Saturday, 3 January 2015

“Are Indians Followers, not Leaders?” – Professor M.S.Rao

"A true Master is not the one with the most students, but one who creates the most Masters. A true leader is not the one with the most followers, but one who creates the most leaders." — Neale Donald Walsch

There is a debate in the Indian media whether Indians are leaders or followers. There is a narrow observation that Indians lack leadership abilities and they follow others easily. It is time to discuss and debate this topic whether Indians are leaders or followers.  

For many years, Indians were ruled by British and we followed a typical mindset to follow the orders of others rather than to frame and implore others to execute them. Additionally, Indian culture emphasizes to respect elders and parents, and we rarely question them. Although it is a cultural issue, at times, it hinders us to lead. However, I feel that a good follower is a good leader in the long run. Only when people follow others, they will be able to emulate others, learn the ropes, cultivate leadership qualities and grow as leaders. When you look at several successful leaders globally, they are all followers to their leaders first and then evolved as leaders. For instance, Plato followed Socrates, Aristotle followed Plato, and Alexander followed Aristotle. It is obvious that every great leader is a follower first. It is also observed that some of the followers overtook their leaders in terms of charisma and performance like Alexander.

Amit Chakma commented, “Leadership skills are innate to all of us, but how much we develop those skills is, in a large part, determined by the opportunities as we have to take on leadership roles, and how readily we embrace those opportunities.”   Leadership is a skill that can be honed by reading, training, experience and observation. Hence, leadership is the not monopoly of any particular country, community or region. Anyone can excel as a leader if there is passion to lead from the front.  To conclude, leadership is a quality that can be partly inherited and partly cultivated. Indians must cultivate leadership qualities by questioning others, following their role models and taking risks in their lives. Jai Hind!

“The signs of outstanding leadership appear primarily among the followers. Are the followers reaching their potential? Are they learning? Serving? Do they achieve the required results? Do they change with grace? Manage conflict?” — Max De Pree

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
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Twitter: @professormsrao  
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL:

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