Lessons that we learn from history.

nepoleon                                                                       Napoleon Bonaparte
In the worst of times, keep your mind cool and composed. After 20 years of ruling France, Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by the Allied army. He was forced to abdicate on April 6. 1814. He was exiled to Mediterranean island of Elba. Before leaving, he addressed the remaining officers of France. His address given below gives us a strong lesson that whatever be the circumstance we must maintain our composure of mind. That speaks the strength of one’s character. His address is reproduced below.
“Soldiers of my Old Guard: I bid you farewell. For twenty years I have constantly accompanied you on the road to honor and glory. In these latter times, as in the days of our prosperity, you have invariably been models of courage and fidelity. With men such as you our cause could not be lost; but the war would have been interminable; it would have been civil war, and that would have entailed deeper misfortunes on France.
I have sacrificed all of my interests to those of the country.
I go, but you, my friends, will continue to serve France. Her happiness was my only thought. It will still be the object of my wishes. Do not regret my fate; if I have consented to survive, it is to serve your glory. I intend to write the history of the great achievements we have performed together. Adieu, my friends. Would I could press you all to my heart.”

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Six Styles of Leadership

Different situations demand application of different styles by the leaders. One size does not fit all. Yet the individual leader may follow broadly one particular mode. The characteristics of a person, his/her experiences and circumstances shape the conduct and behavior. However according to the situation effective leaders overcome the blemishes of their personal characteristics. Following are the 6 different styles of leaders that can be categorized.
1. Pace Setting Leader: When the team members know the job, they have the required skills; the pacesetting leader is able to get the maximum productivity from the team. But if it is continued for a long time with no respite, fatigue sets in. Further it kills innovation. The team members stop applying their mind.
2. Authoritative Leader: These leaders know how to align their team members to the common goals of the organization. These goals are defined broadly by the vision and mission of the company. In this case the means are left to the team members. Leader wants the results.
authoritative leader
3. The Affiliated Leader: They create an emotional bond among the team members and with the organization. The sense of belonging is experienced by the team. This style of leadership works best in the times of stress.
Photo of happy business partners embracing each other over workplace
4. Coaching Leader: Such leaders try to understand individual team members. They train them. They coach them to bring about the desired results. But this style is least effective when the team members are defiant.
5. The Coercive Leader: These leaders demand immediate compliance. The leader would say, “Do what I tell you”. This leadership style is most effective in the time of crisis. Realizing the situation the adaptable leader adopts coercive style to overcome the crisis.
6. Last but not the least, there is the Democratic Leader: These leaders try to build consensus. They invite individual opinions. When the leader wants that the team should take up the ownership of a decision or a plan; this style works. Fresh ideas come into play. But democratic style is not recommended in emergency situations.
democratic leader
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Change Management

“People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I do not believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they don’t find them, they make them!”
These words of George Bearnard Shaw are more relevant today than ever before. In the continuous changing society, it is imperative to rely on knowledge, process and technology – all three to keep pace with the change. Leaders must keep in mind the following aspects for effectively ensuring and properly implementing change in the organisations they lead. These are:
1. Innovation: The leader should have the the ability to innovate. This requires imagination, knowledge and perspective, and a thorough understanding of the organisation he leads.
2. Personal Involvement: It is necessary for the leader to be personally involved for the efficacy of the strategy to bring about change. He can not carry out the same by proxy.
3. The Leader should know what needs to be done in general, though not in detail. This should be true at every stage of change management.
4. The Leader must be able to deal with ambiguity and be willing to take the required risks. Not taking any risks is the biggest risk.
5. Above all, the leader must understand and correctly assess how much the organisation can change and at what speed.
Satish Kakri, Director – Nimble Foundation