Friday, April 23, 2010

“Collective Bargaining” – Prof.M.S.Rao

"As negotiations about working conditions and terms of employment between an employer, or a group of employers, or one or more employers' organizations, on the one hand, and one or more representative workers' organization on the other with a view to reaching agreement." - I.L.O

Collective bargaining is all about the bargaining between the employers and employees to set right the problems they have. It contains issues related to wages, salaries, healthy, safety, welfare and other affairs. It differs from country to country but basically collective bargaining is the negotiation between the employers and employees about the roles and responsibility, the rights and duties, the pay and perks, healthy and safety etc.,

Perlman aptly stated, “Collective bargaining is not just a means of raising wages and improving conditions of employment. Nor is it merely democratic government in industry. It is above all technique, collective bargaining as a technique of the rise of a new class is quite different ...... from the desire to displace or abolish" the "old ruling class"... ... to gain equal rights as a class ... ... to acquire an excessive jurisdiction in that sphere where the most immediate interests, both material and spiritual, are determined, and a shared jurisdiction with the older class or classes in all other spheres.”

Collective bargaining as a concept gained momentum in late nineteenth century as employees began demanding for more rights. Collective bargaining is good for both the employees and employers where employees assert their rights through unionization and the employers get to know the pulse of the people and mould themselves to ensure peace and harmony at workplace for better productivity and performance.


The fundamental objective of collective bargaining is to improve the conditions of employees. It ensures peace and harmony between the employers and employees. It creates cordial and amicable relations thus avoiding any governmental intervention. Finally it provides industrial peace, prosperity and democracy.

Characteristics of Collective Bargaining:

• It is a flexible process where there is room for give and take. At times, it also involves ‘carrot and stick’ policy.
• It takes place between the group of employees and employers.
• Negotiations are an integral part of collective bargaining.
• It is a complementary rather than a competitive process where the right contribution of employees leads to better pay and perks from employers.
• If required, there is involvement of professional troubleshooters and negotiators to resolve the issues amicably.


“Never fear to negotiate and never negotiate out of fear.” – John F.Kennedy
Collective bargaining involves several steps such as preparing for negotiations, identifying bargaining process, negotiating, arriving at mutually beneficial agreement, approving and finally administering the agreement.

Collective bargaining is essential to protect the rights and duties of the employees to avoid any kind of exploitation. The concept of collective bargaining remains the same at the core level although it varies at the surface level from country to country. It must be made win-win for both employees and employers for ensuring organizational excellence and effectiveness.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

“Grievance Handling Procedure” – Prof.M.S.Rao

“It is not always who is right and who is wrong. But it is always what is right and what is wrong.” – Prof.M.S.Rao, Chief Consultant, MSR Leadership Consultants, India.

What is Grievance?

Grievance is all about violation of the contract, practices, rules and regulations. As human beings are different there is bound to be grievances among employees leading to conflicts at the workplace. To avert any kind of conflicts within the organization, there is need for a proper grievance procedure so that the employees feel that their grievances are addressed and redressed.

Essential Ingredients for Grievance Procedure:

The grievance process must be clear and simple. It must be well-defined. It must conform to the current legislation without any prejudice. There should not be any delay in the grievance process as it might result into crisis. Regular training must be provided to the supervisors and seniors who involve in this process so that they can handle effectively. Finally, there has to be follow-up to check the status of the grievance and for improving the systems better from time to time.

Steps in Grievance Handling Procedure:

Identify the grievance and acknowledge the same. Listen carefully to the complainant. Define the grievance clearly. Gather the complete information with facts and figures. Analyze and search for multiple solutions to the grievance and finally select the best feasible and possible solution and implement the same. Ensure that there is follow-up at each stage for successful grievance procedure.

Prescriptions During Grievance Procedure:

• If you are not the appropriate person, refer to the right person.
• Spend adequate time with the complainant.
• Be cool and composed during the process.
• Check for facts and figure rather than hearsay.
• Practice attentive listening skills.
• Find out what bugs the complainant.
• Don’t have any preconceived notions about the involved parties.
• Don’t threaten people.
• Always try to settle the grievance at the lower level amicably rather than dragging to the higher levels where it might become more complicated.
• Conduct the grievance hearing privately.
• Make necessary changes, if there are any irregularities in policies and procedures.
• Keep the entire grievance process confidential.
• Always make the process win-win.


"Language alters our perception of reality, because we see the world through words," writes Dr. David J. Lieberman. "Language is the basis of thought and thought is the extension of emotion." (Lieberman, David J. Get Anyone to Do Anything and Never Feel Powerless Again. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000). It is essential to use the right language during the entire grievance handling procedure to ensure successful outcomes.

Managers must address and redress the grievances in the initial stage itself. The grievance should not only be addressed and redressed but also seems to be redressed in the eyes of the involved parties.

Every management should have efficient handling employee grievances to ensure organizational excellence and effectiveness. Right mechanism, procedures and practices help ensure organizational culture and climate leading to better productivity and performance.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Dr.Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream!’" - Prof.M.S.Rao

47 years ago, on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his historical speech “I Have a Dream” from Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC where he called for racial equality through Civil Rights Movement in America. His speech is regarded as one of the greatest historical speeches. It calls for adequate research and provides several takeaways for the lovers of public speaking. The time has come to highlight the relevance, importance, impact and influence of his speech.

We have other historical orators like Woodrow Wilson, Abraham Lincoln, James Monroe, Mark Twain, Swami Vivekananda, Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt, Adolph Hitler, General George Patton, Eisenhower, and John F Kennedy. However Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech stands unique and taller in the history of mankind. What made his speech stand out from other leaders? Let us find out the same.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech is unique as he delivered from historical Lincoln Memorial. It was a rhetorical masterpiece. He emphasized the key points and phrases. He was very choosy in his words. It was a persuasive speech with emphasize on key aspects. Dr. King’s speech was a fervent appeal to both whites and blacks where the former regret their misbehaviors and the latter to fight for equality peacefully.

He used ‘we’ number of times, not ‘I’. He used ‘I’ only in one sentence ‘I have a dream!’ He recalled God like Lincoln invoked God. At the end of the speech he departed from the original draft and spoke and that added extra touch to his speech. Let us find out few more secrets from the perspective of public speaking.

Secrets behind the Successful Speech:

• He often used ‘we’ followed by ‘freedom’ and ‘our’. It mattered most for making the speech most memorable.
• He edited the script number of times and rehearsed his speech that made it memorable.
• He maintained decency and decorum by not highlighting the ill-treatment of blacks by whites. His entire speech was for racial equality. Precisely, it was not an offensive but defensive speech.
• The location played a crucial role as it was none other than Lincoln’s memorial.
• He created strong emotions and images to touch his audience.
• He connected with blacks and won their sympathy by highlighting about their social and economic plight.
• He made an emotional appeal for racial equality.
• He did not antagonize the whites, but forced them to think the issue from broader and human perspective.
• He used the pace and pauses during the speech appropriately and it made all the difference.
• He painted and projected bright future for blacks by repeatedly saying, ‘I have a dream!’
• His both body and oral language synchronized and conveyed his integrity towards the cause.
• He used silence wherever it was required during his speech as it helped the audience to understand and applaud his speech.
• He focused his entire speech on commonalities but not differences by saying that are all equal.
• Like Lincoln he also invoked God to connect with his audience quickly and emotionally.
• Above all, his charismatic personality made overall impact and influence.


There was total synchronization of vocal, facial and body animation during the entire speech. There was clarity in communication as the rate of speech was slow and steady having pace and appropriates pauses that allowed the audience to understand, appreciate and applaud the message. He moved his head in all directions so that audience had a feeling that he was talking to them.

Toward the end of the speech his body language was more emphatic with confidence that aroused more emotions among the audience. He repeated the key points such as ‘one hundred years later’ and ‘now it is the time’. Although it was a prepared speech he went out of the way to connect with his audience by speaking extempore towards the closing of the speech. He started slowly and gradually built the momentum and finally closing with strong message for racial equality. Precisely, his speech was blend of both head and heart.

