What is leadership? Who can become a leader? Is a leader born or made?
There are many books, which try to give you all kind of answers on above question.
First of all you are the leader of yourself, if you cannot lead your self properly how can you expect somebody will follow you, and every body know if there is no follower, there is no leader.
As Confucius stated self-governed is the most difficult part. Means first start with yourself, make yourself a good example (it is very true in the Asia Culture, a leader should gives good example), then your family, extended to your working place and if you have the chance and luck you start to influence the society then country and finally a global leader.
A leader can be a good and a bad leader, Hitler is a bad leader, and all Saint are good leaders. Good leaders lead to happiness, make life better, bad leaders lead to perish and poverty. In the business world you can see a lot of case, just because of a wrong leader, it causes the long lasting company disappear in a short period (remember the Bearing Plc ?).
** I don’t usually criticize a good or bad leader, instead I prefer to use as a bad or good example. When bad or good apply to other leaders it may come up with different result, understand Chinese 天時地利人和 ?. Lucky and fortune play about 30% role in our life as well as careers whereas 70% depends largely on our cultivation and hard work..
I read 三國演義 several time (and still like to read), there it shows vividly the play of 天時地利人和, you can compare with Michael Porter fiver forces. Why lucky and fortune, I still consider as the fruit of a hard work during the process (every 3 years a small process, the cycle of learn-do-delegate), I think I might write an article on this issue on the next Food For Thought (you idea might help).
If we talk about leadership by country, that is absolutely unfair to those leaders. As I mentioned天時地利人和, easy example with Indonesia now, Suharto was not a bad leader, likewise Wahid’s problems are on the country itself. Presently it is bad time in Indonesia, when the circle turns one day to better phenomenon and coincidently the country is still under Wahid, needless to say all will be proud of Wahid.
That old man Suharto has already missed his point, he should step down during the 80’s closed his book but still manage from behind like LKY in Singapore and Deng Xio Ping in China, but power tends to abuse/corrupt, his environment did not allow him to step down (sons, daughther, even grandchildren), once his wife passed away, the whole family is out of balance (see, how important is a wife, I always believe the world is managed by the women, using the so called Macho man power)
Another instance lets say the USA, great in economy, stability in monetary, low unemployment rate, remarkable foreign affairs, almost plenty aspects in the US were showing great as the Clinton acted as the president, people loved Clinton despite of his love affair was exposed. People enjoyed their prosperous country rather than paying the attention to his love affair or blaming him, perhaps more on the side to forgive Clinton as he was running great the country. What I want to explain here whether or not leadership is good, the fortune and luck of that leader plays part of it. I believe 個人的運氣, 我不是講算命, 運氣可創造但不是 100%, 有 30% 左右是命注定的.
I believe 命運 is during we are born, when, where, by whom (again back to 天時地利人和) this is what in Budha saying the 因果, that is why you were born as Fali and I was born as KKC, then the rest is 後天的修身養性, so whether is 30% lucky/fate is still debatable, e.g. look at Prince Charles, he was born to be the future king of UK, (先天好), but he choosed his future with the affair out side his official wife Diana (may be he is more happy with Camelia), and could be possible ruin his future prospect to the King (anyhow who wants to be king in this modern society now?).
我們可以說 Clinton 的命運比許多總統傑出, 在他任內遍又遇上美國經濟的好景, 這就是天時地利人和造就了傑出的總統。Suharto 的後半段及現任的 Wahid 運氣可差了, 印尼經濟政治是否可快速修復我想無法靠 Wahid alone 來創造, except he needs a very strong team , 還得依靠整個世界大環境的帶動. Therefore the wealthy or the poverty of a country is not considered the leather or the president of that country is good or bad – my own perspective.
原因是Suharto screwed up the country for the last 10 – 15 years. I think you also read 孫子, I can’t write the statement in Chinese, but more or less he stated: Thee are internal factors and external factors, you can control your internal factor, you can predict the external factor, you cannot control the external factors BUT as a good general YOU have the choice to decide when and where you want to engage in the battle. I like this statement therefore Life is about Choice, you choose to study in Taiwan, went to Jakarta, settle down in Taichung, may be retire in Canada, I choose to study at Trisakti, got my dream of Engineer, to be trained in Swiss, settle down in Jakarta, may be expatriated to China/Singapore/Vietnam, retired in New Zealand where sheep over people….
What characters should a leader have?
** Agree with what you listed below. See part of the leadership style ……
Fortune and SWA had ever done a survey and it shows that the criteria change from time to time depends on the particular situation when the survey is done.
I would say some of the character is common and a must such as:
In this modern world, time is become shorter and shorter, a leader should discipline on time management, and otherwise he/she will not be able to catch up what happening around him/her.
- Energetic and Enthusiastic
A leader should have energy to “Zapp” his/her subordinate to perform the best. I have a book called “Zapp” which is an easy to read but explain in a simple language actually what is empowerment.
It is a human nature that you will not follow a liar, especially in this modern information era, you cannot hide the true, and the only way is to be honest.
Again, manage the right perception is very important, if your subordinate perceive that you are not fair, you will ruin your team.
You cannot expect to know everything, but open mind, willingness to listen and keep on learning will keep your competence level.
The entropy of the world is higher every minutes which means the degree of chaos is higher, no body knows what will happen tomorrow and it is a fact we cannot control a lot of external factor. But as a leader you have to decide and do something, if you stand still you will end up nowhere (Even not the place where you stand now).
Every leader has his/her own style of leadership, as long as he/she can lead his people to achieve a better result hence improve their life, he/she is a good leader.
Basically leadership style can be divided into Autocracy and Democracy. Which type is the best? It depends on the situation. In the military world there is no time to be democracy, that is why in the military, they have a rigid and proven system, very clear black and white, discipline is a must, order is clear and straight forward, no time for question and answer, that is why the result will be the sole responsibility of the commander. Some military leader had proven a successful record even in the business world.
** You forgot to put another one , there is also a mix leadership style which is mix by both autocracy & democracy. See part below………..
What is my style?
I do not know, I am a fans of Empowerment which I believe it will work for PTCI, but some time I would like to a have rigid, clear system which will make thing move faster. Anyhow I keep on trying to push empowerment, and again I really do not care which style is the best as long as it will give a better result for the life of PTCI.
** You are right KKC, leadership needs to be handled like ‘play it by ear’. We can’t apply autocracy in one company or division nor democracy in another company or another division, there is no fix rule for management. Leadership is a changeable philosophy. To play leadership, factors for me to think about before implement :
– type & culture of that company
I am lucky, I have a free hand to mould the culture of the company
– which country you are (I faced two countries Taiwan & china, two different styles of people, thinking as well as the way of their behavior is not the same)
– type of staffs
You are great, those are all clever and macho population, as a lady, it is a tough job to prove your leadership to them. My experience is never try to order them, use empowerment gain, select one local which you can transfer and he/she can absorb the idea and let he/she run the show, I did it quite successfully in Thailand as I can’t speak Thai and do not know the culture, so a good trained, motivated local is a MUST.
– type of goal we need them to accomplish
Points above are not listed in priority sequence.
I think here, the ultimate goal of a business is to make money, continuously growth, return to the shareholder, customer happy, employee happy…..those are all easy to talk then to accomplish.
Thank you again for your refreshment comments.
Happy digestion on Leadership!
– Coach Cahyadi –
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