Article: The 4-H Leadership Model


The 4-H Leadership Model

Leaders, who cease to grow, cease to inspire others. Fostering leadership skills, time and again, is essential for an organization's growth. Read on to know more about 4-H model of leadership and how it can be cultivated in an organization.
The 4-H Leadership Model

One of the critical talent problems faced by our industry is ‘Developing Leaders’. Identifying and addressing this problem is one aspect and further acting on developing leadership attributes is another. 

The attempt should be to identify a leadership model which is suitable for India. The 4-H leadership model by Manfred Kets de Vries talks about 4Hs which leaders should cultivate in order to grow and prosper. 

The 4-H Leadership Model 

 The 4-H Leadership Model


1. Listening:  It is all about listening with understanding.  Leaders need to question themselves- Do they listen to understand other person’s perspective or frame of mind? Or do they listen to respond? The answer will give you first leadership trait under humility. It forms an important trait in a humble person.

2. Respect for Diversity: Respect for diversity in the organization falls under category humility. A leader should be humble enough to respect diversity in the organization. 


1. Empathy: Good leaders are humane and they have a sense of empathy towards others in the organization. 

2. Compassion:  Leaders need to act with compassion and extend helping hand to those who need it 


Assertiveness:  Leaders are always hopeful about their future outcomes. They are assertive in taking decisions  and believe they will convert into right kind of results. 


1. Leaders laugh at themselves: People with best sense of humor laugh at themselves, not taking themselves too seriously. We often tend to take ourselves too seriously. Leaders should have the capability to laugh at themselves . 

2. Creating an environment of liveliness: Good leaders create a lively and  positive environment for themselves and everybody around. 

How to convert this model into action?

Human behavioral change is essential when we are trying to build leaders. It does not happen over a period of time. To bring in the change in leaders; it takes a considerable length of time – maybe – one year , two years or even three years . It can be done by creating powerful movements that are impactful. 

Tools and techniques to develop 4-H leaders 

 techniques for developing 4-H leaders

1. Appreciation: Leaders need to learn to appreciate people in an organization. It is very important. Appreciation as a psychometric tool is to be learned and applied.

2. Paradoxical intervention: Under this, the effort is to ask a leader to undertake a difficult task, which he /she is afraid of. Identifying and then working on it. 

3. Group Dynamics: It is the teamwork only which makes the organization successful. The roles and status of each person in a group determines  its dynamics. The performance of a group depends upon a lot of things which are ingrained subconsciously in our mind.  

4. Competing commitment - Competing commitment means when we want to do something but there is one different commitment that pulls us back.  The challenge is to unearth these competing commitments in leaders and address them.  

5. Intervention –  Modeling , shaping  and re-enforcing - these interventions are required to build leaders for our corporates 

6. Reflection –  A competent leader will always reflect upon his actions 

7. Coaching and counseling - Leaders themselves require coaching and counseling on leadership. 

Whether it is developing skill in an organization or transforming organization or society as a whole, it is a leader that can bring such transformations. Therefore, developing good leaders is of utmost priority in present times. 

This story has been built from the session delivered by PV Ramana Murthy , Senior Vice President & Global Head , Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces,  at 35th national conference and exhibition, NATCON 2016 based on the Theme ‘Powering ahead – Strengthening Bonds of Business by focusing HR’ organized and hosted by NIPM at Navi Mumbai on 23rd & 24th September. 

Source : 4-H Leadership model by Manfred Kets de Vries

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Topics: Leadership

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