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June 2004
July 2004



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Two snobs make a leader.

"Will you be able to lead when required, and have the self-control to yield when you shud?"

I came across this line while reading a Wall Street Journal piece.

How wud you relate this to the people u see everyday? Let me take the example of a manager, the fictional manager Tom of my technical articles, how wud he behave given a technical management problem? "The problem is..., we have two options Tom, either X or Y, with X, these are the issues, with Y these are the issues". Tom- "What? with Y, u will be compromising client's user experience? no way, clients are kings, do X, just get it done"

[There shud be a rule against using cliches to rationalize arguments: 'If we have to do it, we have to do it right, so let's do A', 'this is our company, so we have to B']

Now let us see how the ideal manager wud handle this. "The problem is..., we have two options Steve, either X or Y..." Steve-"hmm, among the issues, U,V,W are not relevant, we can do without Z, so we are left with a compromise between client user experience and implementation difficulty. What implementation options have u evaluated?" blah blah "those are good options, but see, this problem can be easily solved if instead of doing it this way, we do it the other way, of course there will be some change in client's user experience, but as long as we don't do P, it is OK"

What makes him a leader? He is willing to take the lead in guiding the discussion and identifying the issues. At the same time he listens to the subordinate and is willing to yield to his suggestion. If he did just the first part, he wud be called a snob. If he did just the second part, he wud be called a snob. Two snobs make a leader.

We come across friends who say "I'm always the leader in my marital relationship"
Does he show initiative?
Is he the problem solver?
Does he yield to the other person?
If the answer is no to any of these questions, it is clear what your friend really is:
half of a leader- a snob!

A: work on weekends to get it done.
B: fire you.
P: give the user an electric shock when they hit next.

Profundities ::

At July 2, 2004 at 1:07 PM, Blogger Umesh said...

Good one Nevil. Makes one think why we always think abt the "ideal" world when the actual world is nowhere near ideal. But with your explanation, do you think there is any one "genuine" leader. By genuine, I mean someone who fits your description fully. I would like to meet that person.

At July 2, 2004 at 1:26 PM, Blogger mr said...

In my opinion, there is a surprisingly large number of leaders among us, but we never recognize them! say there are two guys who want to go to a movie, one guy(dude1) says X and dude2 says how about Y. if dude1 yields to dude2, would we associate the quality we deem as leadership with dude1 or dude2? The point I am making is that we automatically associate a dominant character with leadership.

X: Gigli
Y: The Real Cancun

At July 4, 2004 at 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody wants to be a leader. How can one become a leader, if there are no followers? A leader can be good as long as h/she are surrounded by able followers. So both are needed for successful implementation of any scenario/situation/project.


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