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Posted on August 3, 2010 in Specials

By Sharanarthy Jaswanth:

When I asked a question “what is leadership?” to a class of 38, I got 3 answers, which were totally different from each other. Then I should not be surprised of what Mr. Warren Bennis, leadership expert said, he is aware of at least 860 definitions of leadership. So leadership is all about the perception that each one has. According to me, leadership is all about POSITIVE ACTION THROUGH POSITIVE ATTITUDE. Now it does not take a genius to recognize what leadership crisis is about. It is a collapse of positive action OR positive attitude. Is India in a leadership crisis? I would be criticized when some one hears this question. As everyone is aware that India is rapidly developing to become the 2nd largest economy sooner than later. But my answer will be a strong YES. Strange? Do read on to understand where India is headed.

Government, Sports, Spiritual Institutions, Educational Institutions, Corporate firms…name any in India…all shaken with scandals. The monetary situation in our country is so weak that the fiscal deficit is pegging at 6% summing up to 3.5 lakh cr of deficit (Rediff business, March 02 2010). The food inflation which directly affects common people like you and me is at 12.92 (data released on July 1 2010). The recent hike in the fuel prices will only add to the soaring inflation rate. If a leader wants a separate state then start a hunger strike, act of democracy. Although huge amount is spent on education, the literacy levels of our country look dismal. The Bhopal tragedy hearing left all Indians thwarted; proving India to be No Action Talk Only country, NATO country. The above substantiations are just examples from recent past which clearly shows the LEADERSHIP CRISIS in India.

This article has 3 different stories explaining how the government, sports and business is need of leaders of Governance, Ethics, innovation. This will lead the country in transforming itself from where it is now.

Leadership in Ethics:

Sports In 2010, IPL became the only sporting event to be screened on You Tube. Its brand value was estimated to be 18,000 cr the same year. According to global sports salaries review, IPL is the second highest-paid league, based on first-team salaries on a pro rata basis, second only to the NBA. It is estimated that the average salary of an IPL player over a year would be £2.5 million. The same brand which made every Indian proud, can also make us feel ashamed one fine day. IPL became a cocktail of sports, politics, glamour, money, business. Now BCCI & IPL famous brands of India are in need of complete refurbishment, leaving a strong trail of unethical leadership. Is India in search of ETHICAL LEADERS?

Leadership in Governance:

FDI handling While the economy shifts from west to east, there are a number of companies who are wishing to set up their business in India presuming strong growth in future. The question is how ready is the Indian government to handle large monetary inflows. For instance 5 yrs before POSCO steel major Korean steel player signed a deal with the centre to set up a steel plant of capacity of 12 mtpa with a monetary inflow of 50,000 cr making it the largest FDI in India so far. The technology they wish to bring is very apt to our country, which utilizes Iron ore fines rather than lump & it is a CDM which attracts carbon credits. Moreover the project will create 50,000 direct & indirect employments with large share in indirect employment. Even after 5 complete years there is no progress in the project, as they are yet to break ground. They are still in the process of acquiring the land for the project. So this clearly shows the dismal state of our policy of handling FDI. Is India in search of LEADERS IN GOVERNANCE?

Leadership in Business:

Innovation The International Innovative Index is a global index, measuring the level of innovation of a country. India ranks 56th position out of 130 countries (Livemint March 04, 2010). This is because India spends less than 1% of its GDP on research & development. So is the case with business houses, their spending on research & development is very low when compared with their international counterparts. This also clearly pitches that how the corporate world has failed in engaging the employee with the business as people are the source of innovation. In India we can easily count the firms which are innovative, e.g. 3M India, for their product like Scotch Brite. TATA motors for their products like Ace, Nano. Are businesses in India need of LEADERS IN INNOVATION?

Yes, India is in need of leaders who can transform. Needless to say India is growing rapidly but the basic question is how sustainable is the development? To have a sustainable development we need to have good leaders who envision a better tomorrow in all terms of the nation. Needless to say if such a leadership crisis pertains throughout our development, India is sure to have its own Lehman brothers in the near future.

Sharanarthy Jaswanth is a student of the Business Leadership Program from School of Inspired Leadership at