increase efficiency, effectiveness and standards of performance by the employee
  • Giving them challenging task.
  • Helping them to work in a new way.
With the OKE Concept, organization have started keeping its employees well trained, recruited and selected as per the current and expected changes. This strategy has enabled the company to be a go getter in the industry.

With Leaders rising based on their pivotal role are the primary asset of an organization, and are being faced with new challenges to come up with strategic approaches that can add value to the organisations. Leaders develop the competencies to design and deliver practises which build organisation capability, they create and sustain unique sources of competitive advantage.  Competencies refer to an individual’s ability to demonstrate knowledge, skills and attitude but now emphasis on first ATTITUDE and then Knowledge with skills. In other words they are behaviourally – specific description of OKE  required by employees to perform their OKE  efficiently and effectively.

Based on interviews conducted by Yung et all(1996) founded that the following competencies for Senior profile role at corporate and business unit levels are (TABLE 1)

Having all three aspect (OKE ) makes professional moves up to hierarchy from individual contributor to senior level as mentioned in TABLE 1.


COMPETENCY – focusing on OKE
Selected by % of Sr. HR Exe
Business acumen
Capacity to facilitate and implement change
Influencing skills
Leadership abilities
Organization effectiveness
OD skills
Systematic thinking
Communication skills
Process management and improvement skills


For developing above mentioned competencies the existing leaders need to further focus on application of the 4S for creating new leaders.

II – 4S Model

Based on above, we observed with Leadership characteristic, many leader have begun to refer to the “what” about future leaders and how to make new leaders is based on “the 4S” i.e if you as a  Leader initiate on 4S can help in generating new leader. It is based on 4 Skills which leaders are using to develop new leaders. 4S emphasize on four different skills a leader uses to enhance persons capability and these skills are Self Skills, Social Skills and Strategic Skills, Systematic Skills.

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Conclusion: New Leadership for 21st Century?

In summary, the leaders are successful largely to the extent that they provide their Skills to young budding leaders.  Effective leadership clearly involves addressing issues at all of these levels – whether it be in regards to self, others, system or goals.

Few published works or leadership models directly address the deeper psychological processes that are the foundation of the exercise of leadership. Leadership is not simply the function of a role, of a position in a social structure, or of a particular combination of individual attributes. It is not a hat one wears, a divine gift or a product for sale. Leadership is a deeply archaic psychological dynamic that manifests itself in the context of any social system. At its core, leadership is deeply emotional and great behavior.

We frequently hear about a new kind of leadership for the twenty – first century or creating leadership pipeline. My say is – Don’t believe it. There will be no new kind of leadership or for that matter new model for but its Back to Basics approach for developing leaders – and answer is application / usage of 4S – Self skills, Social skills, Strategic skills, or Systematic skills. Although leadership today is essentially the same as leadership was a thousand years ago and will essentially the same after thousand years from now, only change will happen how are we developing new ones.

Leaders are not born. There is no gene for Leadership as there are genes for green or blue eyes and black or brown hair. Research might suggest that height correlates with high organization status, but there will always be leaders like Nepoleon who fall at the low end of the height distribution and who nevertheless manifest supreme leadership qualities in practice.

Leadership is not restricted to the top floor of the company. Leadership is universal. It is evident from infancy on. Just watch your kinds in kindergarten or on the playground. Anywhere there is a human group, there is leadership. Even you as a reader has leadership quality, only important element is has someone identified your Leadership quality by applying 4S or where you given that opportunity for leading and influencing helped in your own growth first and then organization growth. This is as true of young people first people first entering an organizational context as it is of presidents, directors and prime ministers formally heading their companies or countries.

Organization therefore has been observed, they make people work in small group to identify the true potential as required by competencies set by organization for future role. Although it is true to say that every small group needs leadership, it is probably not true that every small group needs “a leader”. So can we teach leadership? Answer is Yes only by writing articles, books and case studies about prominent leaders. To make someone leader, help him / her out to give challenging situation. Let them dirty their hands and practice and for this you don’t have to be part of executive committee. Leadership can’t be taught, it can be learned / you as a leader can make someone learn for new / higher role. Remember “Leader” will die but “Leadership never will”.

About Author 
Anubha M Walia is a prolific Human Process Facilitator & Coach carries  14+  years of rich corporate experience has worked with top of the line blue chip organizations like ICICI Bank, Moody ICL Certification  in Training & Quality verticals and now serving generation by her credentials through imparting trainings and providing consultancy under Prism Global trainings and consultancy banner. Having 9000+ hours of training experience with Junior, Middle and Senior level leaders ,h er areas of expertise includes human process intervention, Organization Development, Team building and Instructional Design.  

She stands tall with her rich and magnificent background as an honors graduate from LSR College, Delhi University, MCom and an alumnus of Narsee Monjee from where she mastered her post graduation. Recipient of Emerging HRD thinker award (consecutive for 2 yrs), Certified  Change agent on Train the Trainer, Six Sigma and Lean, has added an additional International certification of Facilitator by DDI  and Mind Gym.

She is Self-Discipline Strategist who relates profound truths coupled with humorous anecdotes empowering professionals to conquer their apprehension. With her contagious enthusiasm & captivating energy, during her training delivery, motivates audience everywhere and helps to achieve their maximum potential, makes her training program unique and special. She is actively engaged in research work on Trainings & Leadership  and her work has been acknowledged by a host of industry publications.

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