General Elections are just 3 months away and the storm of emotions brewing in the minds of people is nothing short of being revolutionary. Peoples’ aspirations, values and hope ride high on any scale. They want everything and right now. GenX and millennials representing the changing value systems and quality of governance could well hold the cards and influence decision-making. They want the nation to give as much as their parents gave. They all want a comfortable life; excellent schools; and growing prosperity. They also present a new set of challenges to our leaders. Effectively, India has to choose from three options : Rahul Gandhi; Narendra Modi; and Arvind Kejriwal.
First, Rahul Gandhi : Rahul is the person, Congress assigned to pull the right wires at the right time, and be wise not to be domineering in public image. Piloting the Congress Ship is not just ‘sitting’, ‘standing’ or ‘steering’ but ‘working hard’. His actions more than reflect this truly these days, and for the good – be it his meeting with the Labor Representatives, many other sectoral groups, his experimentation of ‘primaries’ (aka US Style), seeking to consolidate views from different quarters – all in a sincere attempt to gauge what people want/need and to align it with the Goal of the Party. Galvanising people and eliminating tension seems to be his objective. Right through these exercises, he has been adopting ‘humility’ as the easiest way to ‘dignity’ projecting an image with care. He needs ‘feedback’; he needs ‘ideas’ to improve himself; he needs ‘coaching & guidance’ for self. He is clearly on the path of ‘peoples welfare’, care & commitment, service to people, and national culture. I see in him, while borrowing the industry phrase, the “TQM Leader of the Nation” holding the trump card of ‘SERVICE LEADERSHIP’. ( ‘TQM’ : Total Quality Management. )
Second, Narendra Modi : Narendra Modi took the State of Gujarat to the path of Growth & Development (Gujarat Miracle and Vibrant Gujarat reverberate everywhere now) and Championed the cause of his people known for their enterpreneurial spirit. That he began his career (work) in the Canteen of the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation is just a ‘Nanobyte’ before his ‘Zettabyte’ status of accomplishments. The crux of his success lies in Margaret Thatcher’s mantra who said : If someone comes to me and asks “What are you going to do for us, businessmen?” , I would say, “The only thing I am going to do for you is to make you freer to do things for yourselves.” Modi lived true to this. He said : “Businesses never come to you, You go after it.” Tata’s ‘Nano’ venture in Sanand in their times of travail is just an example. Business recognises only ‘Impact’; and Modi created opportunities. Opportunity is a powerful motivator and he did it in a simple and distinctive manner. Is he then in the mould of a Growth Expert/ Guru/ Unorthodox but highly effective Champion? I see in him a ‘Leader with PQR Potential’ without PQR degrees to boast of but holding the trump card of “TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP”. ( PQR : Productivity, Quality and Reliability ).
Third, Arvind Kejriwal : Kejriwal ‘speaks his mind’ without any dancing done in soft soled shoes around any issue. It occurs to me that he is not so much concerned as to how others will perceive his actions, but with no dilution of his message whether it will hurt others’ feelings or not, he says what he thinks as purposeful and assigned. Right or Wrong, Willing or Unwilling, Knowingly or Unknowingly he always ‘sticks to his stand’. Truth and Justice are fundamental to an enduring social order – seems to be his guiding philosophy. He says : Law was made for man; and not man for law – be it his naming of corruption tainted leaders; removing Binny for anti party activities; holding dharnas and protests for peoples’ cause, his intent to hold the assembly session in a large stadium (unconventional & unprecedented move) to pass the State Jan Lok Pal Bill. I am not sure if these actions will invite disdain when repeated, putting brakes on his success and momentum. We are witnessing a highly stressful moment in Politics now and he should be well aware of that. Nevertheless, he has strong convictions about the welfare of people. I see in him a ” Leader with the Identity of Common man (LIC)” holding the trump card of “LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE”.
Ultimately, when it comes to the crunch, people will do well to decide their choices by assessing the following :
1. Which of these Leaders’ actions will carry greater Positive Impact ?
2. Which leader’s ‘credibility’ will get better as the elections approach closer ?
3. Which leader will create conflict by his actions OR undo conflicts in society ?
4. Which leader will show himself to be more polite, pleasant, tolerant, and respectful ?
5. Which leader will be capable of taking clear responsibility for peoples’ welfare through his actions – OR will the leader shirk his responsibility by accusing others ?
Who will top the pack in May 2014 is the 64 thousand dollar question ?
“Dieu avec nous”
Sunday, February 2, 2014 – 4.59 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : “The best minds are not in Government; if any were, Business would hire them away” – Ronald Reagan, 40th President of America.