Dr. King’s speech is going to impact and influence the born and unborn. To conclude, for making the speech successful and memorable, it is essential to use imagery and emotional appeal. Use small and short sentences. Give pauses wherever required. Include emotional elements. Use transition points effectively. Call for an effective action at the end. Above all, remember that it is the quality not the quantity that counts at the end of your speech.

Monday, April 19, 2010

“Compensation Management” – Prof.M.S.Rao

What is Compensation Management?

Compensation management is all about the remuneration received by the employee for rendering his/her services to the organization. It includes both financial and non-financial aspects. Compensation helps in motivating the employees thus enhancing organizational excellence and effectiveness.

Compensation is paid depending on the capability and eligibility of the employees and also it involves both internal and external factors. For instance, the internal factors such as the remuneration paid to other employees within the organization and also the external factors such as prevailing packages offered by other companies in the market. That is paying as per the market and industry standards.

The basic components of compensation include basic salary, short term and long term incentives, employee benefits and perquisites. Compensation differs from country to country although basically certain aspects remain the same.

Types of Compensation:

Compensation is divided into direct and indirect compensation. Under direct compensation falls basic wages and salaries such as variable pay, incentives, dearness allowance, house rent allowance, city compensatory allowance etc. Under indirect compensation falls two areas such as fringe benefits and perquisites. Provident fund, medical, health and group insurance etc further fall under the category of fringe benefits. Company car, furnished house and other miscellaneous aspects fall in the group of perquisites. We shall look at various types of compensation precisely.

Strategic Compensation:

Strategic Compensation deals with the packages provided to the employees keeping long term goals and objectives of the organization in view. It also emphasizes potential of the employee.

Executive Compensation:

Executive compensation is all about the compensation paid to the senior executives. It is a special package wherein it contains salary, employee stocks options, bonuses, and other monetary benefits.

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs):

It is a type of compensation where the employees are offered shares for rendering services. In some cases, there will be lock-in period where the employees are not allowed to sell their stocks up to certain period of time. Several companies are adopting this compensation to motivate their employees who feel proud of being associated and partnered with the organization.

Factors Influencing Compensation:

There are several factors that influence compensation such as ability of the employers to pay, job requirement, cost of living, prevailing market package, productivity, profitability and demand and supply of man power at that particular point of time. When we look at the ability of the employers, they usually look from multiple perspectives such as specified skills, eligibility, capability and suitability of the employee, experience and specialized expertise and other aspects are taken into account.


Compensation must motivate the employees to contribute their best and it must be fixed as per their needs and aspirations and should be based on their merit. There is need for innovative tools and techniques and strategies in compensation management that customize the individual needs of the employees for ensuring better productivity and performance at the workplace.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book Review By Prof.M.S.Rao – “First Things First” Authored By Stephen R. Covey, A.Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” – Seneca

I have read the book titled ‘First Things First’ authored by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill which is very interesting to read with valuable takeaways. ‘First Things First’ is an elaboration of one of the habits of Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The book reveals the time management tips and unfolds the priorities people must make in daily life. God blessed all of us with 24 hours and we must learn to manage effectively.

People often fail to understand the difference between what is important and urgent. The book differentiates the same in four quadrants that help you to prioritize tasks and achieve optimum utilization of time without squandering precious time. It is rightly said that time and tide waits for none.

The book flows well right from the beginning to the end without any boredom. It provides several takeaways for all and especially for working executives to plan and prioritize their task properly.

The authors provide Time Management Matrix:

Quadrant 1
• Crises
• Pressing Problems
• Deadline-driven projects, meetings, preparations

Quadrant II
Not Urgent/Important
• Preparation
• Prevention
• Values clarification
• Planning
• Relationship building
• True re-creation
• Empowerment

Quadrant III
• Interruptions, some phone calls
• Some mail, some reports
• Some meetings
• Many proximate, pressing matters
• Many popular activities Quadrant IV

Quadrant IV
Not Urgent/Unimportant
• Trivia, busywork
• Junk mail
• Some phone calls
• Time wasters
• Escape activities

Powerful Punches by Authors:

The authors provide thought provoking messages at the beginning of each chapter. They are:

“If working harder, smarter, and faster won’t solve it, what will?”
“The enemy of the “best” is the “good””
“Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant”
“Doing more things faster is no substitute for doing the right things.”
“Where there is no gardener, there’s no garden.”
“It’s easy to say “no!” when there’s a deeper “yes!” burning inside.”
“Balance isn’t either/or; it’s and.”
“You can want to do the right thing, and you can even want to do it for the right reasons. But if you don’t apply the right principles, you can still hit a wall.”
“Priority is a function of context.”
“Quality of life depends on what happens in the space between stimulus and response.”
“Difference is the beginning of synergy.”
“Anytime we think the problem is “out there” that thought is the problem.”
“Management works in the system; Leadership works on the system.”


“While we do control our choice of action, we cannot control the consequences of our choices.”

The book is worth reading for the people who intend to learn how to manage their time. After reading this book they get to know about effective time management thus eliminating time wasters. The readers will be able to know how to prioritize their roles and responsibilities. They learn to understand and appreciate smarter planning.

The book contains several diagrams that are catchy and easy to understand. It contains several exercises for practice. The book is worth investing your time and there are takeaways that are amazing to read and practice.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

“How To Get Sponsors for Your Events?” – Prof.M.S.Rao

Are you running short of funds to make your event a grand success? Do you intend to raise funds for your event? Do you want to learn the dos and don’ts while approaching sponsors? Then look at the below tips to get sponsored for your event.

Dos and Don’ts while approaching your sponsors
• Write down the list of network you already have.
• Approach the sponsors with an open mind. There could be initial rejections. But you need to pursue your objectives.
• Be a good listener. Be mentally prepared for initial rejections. Initial rejections must raise your determination to work harder and smarter in raising the funds rather than getting dejected.
• Show them the benefits of sponsoring your event. Sell yourself. Working on such fund raising activities enhances your image and over a period of time you stand out from pack.
• Tell sponsors about your methodology of projecting and presenting their company.
• Take an appointment with potential sponsors and go with group of volunteers as it demonstrates your credentials.
• Approach if you have any references as it makes your task easier and enhances your credentials.
• Show your sponsors if there are any tax breaks.
• You need to be good at negotiation skills. Getting sponsorship needs lot of leg work and ground work. It requires patience and persuasive skills.
• Don’t give false information in a hurry to raise funds. Be transparent in your approach as that builds your credibility.

It is not that you are struggling to raise funds. In fact, the companies also look for right events to promote their brands and to have their presence felt in the market. It is win-win for both sponsors and the event hosts.

Getting sponsorship is more challenging if you don’t represent a big company. Get inspired from previous volunteers who raised funds and move forward. The entire exercise enhances your negotiation skills and leadership skills. Indeed, it is a great learning experience to raise funds for your event.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Case Study – Is It Constructive or Negative Feedback?" - Prof.M.S.Rao

Ken and Ben were trainers and conducted training program together. Ben observed training program given by Ken. After completion of the training program, they had the below conversation while driving back to their home.

Ben: You want to be goody-goody with your participants.
Ken: What do you mean by that?
Ben: You want to be friendlier with your participants.
Ken: To make participants comfortable, it is desirable to talk to them and make them comfortable. I was doing the same. Of course, being good and friendly is not bad, right!
Ben: Don’t be too much attached with your participants. Do your job and get out.
Ken: Yes, we have to do our job well. That is the prime motive. It is essential to be friendlier to ensure effective takeaways. If you are amicable and cordial with your participants you can touch them and make a difference. And, of course, I also take informal feedback from them by conversing with them which, probably, the participants might not know and I improve a lot from their informal feedback.
Ben: When I was training senior executives, there was a guy who was funny with others. I pointed out and corrected in front of all. I made fun of him. All participants laughed and enjoyed.
Ken: Was that the correct way to give feedback by making the senior executive as a laughing stock in front of all?
Ben: That is how you need to treat some people. And if you are friendly you cannot correct participants.
Ken: I don’t think so.

