January 8, 2009

Real Test of Leadership

Posted by Bizaholic | 10:43 PM | with 0 comments »

Leadership has many facets. Yet one aspect of leadership is much more important than anything else. That aspect is "the number of leaders a leader creates."

A leader who fails to create more leaders among his people is a failure, irrespective of all other virtues and accomplishments, as far as the fundamental reason for the existence of leadership is concerned. A leader exists to lead people through a shared vision to achieve committed objectives by continuously identifying, nurturing, coaching, and testing the leadership potential of his followers. In the process, the leader creates scores of high performance leaders capable of delivering results in testing and challenging environments.

In Indian context, K V Kamath, the outgoing CEO of ICICI Bank, exemplifies this better than anybody else. Think ICICI group and apart from K V Kamath a slew of names hits your mind - Chanda Kochhar, Nachiket Mor, V Vaidyanathan, Madhavi Puri Buch, Shikha Sharma, Renuka Ramnath, Sonjoy Chatterjee and others. Apart from these visible faces, there are leaders at every level of the ICICI Group because it appears that the job of a leader at ICICI group companies is not just to deliver results but to deliver results by developing leaders everywhere and empowering them.

The real test of leadership, it seems, is in creation of many more leaders. While evaluating a leader's legacy, the most important question to ask is - "how many leader have you created?"