"Responsibilities of a leader"
- The commitment to reach the top and to stay at top


Niraj Chaturvedi
Academic Associate
IIM Ahmedabad

Some words will never loose their fame over the centuries and will always be counted over the finger- tips, like as-

Start, Race/Competition, Win/Victory, Top, Crown, Loose/Defeat, Bottom, End.

Of the above, those in the bold format will always be strived for; and those in the italics will be discarded. And the reason to be stated, is the simplest line made by any individual soul

"God has provided me the equal amount of flesh, blood and brain than anyone else, then why I shall not try for the best of life!"

So, there will be always a sense and urge of competition between the individuals, between the communities and between every single moving thing in the world whether it's the economies or any part thereof.

The thing of concern is not the matter that why we have such an urge; but the thing to be looked at is that what makes a victory to be realized? And, what is required to have always a win-win situation?

Writers or better regarded as thinkers have given some great formulae over the time to be a winner and to remain at the top level. The best possible mixture stated is- "Honest work done systematically by the optimum use of resources within the exact time frame". In the terminology given by the great management scholars- it is the best possible combination of 5 M's or the different P's. Yet there is much more remains to be stated and it's a matter of extensive research which will be a never ending process.

Meanwhile, what I have gone through is, to achieve success or the top level in any particular field, the first thing required is the establishment of a benchmark. That is a point where one has to reach. For example- if a steel producing unit in India wants to be the best in India, then its quite natural that the benchmark will be TATA STEEL;  and if any business school wants be at the top position then the benchmark will be obviously IIM-A. Now, the simplest path to be followed will be studying the success story of the said benchmark and pointing out the shortcomings to reach the position above the benchmark. This thing will carry a lot of responsibility over the shoulders of the person who wants to be at the highest position. Accordingly, he will have to nurture/pay the best to each thing he is getting help from.

This state of responsibility expressed in many a terms as-

- responsibility towards the commitment made to own sole,

- responsibility towards the contribution of each and every guiding force,

- responsibility towards the contributions made by different resources, and

- responsibility towards the commitment to be at the top,

This is the real thing that helps one, i.e., either an individual or an enterprise; to become a king. And the responsibility increases more and more, as and when, one reaches the standard position. The reason to this, is the fact that now at the top level or the highest level, it is expected from the achiever to set standards for others. That is, when you are at the highest level, you have to always look for bringing something new so that your growth will always be in continuity and other will follow your efforts. If in any case, you realize the thing that now I am the "authority" and rests are obliged to follow me, it will be the moment you will loose your crown. As to the reason that, now you have developed the sense of 'ego' rather than having the sense of 'responsibility'.  And it's the fact that a person having ego, always looks towards others shortcomings and forgets about his own.  Henceforth, what is required always from a leader is the sense of responsibilities to perform something better than the best because you have to fulfill the desire of not only yourself but also of the dependents and followers to you.

On the contrary, what is seen, especially in Indian context, is the thing that once an organization reaches the top level; it develops a sense of self-pride at the first level. Every single contributory feels that I am the monarch and will move the things as per my desire and there is no real threat to my position. This statement made by me is not an illusion, in-fact I visited many a places known to be number one in their field. And what I have found there is that people are living in a dilemma and they have become almost senseless to tiny things of life; they are always explaining their self-pride in-front of others and many times have such a huge effect over the counterpart that people hesitate to come in front of these 'big' guys. They are singing always their songs of glories and over-passing the things to be looked at. Also, one more interesting note that I have gone through is that the top Indian institutions/corporations/organizations are looking towards international ground more than the national ground. This thing is to be seriously looked at and for them who think that their concern is greatest of all; I have some questions-

- Do your people including yourself touch the feet of the entrance gate of the organization before entering the campus, i.e., they worship their workplace as temple,

- Is anybody doesn't curse his/her boss in the organization either by expressions or emotions,

- Can you, with authority, call your organization, a single family and direct your employees as your blood-relationships, etc.

If there remains any doubt to answer these questions, then it will be better to work over those areas rather than beating the drum.

N.B.: This writing is meant for developing all who are lagging behind somewhere and not for the purpose of defeating anybodies feelings.

Niraj Chaturvedi
Academic Associate
IIM Ahmedabad

Source: E-mail April 6, 2006


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