Ben: I think you don’t speak with convictions?
Ken: I didn’t understand. Could you be more specific?
Ben: During training program, you did not speak with force. That means your convictions were not strong.
Ken: Is it?
Ben: Yes

Ben: Another thing, I observed, sometimes you shoot questions with your participants such as ‘did you understand?’ That means do you doubt the understanding capacity of your participants? That is not good.
Ken: Yes, sometimes I shoot such close ended questions to get feedback from my participants whether I am reaching them or not during training programs? It is not exactly testing their competency level to understand my content. In any presentation, I shoot such questions to know their pulse and to get their attention to the training process. Especially I shoot such questions when I find unfavorable vibes from the participants. If I don’t get favorable response, then I shift my training methodology and strategy towards more interaction rather than delivering lecture. It was a strategy I adopt to get my participants back to the track of training process.

Ben: You get defensive. Don’t do that.
Ken: Are you sure? If it so, then I need to change my strategy. Could you cite an incident where I got defensive?
Ben: During the case study discussion, one participant was highlighting only problem. However you insisted on solutions.
Ken: Yes, people, in general, focus on issues and individuals. However I believe in focusing on ideas. That was the reason. Besides, I wanted to grill the participant so that he could come out with more innovative ideas towards solving the issue rather than brooding over the issue. And you have seen him coming with more ideas subsequently.

By the time, the car reached Ken’s residence. Ken came out of the car and thanked Ben for the feedback and also for dropping him at his residence. He found that there was authenticity in few questions and decided to bring behavioral improvements and threw other questions into dust bin that did not have any validity and relevance.

Questions to ponder:

How far Ben was justified in giving feedback?
Could anybody give feedback without asking?
Was Ben biased in giving feedback?
What will you do if you were in the shoes of Ken?
Could Ben have given better feedback?
Was it constructive or negative feedback?

Solution to Case Study

Only competent people can feedback. It is not desirable to give feedback when the other person has not asked for it.

Ken was a good listener without any excessive ego. He listened to Ben patiently. It means he wanted to grow. Ken had humility to receive feedback. He did not get defensive. Ben was objective and specific in giving feedback. However there was little bias in giving feedback wherein Ben demonstrated his superiority complex over Ken which the latter realized but did not express it openly as Ken believed in preserving relations with others. Besides, Ben should learn how to give sandwich feedback. Sandwich feedback is all about giving positive compliment first then insert the area where behavioral changes have to be made (that is constructive feedback) and conclude with positive compliment so that the receiver does mind and would appreciate feedback.

A feedback is said to be negative when it covers only with negative intentions and elements without taking the positive actions of an individual into account. In contrast, a feedback is said to be positive when it covers only the positive intentions and elements without taking negative actions of an individual. A constructive feedback is the blend of both positive and negative elements and actions of an individual without any fear or favor. It is objective, specific, and precise and it focuses only on the issues not on the individuals to bring out behavioral improvement among the individuals. Precisely, constructive feedback attacks only the behaviour of the individual but not the individual.

It seems Ben gave only negative feedback as he did not focus on the positive actions and aspects of Ken during the training program, probably because of his excessive egoism. Ken realized the intentions and motives behind Ben but kept quiet as he did not want to break his relations with Ben. However, Ken should have been more assertive rather than passive by keeping quiet to the comments of Ben.


Continuous feedback is essential to grow as a successful person because nobody knows clearly how others perceive them. Besides, many people don’t know about themselves.

The objective of any feedback is to improve the person. It should not be personal but professional. It is essential to separate the issues from individuals for effective feedback. Attack the issue, not the individual while giving feedback. If you attack the individual it becomes personal and the feedback will not have any significance. Besides, the other person gets defensive leading to strained relations.

Above all, giving feedback is highly challenging. Always give sandwich feedback and constructive feedback for bringing out behavioral improvement and maintaining better interpersonal relations with others.

"Takeaways From Historical Orators" - Prof.M.S.Rao

When you look at leaders like Woodrow Wilson, Abraham Lincoln, James Monroe, Mark Twain, Swami Vivekananda, Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt, Adolph Hitler, General George Patton, Eisenhower, Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy, they all have one common characteristic– gift of the gab. They were all great orators in the world who left deep imprints even after their death. What made these orators stand out from other leaders? Let us learn the same from the example of few great global orators.

Dr.Martin Luther King:

We hear many speeches. However, some speeches stand unique. They last forever. They last longer than the lives of the speakers. What makes them stand out? We shall now take Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech ‘I have a dream!’ delivered in 1963 which is one of the greatest speeches in the history of mankind. The speech is unique as Dr. Martin Luther King delivered from Lincoln Memorial.

His speech inspired many and is going to inspire the unborn. The speech was meant for racial equality and to put an end to discrimination of blacks from whites. The Time magazine named Dr. King as the Man of the Year in 1963. He bagged Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his peaceful movement for racial equality.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech was a rhetorical masterpiece. He emphasized the key points and phrases. He was very choosy in his words. It was a persuasive speech with emphasize on key aspects. Dr. King’s speech was a fervent appeal to both whites and blacks where the former regrets their misdeeds and the latter to fight for equality peacefully.

He used ‘we’ number of times, not ‘I’. He used ‘I’ only in one sentence ‘I have a dream!’. He recalled God like Lincoln invoked God. At the end of the speech he departed from the original draft and spoke and that added extra touch to his speech.

Abraham Lincoln:

The Gettysburg Address delivered by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 is yet another masterpiece. It is one of the best speeches in the history of America. Lincoln himself was a speech writer and drafted his speeches and edited number of times to make the speech effective. Besides, his presidential address and political debates are memorable in the history of America.

The effectiveness of the public speaking is known by the number of applauses. If there is long continued applause that means the speech is extraordinary. When Lincoln delivered Gettysburg speech in 1863 it was interrupted five times by applause and was followed by long continued applause. (Reference New York Times November 20, 1863).

Swami Vivekananda:

Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago speech on 11 Sept 1893 is another landmark in the history. He addressed the audience as ‘dear sisters and brothers of America’ and quickly connected with his audience cutting across the barriers based on color, creed, community, race, region and religion. He showcased India’s religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence and put India on the global map.

Winston Churchill:

Winston Churchill was yet another great orator who swayed his audience during Second World War. He had persuasive skills and made emotional appeal to defeat enemies. His speeches are inspiring and motivating even today and he is regarded as one of the best political leaders and orators of Britain in twentieth century. He divided his speeches as a brief introduction, body and conclusion with a clarion call for action for Britain to fight against enemies.

Adolph Hitler:

Adolph Hitler is yet another great orator of the twentieth century who united all Germans under nationalism and patriotism and who rebuilt Germany after its defeat in First World War. He stirred German nationalism through his speeches and inspired his people.

Hitler, in his speeches, often referred ‘German people’ to influence his people. He frequently referred ‘fighting’. He used ‘I’ often in his speeches. He also used the almighty and took pride for the accomplishment of Germans in his speeches. He had the gift of the gab. He knew how to sway his audience. He was a great orator who moved his audience in his favor with his ideological fervor.

Analysis of the Speeches:

The speeches are motivating and inspiring. The words are choosy, arousing and filled with emotions. It contains pace and pauses appropriately to allow audience to understand and appreciate the contents of the speech. The body language of the speakers correctly matched with the oral language and the modulation added emotional elements to make the speech memorable. The body and oral language conveyed the integrity of the speakers and it built the trust and confidence among the audience. The silence is also golden in their speeches where they allowed adequate time for their audience to think, ponder and applaud the contents of the speech. The invoking God connected entire audience into one platform and made people to support their cause.

Tips for Effective Public Speaking:

• Use eloquent language, appropriate diction and parallelism.
• When you deliver speech, project and present bright future.
• Repeat the key motivational points;
• Pose a few questions to your audience. Get their attention and connect with them.
• Connect with your audience emotionally.
• Take the name of God. Focus on commonalities not differences.
• Use positive words.
• Use silence effectively during speech.


