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Ultimate Leadership

 A man's desire for a son is usually nothing but the wish to duplicate himself in order that such a remarkable pattern may not be lost to the world.

Helen Rowland

It was a Monday morning. Everybody at Sarvesh's office was busy in one or the other ways. Some were preparing their weekly schedules while some were struggling to come out of their weekend blues. Sarvesh had just come to office carrying a dilemma in his mind from Sunday night. His dilemma was whether to take a lucrative offer that had knocked his door the previous day or not. Having been with his current organization for over two and half years, he had developed good rapport with over 80% of his colleagues. He joined the team in which he was working on first day in the company. He had a major hand in bringing about a lot of changes in his organization through various initiatives. This made people to look up to him to learn as well as expect as to what he was going to do next. He lived up to the expectations of everybody and became the favorite friend of all his team members because of his enthusiasm and level-headedness despite having a creative head on his shoulders. He proved to be an excellent team player as well as an outstanding individual contributor. This kept him very happy in his work.

The twist in his life came up as an opportunity through a co-passenger who travelled with him on his official trip from Bombay. The co-traveler with him was a member of the senior leadership team of a renowned multinational firm in the city. Impressed by Sarvesh's communication skills and profile, he readily offered him an excellent role with a very attractive package. Sarvesh had not anticipated this and so was taken aback by the offer. He had bought some time to decide on this.

Sarvesh's manager noticed some impatience in him and took him out for lunch. After a while Sarvesh openly discussed about his dilemma to him. His manager Ram looked at him thoughtfully and started talking to him.

Ram asked him one question, as to who will be doing whatever he has been doing in this company after he left. Sarvesh said that his replacement would do his work. Ram smiled and asked him how his journey has been with the organization. Sarvesh told him that it has been great. He had an opportunity to bring about lot of changes here and every day he had tasted success. Ram checked with him if all the change that he had brought here are mere individual effort or team effort. After a pause Sarvesh replied that it was his own individual efforts with everyones support which brought him the success. Then was the difficult question from Ram as to who else is aware and have been mentored by Sarvesh to continue doing whatever he has been doing. Sarvesh did not have any answer to it.

Ram said that Sarvesh has been consistently expressing the qualities of great leader in the organization. He had a vision for his team, was highly influential and was daring to put forth different ideas then the conventional ones. He was more successful in implementing what he initiated and maintaining consistency in them. What he missed to do was to create a successor for him. A leaders necessary task is to duplicate somebody else as himself so that he can grow to the next level towards his vision. All the changes that Sarvesh had brought in would die out if they are stopped being in practice on his parting from the organization. This would just make people speak about someone who was there sometime doing a great job. Developing what may be called a second line of defense, would not only ensure the continuation of the existing practices but also create new leaders. If he quits the organization without doing that it is like leaving a job half done.

This was an eye-opening message for Sarvesh. This got him out of the dilemma that was there in his mind. He thought that his lucrative offer would wait for him for six months if he definitely deserves it. He headed to office with Ram discussing about whom he can choose for his new leadership team.


Janani Prakaash | Senior Executive - Human Resources | AppLabs
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