Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Live a cadre ahead!

Often we find people around us, especially in our work place, who give less than their best. We always feel we are exceptions though we too are part of the same club. Difference may be one of degree. Still often, we shun taking responsibility that our cadre in the hierarchy demands. I often saw people in a given cadre focusing on day to day issues rather than developing a broader perspective. That sense of big picture that helps us join dots we come across to make the big picture. People occupy leadership positions, but act as managers. Thus, they lose capacity to build teams, nurture/groom future leaders, lead teams to draw that big picture.
Leadership need not mean great things. Robin Sharma, the author of Monk Who Sold his Ferrari fame, in his little black book that is offered free narrated a small experience. He goes to a chain luggage store to get his handle of his bag fixed. He gets the service and within a few days of his hard travelling, the handle gives in again. This time he approached the outlet of the store in another part of the globe.  He was apprehensive that the store attendant would ask for producing previous bill failing which they will charge for the fresh repair, etc etc. Surprisingly, the attendant appologised   for the inconvenience and accepted the bag for repair. The icing is that she declared that the repair will be free of charge.  What a relief for nor being penalised for not keeping the receipts, not being charged again, trusting the customer. Sharma says this is the leadership. Imagine the store attendant fretting and fuming on you and showing you how unimportant you are for his business, asking you to come some other time since he has to close the store in another 5 minutes, so on.

We too must have come across such leaders who must have made our life damn easy and simple. I had several experiences with such people.  Hats off to them and thanks for making my life easy. A couple of my experiences, i will write about some other time.
According to me leadership is also living up to at least one cadre above you. If you are second in command and some one approaches you to do his work, act as if you are the first in command. This trains you to fit in the next cadre easily once you reach there. Hiding behind the excuse that the concerned man is not there and shooing away your clients or those in need of your help is easy and trouble free. But, this way you can never stand out among the crowd.   Be ready to take responsibility whenever needed.  Willingly accept people and address their needs. Make them visit your office least number of times.  Your assistant taking leave should not make them make additional rounds. Make their life simple, to put it straight. Live a cadre ahead! Make a difference.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Gettysburg Address - Abraham Lincoln: The power of Brevity

Some communicate very well. One of the qualities of best communication is brevity and simplicity. We often speak  assuming total interest from the audience.  Often, the audience may just tolerate us out of courtesy and/or our superior position in hierarchy, social or official. Lincoln’s now immortal speech is an excellent example of how a good speech can be!  enjoy .. a lesson in communication.
best wishes
The speech referred to above was delivered on 19 November 1863 at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg. This was one of the best speeches in the history of America. That day the first speaker was the much famed speaker, Edward Everett, who spoke to the crowd for two hours. Abraham Lincoln followed with his now immortal Gettysburg Address. The next day, Everett wrote to Lincoln: “Permit me also to express my great admiration of the thoughts expressed by you, with such eloquent simplicity & appropriateness, at the consecration of the Cemetery. I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”
The text:
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
The original manuscript can be seen here and were preserved, the details of which can be seen from the URL quoted at the end.