For successful speech, it is essential to use imagery and make an emotional appeal. Use small and short sentences. Give pause wherever required. Include emotional elements. Call for an effective action at the end. Use transition points effectively. Above all, remember that it is the quality not the quantity that counts at the end of your speech.

"Is Your Boss A Director, Thinker, Relator, Or Socializer?" - Prof.M.S.Rao

“Treat the people the way you want to be treated” is the usual slogan. However, “Treat the people the way they should be treated” is the slogan coined by Dr.Tony Alessendra in his book, ‘The Platinum Rule’. He outlined four personality types to bring awareness among the people about their behaviour styles and for better professional and career compatibility. Knowing these four personality types helps you know about yourself as well as others. It promotes better relations with your bosses, peers and subordinates. It enhances your success rate and promotes your leadership skills and abilities. Overall, it helps in your personal, professional and social life.

We shall know these four personality types viz Directors, Thinkers, Socializers and Relators.


Directors are daring and dashing, ruthless and reckless, aggressive and adamant and are filled with energy and enthusiasm. They love changes and challenges. They go by gut feelings and intuition. They don’t appreciate the weaknesses of others and they don’t like to be questioned. They are very brief, precise and are highly task oriented and love to hit bulls’ eye. They are fast workers and strive for excellence. The leaders who belong to this style are: Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Chengis Khan, Ashoka, Stalin, Hitler etc., Suitable careers for these people are administration, armed forces and security personnel.

Their weaknesses are that they don’t make too many friends. At the end of the day there is no one celebrate their success. They are loners.


Thinkers have eye for detail. They follow rules and regulations thoroughly. They remain cool and composed every time. They pose too many questions. They are slow workers and strive for perfection. To name a few examples are Socrates, Plato, Aristotle etc., These people can excel as poets and philosophers and bureaucrats and accountants. Suitable careers for these people are research and analysis, consultancy, accountancy and bureaucratic organizations.

Their weakness is that they search for stones by leaving diamonds at home.


Socializers are fun loving people and move in groups. They love to be always at the center of attraction and love excitement. They are prestige conscious. They want to get noticed and recognized. Richard Branson, Vijay Mallya and Sobha De to name a few, fall in this style. Suitable careers for these people are film and entertainment industry and others.

Their weakness is that they are highly disorganized and lose focus.


Relators are born to serve the people and value relations. They are good at emotional intelligence and teamwork. They sympathize and empathize with others and these people can get along well with all personality types. They are good listeners and emotional. They don’t like change and prefer to stick to routine activities. They are amicable and adjustable. Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela are few personalities who belong to this style. Suitable career for these people are politics, marketing, supply chain management and service-oriented sectors.

Their weakness is that they are ‘yes man’ and think that ‘others are always right’.

Handling Your Boss:

Handling Your Boss if he is a Director: Directors are ruthless taskmasters and impatient. They dislike to be questioned. If your boss happens to be a director, talk to the point and don't waste his time and listen attentively.

Handling Your Boss if he is a Thinker: Thinkers are detail oriented. They cannot be convinced with easily. Therefore, prepare all facts and figures, equip with all details and be ready to respond to all his queries.

Handling Your Boss if he is a Socializer: Socializers are fun loving people and like to be at the centre of attraction. They are outgoing and like to be appreciated and crave for recognition. Appreciate him and talk with him on his areas of interest.

Handling Your Boss if he is a Relator: Relators are good listeners and services oriented and are good team workers. However, they are not good decision makers. Therefore, listen attentively and provide service bent of mind and approach with alternative decisions on platter and request him to choose the best one. He would be very glad to choose as you have minimized his burden of making decision.
To enhance productivity and performance at the workplace it is essential to have opposite personality style preferably for better coordination. It reinforces the principle of magnetic theory, ‘like poles repel and unlike poles attract’. However you cannot choose your bosses, peers and subordinates. Therefore, mould yourself for interpersonal effectiveness.

Handling Your Subordinates:

You need to handle your subordinates carefully by knowing their personality style. Here is the way to handle your subordinates.

If your subordinate is a director, give them challenging roles and responsibilities so that they get excited to do tasks. Rise bar constantly and continuously. Never tell them ‘how to do’. Just tell them ‘what is to be done’. They would perform well and show you the quick results. Don’t micromanage them.

If your subordinate is a thinker, give them all information and instructions clearly and tell ‘how it can be done’. Don’t interfere frequently. Let them do at their own pace. Give them feedback.

If your subordinate is a socializer, you need to micromanage them as these people are disorganized. Show concern for people and praise in public and punish in private.

If your subordinate is a relator, don’t force them to make decisions. Be a good listener and show concern for people as these people are service oriented. They like to be in comfort zone and don’t like changes and challenges. Give them routine jobs.

Leadership Styles to Handle 4 Personality Styles:

To handle directors you need to demonstrate democratic and free reign innovative or eureka, level 5, charismatic, transactional, transformational, visionary, autocratic, great, and positional styles of leadership. To handle thinkers you need to demonstrate principle-centered, authentic, ethical, thought, functional, servant and democratic styles of leadership. To handle relators any kind of leadership style works. However, they appreciate situational, delegative, innovative, team, primal, bureaucratic, servant, and versatile styles of leadership. Finally to handle socializers, you need to display autocratic, innovative, delegative, team and situational styles of leadership to get the task executed successfully.

Spotting the Styles:

You can easily spot all these four personality types if you observe them closely and keenly. Directors are extrovert, walk alone and are task oriented. They are always in a hurry to do the things and have least concern for people. Thinkers are introvert, slow paced, enquire a lot and shoot several questions. They are highly organized and ideas oriented. Usually they don’t appreciate others easily. Relators are slow paced, good listeners, networkers, and help others and are emotional and appreciated by all. Finally socializers are extrovert, outgoing and always go in a group. They are fast paced and you can find them at the center of the group. They are party animals.


There is no right or wrong personality style. Every style is unique and every individual has four personality styles but predominantly there is one style from where an individual operates. Therefore, don’t give up your natural style. What is essential is to know your style and develop compatibility with other styles by observing and molding your style to make things easier and smooth at the workplace.

If you know your predominant style, it will help you to get along well with others especially with your superiors, peers and subordinates at the workplace. It improves your soft skills and helps you to be successful personally, professionally and socially. In addition, you can choose right career based on your style.

"Employability Skills" - Prof.M.S.Rao

According to McKinsey Global Institute survey results, “India produces 360,000 engineering graduates, 600,000 graduates in arts/science/commerce.” And only 25% of engineering graduates and 10% of other graduates are employable.

Before we dwell about employability skills let us briefly look at what employability mean.

What is Employability?

Employability refers to a person's capability of gaining initial employment, maintaining employment, and obtaining new employment if required (Hillage and Pollard, 1998).

Employability is confluence of several skills, abilities, knowledge, competencies and capabilities that enable individuals to get employment and be successful in their professional careers. It helps them individually as well as institutionally. It also dwells at the skill sets, tool sets and mind set that is essential to execute tasks effectively and efficiently.

Employability depends on the knowledge, skills and attitude of the individuals. It is a state of being employed and accomplishing the given tasks with the skills, knowledge and abilities.

“Employability not only depends on whether one is able to fulfill the requirements of specific jobs, but also on how one stands relative to others within a hierarchy of job seekers” (Brown and Hesketh, 2004).

Each year, India produces almost twice the number of engineers produced by the US and a little less than twice of all that Europe produces. It is great to note that India has one of the world’s largest most qualified pools of technical manpower. However, when we look at the employability, we are far behind.

Engineering colleges are mushrooming and the quantity of technical graduates pass out every year from educational institutions. What about the employability. The way quantity of graduates is increasing the quality is not increasing. Are we compromising with quality for the sake of quantity? What ails with our educational system?

It is reported that employers don’t get the applicants with right skill set, mind set and tool set especially in the engineering and construction sectors. Currently there is wide chasm between what the educational institutions are churning out and what the industry expects.

