April 7, 2008

Perils of poor leadership!

“A bad boss is like a disease of the soul.” Very strong words there from Chetan Bhagat, as written in his book One Night @ a Call Center. But why not, if good leaders are effective and influential, poor leaders can render a function, a process or a whole organisation utterly useless. One of the recent Hollywood flicks Pirates of the Carribean offers good leadership lesson on this front. Remember the mercurial pirate Jack Sparrow in the movie? Jack Sparrow is a pirate whose amazing leadership skills ensured he lost his ship, his crew and all his money.

In today’s business scenario, leadership gains importance with the ongoing intense restructuring of business models and organisational structures. Organisations are delayering in order to maintain a healthy structure; the classic principle of division of labour has become obsolete with multi-tasking being the order of the day. Tasks have to be accomplished in teams and are no more based on individual abilities. And ‘team leader’ is the proverbial corporate buzzword today. It is, therefore, an imperative that employers ensure that every executive on such positions are imparted necessary leadership skills, as their role demands.

Poor corporate ethics, intra-group, conflict, ineffective coordination, unpleasant interpersonal relations are a few traits of poor leadership. In fact, bad leaders can let down employee morale to dangerous levels. Given the talent-crunch environment, such leaders may drive efficient and effective employees out of the organisation, eventually creating more crises and virtually making a part of the organisation defunct. While these are the possibilities at theoperational level, at the strategic level, poor leadership can result in the death of a company.

Getting back to the book One Night @ a Call Center, Chetan further accentuates referring to a bad boss that “if you have one for long enough, you get convinced something is wrong with you...”

Well, then! Leaders, Companies, better wake up!