A leader has to lead with his head and heart put together
(Interview with Shiv Khera)
Interview by - Pradip
ICMR (IBS Center for Management Research).
Shiv Khera Shiv Khera is the Founder of Qualified Learning
Systems Inc. An educator, business consultant, a much soughtafter speaker
and a successful entrepreneur, Khera has many feathers on his cap. He works
to inspire and inform people, helping them realize their true potential. He
has taken his dynamic personal message around the world. Khera has been
recognized as a "Louis Marchesi Fellow" by the Round Table Foundation. His
numerous interviews have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and various
radio and television shows internationally. He has authored three
bestsellers, You Can Win, which sold over a million copies worldwide,
Living With Honor and Freedom Is Not Free.
What according to you is the difference between a
leader and a manager?
A leader knows why something is done, whereas a manger knows how it is done. All
through history, you will find people who know how something is done, and always
work for those who know why it is done. A leader has a vision and a plan, a
manager implements the plan. A leader establishes core values whereas a manager
establishes core competencies.
What role does a leader play in an organization's long-term stability?
A leader defines the values, vision, and mission of an organization, which lays
the foundation for its growth.
A great leader leads from within. A great leader achieves greatness on a daily
basis: He inspires and informs. A great leader establishes:
1. A purpose, and
2. Creates a strategy that includes taking risk and follow-up plans.
A great leader's vision and strategy includes all
stakeholders. A great leader has two things clearly defined:
1. They know where they are going, and
2. They have the ability to persuade others to go along.
A great leader leaves a legacy by:
1. Creating a succession plan, and
2. Inculcating a desire in others to carryon. In other words, there is
passion with purpose.
A leader through his core team creates a strategic plan,
thereafter, he monitors its implementation.
Does one need to be a born leader or can he/she be groomed over a period
Each one is born with some leadership qualities. However, 90% of it is acquired.
And one needs to strive to achieve those qualities. Grooming comes where there
is willingness, desire, and a "can-do" attitude. If there is consistent endeavor
armed with honesty, sincerity, and above all, integrity, then there is a good
leader in the making.
What difference can a leader make to an organization, in which others
A leader is a pillar of an organization. The leader makes the foundation, but if
the foundation is weak, the people get disoriented, and the structure goes
haywire. A leader is an institution by himself and sets the tone for an
organization. Culture always goes topdown in any family, organization or a
country, and never bottom-up.
A leader must walk his talk; it is philosophy put into action that gives
direction and destination. A leader is an agent of change who makes a
difference. A leader without power is no leader; but the big question is from
where does a leader get power? He gets power from three Ps of power:
1. Position Power: Some people get power from position and title, but if
you take away the title, the power goes away. Position and titles give
authority, and authority gives power; but, only good behavior gives respect.
2. Personality Power: There are charismatic personalities like film
stars. Personality opens the door; character keeps it open.
3. Principle Power: Power that is based on character which is lasting.
Some of the greatest leaders of the world were short, tall, fat or bald, but
they had one thing common that was character. If you look at life of Lincoln,
Martin Luther King and Gandhi, they all had character.
A leader also needs to take three kinds of decision, which is called three Cs of
1. Decision of Command: There is nobody to help, and a leader has to take
the decisions alone. This is where conviction plays a very important role. There
is a big difference between preferences and convictions in life. Preferences are
negotiable, convictions are not. Under pressure, preferences become weak and
convictions always become stronger.
2. Decision of Consultation: A leader creates his team, consults them,
and then decides.
3. Decision of Consensus: History reflects, great leaders have not always
had consensus, but they create consensus. That is where the power of conviction
and communication playa role.
Why are there only few women leaders? Is there something, which men have
and they don't? Do you see this ratio changing in the future?
The reason why you see more men than women among leaders is not because of the
difference in ability, but in my opinion, there may be biological reasons
because women bear children and men don't. Hence, there may be biological
requirements which can only be met by a mother.
Though times are changing drastically, it is not uncommon to see women delaying
marriages. Bearing children late in life, and having small families is a norm
nowadays. Quite often women prioritize career over family.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with our readers?
My research shows:
1. There is no old or new paradigm of leadership.
2. There is no such thing known as neutral leader; good leaders guide, bad
leaders misguide. Bad leaders look for followers, good leaders look for more
leaders because bad leaders feel insecure, whereas good leaders have an anchor
which gives them poise and confidence with humility.
To sum it up, a leader has to lead with his head and his heart put together.
2005, ICMR (IBS Center for Management Research). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
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