Industry looks for a different mix of skills, abilities, capabilities and competencies in potential hires depending on the business it’s in. Industry also looks for multi skilled individuals. All these things lead to unemployability. In this context, let us look at the difference between unemployability and unemployment.

Unemployability and Unemployment:

People often confuse between unemployability and unemployment. Unemployability arises when individuals have educational eligibility but lack in capability and suitability to execute job related activities despite being the availability of employment opportunities. Unemployment is a state where individuals have educational eligibility, capability and suitability but dearth of employment opportunities. The current situation in India is more of unemployability rather than unemployment.

Employability Skills:

Employability skills are all about the ability of individuals to exhibit their skills to the prospective employers and the ability to execute the tasks thereby achieving organizational goals and objectives. Besides, it also talks about the ability to switch over to other jobs comfortably.

Employability skills refer to specific skills essential for employment. These are the critical tools and traits required to perform tasks at workplace. These skills are much sought after these days by employers. The needs of employability skills differ from country to country and from sector to sector and from time to time. However, certain qualities such as communication skills, interpersonal skills, integrity, right attitude, problem solving, decision making and team building skills can be taken as a few common skills of employability skills.

All businesses cry for employability skills as these enable their growth and competitiveness. These skills are essential for all employers cutting across all industries. These are the additional skills apart from the core skills and hard skills. Besides, Indian youth began realizing that without these employable skills it is difficult to grab jobs.

The need for employability skills differ from one country to another. For instance, American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) identified six categories of skills which are important to employability. They are; basic competency, communication, adaptability, developmental activities, group effectiveness and influencing others. In Malaysia, these are positive values, leadership skills, teamwork force, communicative skills and life-long learning.

In Australia employability skills are defined as “the skills required gaining employment or establish an enterprise, but also to progress within an enterprise or expand employment capability, so as to achieve one’s potential and contribute successfully to an enterprise’s strategic directions.” The eight employability skills are initiative and enterprise, learning, self-management, communication, teamwork, problem solving, planning and organizing and technology.

American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) identified a benchmark of six skill categories important to employability. These are:

Basic competency (reading, writing, computation)
Communication (speaking, listening)
Adaptability (problem solving, creative thinking)
Developmental (self-esteem, motivation and goal setting, career planning)
Group Effectiveness (interpersonal, teamwork, negotiation)
Influencing (understanding organization culture, sharing leadership)

Ascent (The Times of India) has introduced a revolutionary concept of ‘Employability Potential Assessment at Campus (EPAC)’ to meet the objectives of campuses and recruiters. It is a paper-based employment test battery implemented at all AICTE approved business schools in the country. This will test the candidate for his’/her communication skills, analytical abilities and practicing managerial abilities. (Reference Ascent, The Times of India dated 09 December 2009)

All these things indicate that efforts are initiated to clearly define what employability skills are and how to spot among the students.


“To be employed is to be at risk, to be employable is to be secure.” Peter Hawkins

Mere academic abilities alone will not be adequate. What is essential is something beyond academic domain such as communication skills, problem solving skills, communication skills which are known as employability skills. When applicants possess these skills then it becomes easier for employers to train other technical skills easily. To sum, both educational institutions and industry should work together for enhancing employability skills as it is rightly said that you need to clap with both hands to get the results.

“Case Study on Communication Challenges” – Prof.M.S.Rao

There are several challenges in communication that take place in daily life. If we identify the challenges we can eliminate and ensure better understanding among the individuals. We shall take a case study on communication that helps in averting any misunderstanding among the people.

Ken worked in a research department for a year as a researcher and he was laid off as the entire department was closed due to recession. He decided to meet the CEO for a possible outplacement as the organization had several other departments to accommodate him. However the secretary of the CEO, Diana did not permit Ken to meet by saying that CEO was busy. Ken returned without meeting the CEO. He got better employment opportunity elsewhere and joined.

Ken, being a researcher, wrote an article for an international journal while working in the research department. It was published after 9 months and received complimentary copies from the publisher. Therefore, Ken wanted to share the successful publication with his former CEO and went to meet him to gift the book as a complimentary copy. Below was the conversation Ken had with the secretary of the CEO.

Ken: I would appreciate if you could arrange an appointment with CEO. I want….. (Secretary interrupted)

Secretary: Why did you come? We had already handed over your resume to Jim for outplacement. You may go now.

Ken: I did not come for employment opportunity. Don’t assume that people would come here for employment only. I have come to gift a complimentary copy where my article featured in international journal. The CEO would be glad to share the success.

Secretary: No, No, the CEO sees everything and knows everything as every article publication is known to him.

Ken: It is not departmental journal. It is a prestigious journal globally and I want to inform him and gift the book.

Secretary: “You will not get appointment. The CEO is busy” said firmly.

Ken: I anticipated that CEO would be busy and I have already written the details of my name over the complimentary copy.

Secretary: Okay, leave it and go. (She said impolitely and started looking here and there)

Ken handed over the complimentary copy to Secretary.

Ken: Fine, please hand over to CEO. I am leaving the place. However, I will send an email to CEO about my coming physically to gift the book. (Secretary probably worried as the Ken had already mentally prepared to send the email and keep the CEO informed. If Secretary had any intention to skip handing over the complimentary copy, CEO will know as Ken would send mail.)

Ken handed over the complimentary copy to Secretary and departed the office. He sent an email to his ex-CEO about his coming and he could not meet as the latter was busy with his schedules.

After 5 hours, the Secretary telephoned Ken and said firmly, “CEO told to return the book to you. You come and take the book back.”

Ken replied, “It is the complimentary copy meant for the CEO only”. Secretary insisted to take back the book immediately. Ken told Secretary to courier and he was about to give his address. Secretary interrupted Ken’s conversation and replied, “No we don’t send you through courier. You have to come and take.” Ken responded politely, “Right now, I am far away from that place. When I come to that area I would take back the book.”

The very next day, Ken received email from his ex-CEO congratulating Ken for the publication and thanked for coming all the way to gift the book. Ken felt excited that his ex-CEO was pleased with publication.


What were the communication challenges in the above case study?
Was the Secretary right in avoiding the Ken who came all the way from long distance to gift the complimentary copy?
Was it right for Secretary in insisting to come and take the complimentary copy back physically instead of couriering?
Was Secretary a good listener?
Did Secretary empathize with Ken?
What were the other challenges prevented smooth communication between Ken and Secretary?

Action to Take:

• It requires lot of clarity and persuasion in communicating in such situations.
• People need to break their pre-conceived notions and mindset.
• They should suspend their judgment that prevents from listening.
• They need to open up their minds and hearts for effective listening and better communication.
• In such situation the Ken should have waited for sometime till the secretary gets freed mentally to communicate.
• Inner dialogue or inner conservation that takes place among all human beings is often the culprit of communication. The Secretary had lot of inner conversation that prevented from listening.
• Sandwich feedback is essential to communicate and correct and exit smoothly from such a situation.
• The secretary had excessive ego that would have resulted into a conflict had Ken not exited smoothly after getting instructions to leave the place.


At times, the people those who work with higher officials try to create rift because of their excessive egoism which may arise out of their accessibility to higher officials or miscommunication or the inability to empathize, understand and appreciate others.

Sometimes preconceived notions prevent communication. When the reality goes against their pre-conceived notions, people start defending and stop observing the cues of others’ body language because of high ego.

There are barriers and filters that prevent smooth communication. Barriers are physical in nature such as external disturbances and distractions that prevent listening. Similarly filters are psychological in nature that take place within the mind such as biased thinking, inner conversation which might become noise while listening, pre-conceived notions, being pre-occupied with other activities and excessive ego. In this context the Secretary had filters rather barriers that prevented effective communication.

At times, the metal kettle that stores and serves tea is hotter than the tea itself. A few secretaries think too much bigger than their bosses. They become too big for their shoes.

