Friday, 1 February 2013

Real Leadership

Prakash Srinivasan

One of the most ambiguous topics which has been extensively debated is what constitutes good leadership? Is it just confined to corporate life, is it about seniority or it is inherited?
The life stories from great leaders are an easy way to understand leadership and inculcate that into our own life. I would like to share one such inspiring story.
It was one of the busy days for ISRO, India‟s premier space launch body, they were getting ready for another rocket launch and everything had been planned to the last detail. At the critical launch moment the countdown began and when the rocket was to be launched something happened and the rocket failed to take-off. The ISRO team checked everything and everything looked fine but still the rocket could not be launched. Finally, the rocket launch had to be called-off and an investigation was ordered for the failure. During the post-launch press conference, the head of ISRO then attended the conference and he had asked all his scientists that he would assume the responsibility for the debacle and hence he would attend the press conference. During the press conference, the chief said that the ISRO team would investigate and determine what caused the technical snag and they would have another successful launch.
After a few months, the ISRO team readied another launch and the rocket was launched successfully the second time. The team was elated that they had reversed their earlier loss. Once again when the press conference was being convened, but this time, the chief of the team asked his senior scientists to attend the conference without attending it himself.
The chief who is mentioned above was Vikram Sarabhai, the head of ISRO for many years.
The above anecdote clearly illustrates some of the important aspects of a leadership: A true leader owns up the failure and gives credit to his team for the success. A true leader is selfless
It is very rare to find such leaders today and blessed are those countries/organizations who are blessed with such leaders.
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