Kanan Jaswal's Blog on Leadership

Friday, April 11, 2008

Leaders don't give up

By the very nature of their job the leaders always have to be optimistic. When the going gets tough, members of the team look up to the leader to devise a way out and if he* himself shows despondency, it will spread like a contagion to the people being led and the whole venture can then just fold up very quickly. For the success of the enterprise it is, therefore, essential that the leader remains on top of the situation – good or bad – and always has a plan of action. But it does not mean that the leader has to keep flogging a dead horse and be hopeful of riding it to the destination. When even after concerted efforts an approach does not seem to be working, he is realistic enough to find merit in abandoning it and go for the plan B. Rob Linn and Rich Ottaviano, both leadership trainers of international repute, have recently said that the leader has to be “rigidly flexible”, i.e. rigid about the objective but flexible in the approach to it.

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