"Hi CEO! Have You Lined Up Your Leaders in the Pipeline?" - Prof.M.S.Rao

“Look at all the companies that just lately have gone outside to find CEOs -- Boeing, Hewlett-Packard twice, Sara Lee, 3M twice. The leadership pipeline is broken.” - Noel Tichy

Imagine one day you find a key senior executive resigning and the company depends solely on him for strategic operations and activities. You get jittery right! Probably because you never anticipated his resignation and you did not groom the next level leader ready for this role and you did not plan for succession management. It often happens in few organizations. What is the solution?

You have two options in this regard. Either you must have lined up next leader ready for taking up the roles and responsibilities or you may intend to hire an expert outside the company. Hiring still takes time. The option would be to keep the person second in command to take over the reins of leadership and ensure smooth functioning of the organization.

What is Leadership Pipeline?

Leadership pipeline is all about keeping your employees ready through constant training and grooming to face any kind of organizational eventuality arising out of the resignation of key persons. You cannot take people for granted that they would stick to your organization for a longer time. People may leave organization either due to discomfort in the current organization or due to the availability of better prospects elsewhere. Leadership pipeline helps in keeping your bench strength ready for future. It helps in bracing up the challenges. Precisely, leadership pipeline is all about seamless and systematic supply of leadership talent within the organization.

If you already have an experienced person ready to assume the roles and responsibilities with the sudden resignation of a key person, it sounds like smooth transition. As the employee has already been groomed and is well aware of the organizational culture and climate and the value system, it would be easier and better for the company. It may be also a reason that a known devil is better than an unknown angel. When you hire an outside expert whom you consider as expert sometimes might find to be misfit later on. Thus lining up the leaders within the organization pipeline is the best alternative.

Merits of Leadership Pipeline:
There are several advantages with leadership pipeline. The employees know their current career opportunities within the organization and plan accordingly. If they find that they have bright prospects they will still continue working harder by being loyal to their organization. However, if they find that their career opportunities are bleak they may look for better pastures elsewhere.
Leadership pipeline clearly charts out the career opportunities for the employees and ensures seamless supply of staff within the organization. It also ensures talent management and succession planning and management. It serves as a diagnostic tool and clearly spots if there are any mismatches between individual capabilities and their level of leadership.
Organizationally it is beneficial to diversify the risk by not keeping all eggs in one basket. It helps boost the morale of current employees and keep companies afloat forever. Top brass within the organizations does not have to worry too much about storm as they have fully geared up for any eventualities. It helps in meeting the strategic objectives. It paves the way for seamless succession planning.

How to Spot Leadership Talent?

Based on the performance appraisals and the kind of challenges the employees encountered successfully, you can easily spot the leadership talent having potential to assume leadership levels. Look for the people who are passionate to excel as leaders. It is the passion that drives the real leaders. Passion enhances performance. Passion takes people to the tipping point. Succinctly look for people with spark and groom them.

How Do You Build Your Leadership Pipeline?

"Leadership - it takes one to know one, show one, and grow one" - John C. Maxwell
• Building leadership pipeline is a continuous process rather than an event. Crafting leaders should be a regular process. As you keep your financial reserves ready, you need to keep your precious human reserves ready to tide over crisis, if any.
• Stephen J. Drotter and Ram Charan in ‘Building leaders at every level – A leadership pipeline’ outlines six passages in leadership pipeline. They are managing self to managing others – managing others to managing managers – managing managers to managing a function – functional manager to business manager – business manager to group manager – group manager to enterprise manager. This process helps your employees in evolving as leaders over a period of time.
• Devise plans and processes to nurture leadership talent within the organization.
• Encourage the existing potential leadership talent to interact with the global leaders as it sheds their inhibitions and hesitations, if any.
• Conduct leadership development workshops, sessions regularly through internal leaders who can share their expertise and experiences with others. Especially at the recessionary period, it is a step in the direction where you can cut down the cost of hiring outside experts, trainers and consultants. It helps in interaction and enlightenment of employees. It removes barriers between various levels of management and builds bridges for the organizational excellence and effectiveness. The senior executives are also engaged in a right way in the name of training the leadership talent.
• Groom the right employees based on their competencies and capabilities who have leadership flair.
"Leaders who tend only to business often end up losing the people and the business But Leaders who tend to the people usually build up the people - and the business" - John C. Maxwell
Keeping the currently corporate complexities in the 21st century, it is essential to keep leaders lined up without clogging the pipeline. As we keep supply chain ready we need to keep systematic and seamless supply of leadership material ready to face any kind of organizational eventualities.
The End


Author’s Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
’How to Build the Leadership-Powered Company’ By Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, and James Noel
‘Building leaders at every level – A leadership pipeline’ by Stephen J. Drotter and Ram Charan.
“The Leadership Pipeline“. How to Build the Leadership Powered Company,
Charan, Ram / Drotter, Stephen / Noel, James

"E-Recruitment – Problems And Prospects" Prof. M.S.Rao

“The growth in the e-recruitment industry has been fuelled with the adoption of technology by prospective employers and Internet penetration. Organizations have cut costs by almost 80 percent over traditional recruitment modes by moving over to the online recruitment process.” - Dhruvakanth B Shenoy, Vice President-Marketing, Asia, Monster.com, India

Now-a-days, people often talk of e-recruitment. Does the term ‘e-recruitment’ sound strange? Does it seem like any other e-ticketing, e-voting, e-teaching and so on? Let us find out what is all about e-recruitment.

What is E-Recruitment?

E-recruitment is an online recruitment where the recruitment is done through electronic resources. It utilizes the web based tools, techniques and technologies. It is the speed that counts in these days of changing times and technologies. When employers want to fill the slots quickly, they prefer e-recruitment to traditional recruitment. E-recruitment is also known as internet recruitment. It may also be called emerging recruitment, evolving recruitment and effective recruitment.

The process of e-recruitment involves the elimination of ineligible and unsuitable candidates through automation process. There are resume scanners that filters automatically online and provides the right candidates to the employers on platter.

E-recruitment is a cost-effective online recruitment. It is useful when there is sudden shortage of skilled manpower and also if the company bags a new contract and if it wants job seekers with specific skill set, mindset and tool set then e-recruitment is the only solution. Precisely, E-recruitment is the mantra for successful recruitment in this technology world.


• Conventional or manual or traditional recruitment takes lot of time in recruiting the potential hires. However, the e-recruitment saves lot of time for both employers and job-seekers. E-recruitment bridges the gap between the employers and job seekers. It provides wider scope, choice and opportunities for both.
• The cost is low. There are no middlepersons involved. It saves time, money and energy.
• It provides round the clock services. It is indeed win-win for both employers and prospective employees.
• It filters ineligible and unsuitable candidates and saves time by 60 per cent of the hiring time for recruiters.
• It helps in tracking the status of the candidates at different stages while hiring.
• Conventional recruitment is tiring and time consuming.
• It is far better and faster than the conventional methods of recruitment.


• E-recruitment is still in nascent stage and it takes time to penetrate. There is still low computer literacy. At times the employers lose the right candidates. Several people don’t provide adequate information online as they are not computer savvy.
• There is also duplication of resumes by job seekers.
• There is possibility for passive resumes being uploaded. Besides there is no much of authenticity as background checks are not involved immediately.
• There is room for impersonation in e-recruitment.

Knowledge Workers and E-recruitment:

Knowledge workers have several competitive advantages. They are aware of the latest tools and technologies. They stay ahead of others in terms of knowledge and performance. They stand out from the pack. E-recruitment is a boon for both the knowledge workers and employers. When the organization bags a special contract and if the contract demands unique skill set, mindset and tool set, e-recruitment is the only immediate option. The organization can immediately get the right talent. It can hit the bulls’ eye where it is equally beneficial to the knowledge workers as they are also on the constant look out for companies that can make use of their unique skills and abilities.


“Recruiting online would ideally be more focused, fast paced, effective and give a higher RoI (Return on Investment)” - Raghuveer Sakuru, Managing Director Kenexa Technologies

The objective of any recruitment is to recruit the right candidate for the right slot. The means of recruitment is also equally important. Keeping the current trends in view, emphasizing on e-recruitment is essential and ideal for effective and efficient recruitment.

