November 15th, 2013
The Importance of Leadership
The reason various big organizations have reached a level they’re proud of, and the others look up to, is their determination to the achievement of their goals led by a serious character that stood as their leader at the time they needed one. In the CFO Conference 2014, I came to know a bit about people who have actually witnessed a turnaround of their organization from the front seat. People, who might have been regarded as “MAD” in their move to an organization that was at the time in turmoil, would never have thought to bring in a change that is now widely recognized and acknowledged.
The word ‘leader’ is believed to have come from the 14th century middle English word ‘leder’,meaning a quality of character, and the suffix ‘ship’ is also derived from middle English that means ‘to shape’. Thus the word “leadership” literally means ‘to shape character’.
So, isn’t it about ‘character shaping’ of the companies? It is in the interest of the company to hire and develop a person who would be able to shape its character in such a way that it achieves its maximum objectives and who sets the tone of the organization.
The question is, why is leadership so important, obviously because organizations are run by people and people need leaders. A Leader lifts hope, brings relentless efforts, he motivates, encourages and above all causes unity. It is surprising to see how a person can become one focal point for all others in an organization. Nevertheless it’s not just the efforts of a single person, it is astonishing how we associate success with leaders; Microsoft with Bill Gates, Apple with Steve Jobs and Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg. The fact is that with a great leader, people can achieve almost everything, no matter how hard it is. Among several characteristics of a leader, the most important is he signifies what he desires of others. He sets the standards which the people confirm with. It was Jobs vision to get computer in the hands of everyday people, and many say that while Jobs was out of Apple, the company had lost its sense of direction and pioneering spirit. Apple was once in such a bad shape that it had to take a lifeline from Microsoft in order to avoid bankruptcy in the form of investment of USD 150 million. After nearly 10 years when the visionary founder returned to rescue, the result was one of the most amazing turnarounds of the 20th century. What could have been a nightmare for some ended up as blessing in disguise.
Likewise every success has a story as well as a Hero. The need of every business today is to develop Business Leader who will stand tall with his team in this drastically changing business environment. The more such Leaders the more blooming businesses will be, considering there will always be those extremely hardworking employees who will always follow.
(Note: This Article was first published in “The Pakistan Accountant” in Jan – Mar 2014 issue)