Monday, 7 September 2015

Free Sample Chapter ― Professor M.S.Rao’s Award-Winning Book “Smart Leadership: Lessons for Leaders” Published in Spanish Language E-Book

Dear friends,

Here is the sample chapter of my award-winning book, “Smart Leadership: Lessons for Leaders” (ISBN: 978-81-207-7415-5) published by Sterling Publishers. It was also published as a Spanish language e-book.  Fons Trompenaars wrote foreword for this book. It received endorsements from internationally renowned thinkers including Marshall Goldsmith, Frances Hesselbein, Vijay Govindarajan and Dipak C. Jain (Dean of INSEAD). Here are the links to buy this book: and I appreciate your kind review on Amazon. Also, I appreciate your comment and share with your connections. 

“If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. . . . Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize, that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards, that’s not important. . . . I’d like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King Jr tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King Jr tried to love somebody. . . . I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.”—Dr Martin Luther King

Dr Martin Luther King Jr (1929 - 1968)—The Man Who Moved the Mighty 

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was one of the most inspiring leaders, who touched the world through his courage and convictions. He was a symbol of right as against might and proved to the world that it is the right that wins at the end of the day rather than the might. It was very difficult to lead a Civil Rights movement in America in those days, when whites dominated and discriminated against blacks.  He was courageous enough to take on the mighty through the right means and methods. Although there have been a number of courageous leaders in the past, Dr King is still remembered for his amazing and exemplary leadership.

Dr King was one of the youngest leaders to achieve fame and success. At 33 he led the Civil Rights movement in America.  At 34 he delivered the famous speech I have a Dream.  At 35 he won the Nobel Peace Prize. At 39 he was assassinated. He achieved such a lot by the young age of 39, brought revolutionary changes within the American society and made a great impact globally with his principles of peace and non-violence by following the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi.

Dr King was a visionary who led from the front and used words skillfully to connect with his people. He was a transformational leader who changed the American society by bringing an end to racial segregation and discrimination. He was named the Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963 and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a global leader.  He is truly a legend who showed exemplary and amazing leadership when odds were stacked against him and, that too, through non-violent and peaceful means.  Here are the lessons we can learn from his leadership:

Leadership Lessons from Dr King

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."
  • He believed in his values and principles.  Despite facing innumerable threats to his life and being subjected to several abuses, he did not give up his Civil Rights movement. He remarked, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
  • He had excellent communication skills. He knew how to mould and articulate his vision effectively. His speech I have a Dream is one of the finest motivational speeches in the world and raises the key issues regarding equality of blacks with whites.
  • He shared whatever he had. He shared the prize money from the Nobel Prize with others for furtherance of the Civil Rights movement.
  • He said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.” His dream was fulfilled and this made a huge difference to the lives of the blacks and the oppressed.

Learning Lessons

“Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don't look back at it too long. Mistakes are life's way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.”Og Mandino

It is a fact that life is a series of lessons which have great value provided we learn from them. Do not panic during the difficult times in your life.  These situations make you tough and should draw the best out of you. Do not get dejected.  Observe and analyze closely what went wrong, learn from it, and move on.

Leaders learn from multiple sources such as from observation, teaching, training, experience, interaction, evaluation, and feedback. They also learn by studying other successful leaders. Though leadership is not something that can be learned by reading books alone, reading books will help to minimize mistakes and maximize outcomes. Smart leaders learn the techniques of leadership quickly and acquire the tools and skills to lead others effectively.

What is Smart Leadership?

Leaders like Jeff Immelt of General Electric, Michael Dell of Dell Computers, and Steve Jobs of Apple Computers have one thing in common, that is, they are all smart leaders.  For Jeff Immelt, taking over as CEO of General Electric was really a challenging task, because people had huge expectations after Jack Welch had led the company successfully for many years. Jeff managed to establish his credentials through smart leadership. Both Michael Dell and Steve Jobs faced tough competition and managed their companies successfully through smart, innovative strategies during the recession.

Smart leadership is a blend of both soft and hard skills, and soft and hard power. It effectively links both hard and smart work.  Smart leadership can be defined as the process of setting goals, influencing people, building effective teams, motivating people, and, finally, aligning their energies and efforts towards organizational goals and objectives both through soft and hard skills as well as soft and hard power.

Smart leaders possess presence of mind and are tactful in dealing with people.  They have the art of leading and managing the emotions and egos of their people. They are ready to perform the role of a manager or a leader as the situation demands. They are smart in learning lessons quickly from the mistakes of others and leveraging on the experience of others. They believe in quality performance and results.   They display entrepreneurial skills, believe in innovation and creativity, possess flexibility and adaptability, and possess many skills like communication skills, team building skills, cross cultural skills, presentation skills, empathy, and humility, to name a few.  In brief, they are smart at people skills besides having the necessary technical skills for the job.

Eric M. Jackson of Canada based Jackson Leadership Systems identified eight key attributes of smart leadership.  They are: breeding “proactive paranoia”; “we work for the shareholders” mentality; the executive team and board have the answers, not the CEO; preventing groupthink; projecting authentic leadership; facing reality; desire to learn from mistakes; and, finally, personal accountability.

Smart leaders know their strengths and weaknesses thoroughly.  They are a blend of both personal humility and professional will and are Level 5 Leaders in the language of Jim Collins.  They continuously prepare themselves to shift from one effective zone to another when they find that the effective zone has become a comfort zone. They constantly rediscover and reinvent themselves with changing times and technologies. They are far ahead of their time.  They love to live on the edge and prefer to be in the effective zone.

Smart leaders focus on people through soft leadership and on goals and objectives through hard leadership.   They have smart work plans which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and can be tracked.  They are more of democratic leaders who consult others in decision-making and take their teams into confidence about the goals.  They do not let a few people dominate the decision-making.  They are aware that leadership is not just a matter of issuing commands, but involves leading by example and getting others to do what you want. 

Smart Leadership = Soft + Hard Leadership

Smart leadership is all about making a balance between soft and hard power.   Soft power is the art of getting the outcomes you want by attracting and persuading rather than by coercing and manipulating.  In contrast, hard power depends on inducements by way of rewards, or threats of punishment.  It is more of a carrot-and-stick policy.  Soft power believes in win-win while hard power follows win-lose policy.

It is often seen that military leaders believe in hard power while civilian leaders, especially the leaders in democratic countries, believe in soft power. Hitler demonstrated the power of hard leadership and Dalai Lama symbolizes soft leadership.  What is required, in fact, is a blend of both soft and hard leadership, which is called smart leadership. 

Businesses are changing rapidly and their needs have to be addressed through smart means and methods. As we are moving from market economy to network economy, there is a need for smart leadership that focuses both on soft and hard skills and makes a balance between both soft and hard power for handling the current complexities of the corporate world.

In the subsequent chapters, we will discuss in detail, with illustrations, examples, and case studies as to how to excel as smart leaders.

Smart Leadership: Lessons for Leaders

Life is great!

Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
Vision 2030 Webinar:
Twitter: @professormsrao  
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL:

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1 comment:

  1. I read this inspiring book. I strongly recommend reading this book.