The days of manual recruitment are fading away gradually as organizations are moving to online recruitment. E-recruitment is here to stay. As change is the only thing constant in this world, there is need to change the strategies in recruitment as well for maximizing the accuracy of right person for the right slot as it minimizes employee dissatisfaction and attrition. When we look at both problems and prospects, we can comfortably conclude that prospects outweigh problems in e-recruitment. The organizations must emphasize on e-recruitment for hiring better talent and must reinvent as per the needs in the 21st century.

Book Review By Prof.M.S.Rao – “Gurus On Leadership” Authored By Mark A. Thomas (Publisher – Viva Books Private Limited)

“There comes a time in life when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.” – Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King

I have read the book titled “Gurus On Leadership” authored by Mark A. Thomas (Publisher – Viva Books Private Limited). The author preludes the book with the fall-out of Enron and lists out several corporate scandals such as Rite Aid, Tyco, Imclone Systems, Global Crossing and Computer Associates.
The author outlines the devastating effect of leaders in companies such as Mirror Group, Polly Peck, Marconi, Equitable Life, Marks and Spencer and British Airways. The author says, “During the Enron and Wall Street scandals both The Economist and Business Week magazines sought to address the leadership issue in depth.”

What Does the Book Provide?

The book provides the profiles and contributions of various leadership gurus who put the domain of leadership on the global map. They are: John Adair – Action Centred Leadership, Warren Bennis –The ‘Dean of leadership gurus’, Robert Blake and Jane Mouton, Ken Blanchard – the one minute manager, David Brent – a modern leadership icon, Peter Drucker – management by objectives, Fred Fiedler – the contingency theory man, Daniel Goleman – the emotional intelligence man, Paul Hersey – Situational leadership, Manfred Kets de Vries – the psychology of leadership, John Kotter – Leaders and change, James Kouzes and Barry Posner – leadership and followership Nicolo Machiavelli – The Prince, Abraham Maslow – the motivation man, Douglas McGregor – Theory X and Theory Y (the carrot and stick approach), David McClelland – Achievement, affiliation and power motivation, Tom Peters- the revolutionary leadership guru, WJ Reddin – Three dimensional leadership grid, Tannenbaum and Schmidt – the leadership continuum and Abraham Zaleznick – leadership versus management.

Takeaways from Leadership Gurus:

We shall briefly look at the takeaways from leadership gurus.

John Adair – Action Centered Leadership (ACL):

John Adair became the world’s first Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Surrey and is regularly cited as one of the world’s most influential contributors to leadership development and understanding. From his works, you can expect to learn about leadership from a wide array of history’s greats including Napoleon, Lao Tzu, Alexander the Great, Lawrence of Arabia, Gandhi and Charles de Gaulle.

He coined Action Centered Leadership model which is represented by three inter-locking circles encompassing the following:

1. Achieving the task
2. Building and maintaining the team
3. Developing the individual

He also talks about the 50:50 Rule where 50% of motivation comes from within a person and 50% from their environment, especially from the leadership encountered therein.

Warren Bennis – ‘The Dean of Leadership Gurus’:

“Leaders are people who do the right things; managers are people who do things right.”

Warren Bennis was designated as ‘The Dean of leadership gurus’ by Forbes magazine. Abraham Maslow who was a leadership guru described Bennis as “one of the Olympian minds of our time”.

For Bennis a leader is someone who is: capable of creating an inspiring vision, an excellent communicator, aware of what challenges have to be met, comfortable with change, confusion and constructive conflict, able to balance the short and long-term and a model for integrity. He outlines four competencies that determine the success of a new leader:

1. The new leader understands and practices the power of appreciation
2. The new leader keeps reminding people of what is important
3. The new leader sustains and generates trust
4. The new leader and the led are intimate allies

Robert Blake and Jane Mouton – The Grid People:

Robert Blake and Jane Mouton originally developed The Managerial Grid in 1962 as an organization development model. It contains five styles such as task master manager, country club manager, impoverished manager, dampened pendulum manager and team manager. The task master manager style is described as the very pushy and demanding leader – perhaps characterized as the autocrat. The country club manager style is more of people oriented and less of task orientation. The impoverished manager style is a situation where the managers or leaders avoid all decisions and responsibility. The dampened pendulum manager style can be best described as the middle of the road manager, someone who alternates between the two task and people dimensions and tries to steer a middle course. Finally the team manager style describes the manager who effectively integrates people around the task demands.

Ken Blanchard – The One Minute Manager:

Dr. Ken Blanchard is a prominent author, speaker and business consultant. He is often described as one of the most insightful, powerful and compassionate gurus in the business world.

Blanchard’s books are unashamedly simple and clear in both style and content. His classic One Minute Manager book which he co-authored with Spencer Johnson (who subsequently went on to write the equally famous and successful Who Moved My Cheese? book on change management) epitomized his approach. The One Minute Manager outlines an approach to ‘one minute goal setting’, ‘one minute praising’ and ‘one minute reprimand’.

David Brent – A Modern Leadership Icon:

His famous slogan, “Quitters never win, winners never quit. But those who never win and never quit are idiots.”

He says, “What does a squirrel do in the summer? It buries nuts, Why? Because then in winter-time he’s got something to eat and he won’t die. So, collecting nuts in the summer is worthwhile work. Every task you do in work think, would a squirrel do that? Think squirrels think nuts.”

Remember the three golden rules:

1. It was like that when I got here
2. I didn’t do it
3. (To your Boss) I like your style

Peter Drucker – Management By Objectives:

“There is no substitute for leadership. But management cannot create leaders. It can only create the conditions under which potential leadership qualities become effective; or it can stifle potential leadership.”

Peter Drucker was born in Austria in 1909 and is probably the most renowned business and management guru in the world today. The Harvard Business Review described him as “Father of modern management, social commentator and pre-eminent business philosopher”.

It was his work ‘The Concept of the Corporation’ that Drucker first mentioned his famous concept of management by objectives (MBO). This was a management term that became synonymous with Drucker. He argued hat all managers should be driven by objectives.

Peter Drucker takes the famous leadership of Genghis Khan, “Of an officer I expect that he takes care of the men before he takes care of himself. Of a general I expect that he takes care of his horse before he takes care of his men”. Another quote of Peter Drucker is “Leadership is not rank, privileges, title or money. It is responsibility.”

Fred Fiedler – The Contingency Theory Man:

According to Fiedler, there is no ideal leader. Both low-LPC (task-oriented) and high-LPC (relationship-oriented) leaders can be effective if their leadership orientation fits the situation. Three components determine what Fiedler termed the level of situational favourableness or control:

1. Leader-member relationships: the degree to which the employees accept the leader.
2. Task structure: the degree and level of detail to which subordinate roles and jobs are defined.
3. Position power: the amount of formal authority a leader possesses by virtue of their position in the organization.

Fiedler found that low-LPC leaders are more effective in extremely favourable or unfavourable situations, whereas high-LPC leaders perform best in situations with intermediate favorability.

His work and theory advocates that:

• The favourableness of leadership situations should be assessed in determining leadership effectiveness.
• Candidates for leadership positions should be evaluated using the LPC scale.
• If a leader is being identified for a particular position, then a leader with an appropriate LPC profile should be chosen (task-oriented for very favourable or very unfavourable situations and relationship-oriented for intermediate favourablenss).
• If a leadership situation is being chosen for a particular candidate, a situation (work team, department, etc.) should be chosen which matches their LPC profile (very favourable or unfavourable for task-oriented leaders and intermediate favourableness for relationship-orientated leader).

Daniel Goleman – The Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Man:

His work cites five components emotional intelligence (EQ) such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. He developed his concept to specifically look at leadership and to examine how EQ might influence a leadership style. He developed six possible approaches: visionary leadership, coaching leadership, affiliative leadership, democratic leadership, pace setting leadership and commanding leadership.

