Good morning! Today, I shall begin by talking to you all about this exemplary speech given by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at Wharton India Economic Forum, Philadelphia. In his speech Dr Kalam spoke about his tenure as the project head of SLV- 3, starting in the year 1973. He said that his team and he worked hard for six years, before they decided to launch the satellite; however, the launch failed.
The media was waiting in full galore (in a large number) and expected Dr Kalam to talk of the results. He (Dr Kalam) said in his speech (at Philadelphia) — that instead of allowing him to face the media, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, Prof Satish Dhawan took it upon himself to talk to the media and took the responsibility of the failure. But, a year later, when the team successfully launched the satellite Prof Dhawan called Dr Kalam aside and asked him to address the media.
Dr Kalam, in his speech at Philadelphia said, “I learnt a very important lesson that day. When failure occurred, the leader of the organisation owned that failure. When success came, he gave it to his team. The best management lesson I have learned did not come to me from reading a book; it came from that experience.” Prof Dhawan that day must’ve won Dr Kalam’s heart and his respect — for no matter how successful you are, timely appreciation from a senior can take you to different levels. And, a true leader knows this secret…
Concise Oxford English Dictionary, (© 2008 Oxford University Press) gives some seven different meanings of the word ‘Leader’:
1 The person who leads or commands a group, organisation, or country.
(Also Leader of the House) Brit. a member of the government officially responsible for initiating business in Parliament 2 The principal player in a music group 3 Brit – a leading article in a newspaper 4 A short strip of non-functioning material at each end of a reel of film or recording tape for connection to the spool
5 A length of filament attached to the end of a fishing line to carry the hook or fly
6 A shoot of a plant at the apex of a stem or main branch
7 (leaders) Printing a series of dots or dashes across the page to guide the eye, especially in tabulated material
Each one of us needs to learn how to lead. Leadership is not something that is needed solely at workplace. We are interacting with others all the time, be it at home, with friends and relatives, neighbours and children— wherever we may be, we’re constantly interacting and thus it becomes imperative for all of us to know ‘how to lead and not bully’.
Some books on Leadership that you could read:
– Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value by Bill George
– Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls by Noel M. Tichy and Warren G. Bennis
– Leading Change by John P Kotter
– The Leadership Moment by Michael Useem
– A Leader’s Legacy by Kouzes & Posner
Bye for now!
Have a happy day ahead…

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