Article: AAPs infighting and its impact on organisational motivation


AAPs infighting and its impact on organisational motivation

Change in Kejriwal's leadership stance, has hurled AAP in a state of conflict and cynicism while the common man suffers
AAPs infighting and its impact on organisational motivation

Nearly 40% of CEOs fail within the first 18 months


Clash of leadership styles typically impact organisational health and climate


Last week, a new drama unfolded in the Delhi political arena. The development questions the very foundations of the ruling party. After having secured a historic win and an almost uncontested majority in the state elections, the people of Delhi were just getting ready to watch how the new Government’s plans and initiatives unfold. What followed, however, was a series of events that hurled everyone into a state of disbelief. It started with two of AAP’s senior leaders, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, stating that Arvind Kejriwal should step down as National Convenor of the party in view of his responsibilities as CM of Delhi. Kejriwal, however, had other plans. Not only did he reject the proposal, Yadav and Bhushan are almost at the point of getting ousted from the party.

Another surreal crisis started brewing in the middle of this leadership infighting. A voice recording revealing Kejriwal’s intent for horse trading surfaced. In the recording he is categorically heard speaking in favour of an ideology that shakes the foundations of the AAP’s vision of clean politics. He is heard speaking to his colleagues persuading them to convince some Congress MLAs to defect out of the party and contest as independents. These developments have left the Delhi voter, and to a great extent the broader electorate of the country, with a bad taste in the mouth. The people feel cheated, and all their motivation for working towards a cause seem to have fallen flat on the face. How can the AAP leadership rebuild trust and motivation among citizens to take their cause forward?

This is similar in situations when the leadership of an organisation fails to live up to the standards that employees expect. Here is a scary statistic. According to a Centre for Creative Leadership study, nearly 40 percent of new chief executives fail outright within the first 18 months on the job. What Kejriwal and the AAP leadership demonstrate are the typical traits of an organisation where processes and leadership support have not matured. Unfortunately, in this case, the repercussions of fallout will be felt not just within AAP, but every stakeholder involved with the party- the Delhi citizens, the opposition, and the Indian taxpayer. And this time, the penalty will be hard.

McKinsey’s organisational health index (OHI) places ‘Leadership’ at the centre of the scheme of things that impact organisational climate and health. Organisations may have the ‘patriarchal’ leadership style, the ‘community’ leadership style, or ‘command and control’ style. Oftentimes, conflicts at the leadership level emerge due to a clash of styles. Also, some leaders may choose to alter their style because they feel that adaptation is necessary.

In the case of AAP, other party leaders entered the political arena with the expectation of the ‘community leadership’ style, but Kejriwal changed his stance to ‘command and control.’ The motivations for the ‘command and control’ style are radically different. ‘Command and control’ leadership survives on the strength of a leader who creates an unprecedented visionary idea. While Steve Jobs could have been effective in this style, Kejriwal is positioned to be unsuccessful. Steve Jobs started with the unprecedented vision of creating a computer that was smarter, lighter, and like never before. What Kejriwal started with was the premise of clean politics, cleaning up black money, and true democratisation of administration. These were exactly the words used by the erstwhile PM, VP Singh during his short tenure back in the early 90’s. Moreover, popular media had made these objectives commonplace and Kejriwal’s promise was more aligned towards execution against these expectations, not the vision.

The ‘community leadership’ style is more hands off, operates under a small corporate centre, delegates authority, and avoids personality cults. Essentially, the motivations in this style are radically different from the other leadership styles.

While the coming weeks promise to unfold more drama, AAP and Kejriwal should realise that leadership is a game dependant as much on persona and perception as much as it is about values, principles, and vision. It will be a slow and painful process to rebuild the leadership’s reputation, but the solution has to start with the realisation of the problem.

Read full story

Topics: Leadership, #Current, #Corporate

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?