Leadership Development – An Indian Dilemma?

Leadership Development is something that organizations are paying a lot of attention to in India. Let us understand why Indian leaders need to have a mindset shift to be comfortable with this role. Leadership Development is something that organizations are paying a lot of attention to in India. Let us understand why Indian leaders need to have a mindset shift to be comfortable with this role.
In the Indian context what takes precedence – Competition or Collaboration? Are we taught to trample over people in order to succeed? Is success based on where you are in the pecking order?Are we nurturing and creating just elitist management graduates or are we encouraging the development and growth of socially relevant managers who will contribute to the development of leaders?
Take the example of Siddhartha GautamaBuddha.
Siddhartha Gautama was born in 563 BCE in Lumbini, Nepal as a son of Shuddhodhana, the king of Kapilavastu. It is interesting to note that when Siddhartha was born, the astrologers had predicted that the prince would renunciate the comforts of the materialistic world and instead, opt for a path of spirituality. Upon hearing this, the King Shuddhodhana decided not to let Siddhartha out of the palace walls so that he could not experience the reality of the outside world. It was the deepest desire of the king that his son would fulfil his dream one day by becoming a King.
Siddhartha, now an intelligent young man, left the confines of his palace one day, and saw certain things that changed the entire course of his life. He first saw a very old man who could barely walk, then a sick man who was in severe pain, and lastly a corpse. Since, he had never been exposed to pain before, these sights affected him immensely. Seeing his anguish, his charioteer tried to explain him that pain and death - both were inevitable in a human life.

This episode compelled him to reevaluate his life. King Shuddhodhana seeing his son’s struggle got him married to a young and beautiful princess, Yasodhara. Even though Siddhartha was involved in his marriage, predominant in his mind were the sights he had seen. It was soon after the birth of his son Rahul, that Siddhartha mustered up the courage to follow his heart. So one day heleft the palace and his material life while his wife and son were in deep sleep.
Prince Sidhhartha’s father had been told that his son’s calling would be to walk the path of spirituality-this did not stop him from trying to shape his life. How does this all connect to the topic of this article on Leadership Development?
Independent thinking, collaboration and open communication are all very important for a leadership role. But our Indian culture does not foster these attributes in our youth. Our parents dictate our choice of careers, the spouse we get married to and competition is the ‘name of the game’. To become independent thinking leaders, it is important for us shift our mindsets and adopt ways of interacting that are the antithesis of what our foundations were built on.


By: Pramila Mathew

Author Bio:
Pramila Mathew specializes in Management Coaching and Leadership Development. With over 25 years of experience in the global workspace, she is one of the few Training Consultants with a background in business and psychology. She heads MMM Training Solutions, a soft skills training consultancy that focuses on training and development and business coaching as the catalyst of enhancing performance management.

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Article Tags: Leadership Development

Submitted On Aug 03, 2012. Viewed 546 times.

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