It’s a War!!! to survive.. to sustain.. to gain the market share.. to build customer loyalty; in this highly competitive global business environment.
It has been often discussed, who exhibits true Leadership in a war; the General who fights shoulder to shoulder with his soldiers? Or the king; who builds alliances, formulates strategies and then sits on the high raise platform to savor this sweet victory? Is it the action execution that wins over strategy or vice-versa or; is it the blend of both? Taking the great Trojan War as a case in point … who was the true leader there? The Greek God Zeus, who architected an entire war to defy a prophesy; or was it the charismatic mighty Achilles who lead his people, his warriors through this great battle?
With globalization, business environment becomes equivalent to a battlefield; where your employees are your soldiers; who fight with the known and the unknown competition to win the market territory for success— be it the battlefield or business. Leadership plays a key role; what is it that makes a leader a true leader hands-on action? Or strategy? Or motivation? Or alliances? Or is it just the designation?
Like war, business can never be alone, multiple factors play a crucial role—ideas, investments, macro, micro factors etc. but one of the key ingredients will always be PEOPLE... Whether they are leading or following. Researchers’ have spent years in understanding and analyzing people trying to establish the factors that lead to hero worship, and understanding what makes us accept someone’s leadership and reject someone. Even in the Trojon war; who did people follow or fought for … Zeus their God ; out of the fear or for the mighty Achilles; whom they believed; who lead them… inspired them… fought along with them and evolved his tactics as they fought… It’s the Leaders haka that makes a soldier’s blood boil.
In this ever competitive global market, consumers have a mind of their own. They just don’t associate a company with brand ambassador but all the organizational leadership — they collect data, acquire information and make an informed decision; it’s not a seller’s market anymore; making business much more complex than ever. Cost of delayed success is very high for a leader. For the same success, strategies are designed and numbers are crunched with various permutations & combinations in the board rooms over intense discussion. But it is out there, in the market where we get acquainted with hard and true realities of competition, which we try to bring back to these discussions but most often than not these facts get challenged by individual perceptions, beliefs and hard data is overlooked. With a single strategic move, the entire game of chess can be revised, with a single loss of a key life on battle field, entire army gets exposed to the enemy; likewise; market realities can make best of the theories, business models, complex structures and strategies absolutely futile and fall flat on face which once on paper appeared foolproof.
Perception and expectation from leadership are fast changing; what is acceptable today will be redundant tomorrow. Talent today demands a holistic approach towards leadership and just not target or result oriented approach. With information available in plenty, the new age employee looks up to inter-disciplinary clarity, balance of emotional intelligence and business intelligence, the larger than life thought process supplemented by ability to absorb facts.
So the question to ponder over is, what holds more — how many wars a Leader has won; or how many people are ready to fight with him and fight along with him?