Paul Hersey – Situational Leadership:

Hersey says that effective leaders adapt their style to suit different situations. His model proposes four generic leadership styles in which he differentiates between directive and supporting strategies. They are telling, selling, participating and delegating. In telling style, there is high task and low relationship where the leader uses the style closely controls the work of their staff and acts quickly to correct and re-direct any falls in performance. In selling style, there is high task and high relationship. The leader uses this style shows concern for the task as well as staff relationships. In participating style, there is low task and high relationship. The leader uses this style allows people to manage their own work. And finally in delegating style there is low task ad low relationship. The leader uses this style effectively liberates or empowers people to define problems and develop solutions by themselves.

Manfred Kets de Vries – The Psychology of Leadership:

Unlike many other leadership gurus Kets e Vries probes deeper into the human psyche and explores the ‘darker side’ of leadership, along with notions of the narcissistic personality and charisma.

His leadership work has led him to explore in depth the leadership styles of many current and recent leadership icons including Richard Branson (Virgin), Percy Barnevik (formerly of ABB) Jack Welch (formerly GE), Walt Disney and Ernest Saunders (formerly of Guiness).

He is quoted as saying that many leaders are hooked on the four ‘Ps’ namely Power, (the) Podium, Perks and Praise. In citing some reasons for leadership incompetence he cites:

1. The unwillingness to exercise authority – which may result in either the avoidance of conflict situations or the constant need to be liked.
2. The tyranny of subordinates as caused by an excessively abrasive set of behaviours.
3. Micro-management and the obsession with detail.
4. Overly political game playing.

His checklist of excellent leadership practices includes the following:

• Provide vision
• Are strong communicators
• Create high levels of trust
• Acquire emotional intelligence (EQ)
• Motivate and stretch people
• Build teams
• Provide constructive feedback
• Modify their narcissistic needs to the benefit of the organization.
• Are persistent and decisive
• Are good time managers
• Possess a sense of humour

John Kotter – The Leader and Change:

“Most organizations are over-managed and under led.”

Harvard Business School professor John P Kotter runs a close second to Warren Bennis’ mantel as the world’s foremost leadership guru. He covers change management from leadership perspective. He identifies eight critical stages that leaders need to follow in order to achieve effective organizational transformation. The stages are: establish a sense of urgency, form a powerful guiding coalition, create a vision, communicate that vision, empower others to act on the vision, plan for and create short-term wins, consolidate improvements and keep the momentum for change moving and institutionalize the new approaches.

James M Kouzes and Barry Posner – Leadership and Followership:

“Leadership is in the eye of the follower.”

Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner are major researchers, award-winning writers and consultants in the field of leadership and executive development. Posner is a renowned scholar who has published more than 80 research and practitioner-oriented articles in journals such as ‘The Academy of Management Journal’, ‘’Journal of Applied Psychology’, ‘Human Relations and Personnel Psychology’. Both Kouzes and Posner are frequent conference speakers and have conducted leadership development programmes for hundreds of organizations.

Based on 20 years of research they have distilled five simple principles of leadership which they term as: model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act and encourage the heart. For them leadership is about stretching thinking and extending views of what is possible beyond the rational and scientific approach to business. Precisely, leadership is all about creating emotional connection with people.

Nicolo Machiavelli – The Prince:

“Leadership is best for a leader to be loved but if they cannot be loved they must be feared.”

Nicolo Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy at a time when the country was in political disarray. Italy was divided between four dominant city-states and each of these was subject to intense foreign interference.

He was the first champion of opportunism over morality. Let us look at few of his quotes that convey his ideas.

“A leader should know how to enter into evil when necessity commands”.
“It is necessary for a prince to have all the virtues, but necessary to appear to have them.”

Abraham Maslow – The Motivation Man:

American psychologist, Dr. Abraham Maslow was one of the original founders of human psychology and played a key role of helping leaders understand the concept of motivation. He came out with hierarchy of needs where human look for next higher order need once their needs are met. The list of needs that starts are: physiological needs, safety need belongingness and love, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic and self-actualization.

Douglas McGregor-The Theory X and Theory Y Man:

“The motivation, the potential for development, the capacity for assuming responsibility….are all present in people. Management does not put them there.”
He coined the Theory X and Y where Theory X is inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can. They must be driven, directed, coerced, controlled, or threatened with punishment in order to get them to work as their organization requires. Theory X says that the average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition and wants security above all else.

On the contrary, the Theory Y says that ordinary person does not dislike work: according to conditions it may be a source of satisfaction or punishment. The average human being learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept but also to seek responsibility.

David McClelland – Achievement, Affiliation and Power Motivation:

David McClelland described three types of fundamental motivational needs, which he identified in his book, Human Motivation: Achievement Motivation, Power Motivation and Affiliation Motivation.

He identified power motivation as the most complex and he detailed four specific types of power motivation:

• Stage one power is a desire to something or someone that is perceived as powerful and influential. For some people this could be a job role such as Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive.
• Stage two power is about feeling in control and maintaining your independence regardless of anyone else. Managers who take full control and do not worry about challenges or threats from others are good examples.
• Stage three power motivation is the motive most closely associated with leadership and management. This individual is motivated by the act of directing or influencing other people.
• Stage four power reflects inter-depedence – a desire not to control or influence people directly but simply to act as a conduit for liberating other people to assume greater things.

Tom Peters – The Revolutionary Leadership Guru:

Warren Bennis once said, “If Peter Drucker invented modern management, Tom Peters vivified it”.

It is the energy and radical fervour of Tom Peters that has set him apart from all other gurus. He was a solider. He holds many honorary degrees including one from the State University of Moscow.

Both Tom Peters and Robert ‘Bob’ Waterman wrote a book titled ‘In Search of Excellence’. The book cited 43 excellent companies and included names such as IBM, Hewlett Packard and 3M. It is now generally regarded as a business classic. The book highlighted a model called the 7S Model, to diagnose the various efforts of the excellent companies. The model focused on the so called ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ aspects of management effort. Up until then it was left that the hard S’s – strategy, structure and systems-dominated management thinking. What Peters and Waterman did was to make everyone aware of the soft S’s – shared values, style of management, skills and staff.

WJ Reddin – Three Dimensional Leadership Grid:

He is best known for the 3-D theory of management. He described eight types of leadership styles. They are:

1. The Deserter, who has none or only a minimum of the three characteristics.
2. The Bureaucrat, who has effectiveness only.
3. The Missionary, who only has a relationship orientation.
4. The Developer, who has both effectiveness and relationship orientations.
5. The Autocrat, who only has a task orientation.
6. The Benevolent Autocrat, who has both effectiveness and task orientations.
7. The Compromiser, who has both task and relationship orientations.
8. The Manager (Executive), who has all three characteristics.

Tannenbaum and Schmidt – The Leadership Continuum:

They argued that three factors have to be considered by any leader such as manager forces, subordinate forces and situational forces. They identified the seven leadership behaviours or levels as follows:

1. The manager decides and announces the decision.
2. The manager decides and then ‘sells’ the decision to the group.
3. The manager presents the decision with background ideas and invites questions.
4. The manager suggests a provisional decision and invites discussion about it.
5. The manager presents the situation or problem obtains suggestions and then decides.
6. The manager explains the situation defines the parameters and asks the team to decide.
7. The manager allows the team to identify the problem, develop the options and decide on the action, within the manager’s received limits.

Abraham Zaleznik – Leadership Versus Management:

“Leadership is made of substance, humanity and morality and we are painfully short of all three qualities in our collective lives.”

He differentiates between managers and leaders. His Harvard Business Review article entitled, ‘Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?’ received the McKinsey award for the best Harvard Business Review article in 1977 and was re-published as a classic in 1992. Earlier and later articles received the same recognition.

According to him, management is all about operating in a culture that ‘emphasizes rationality and control”. He went to argue that in his type of environment and organization “it takes neither genius or nor heroism to be a manager, but rather persistence, tough mindedness, hard work, intelligence, analytical ability and, perhaps most important, tolerance and goodwill.”

At the end of the book it unfolds succinctly the successive setbacks of Abraham Lincoln who ultimately became the 16th President of America. It outlines the leadership attributes by John Gardener such as physical vitality and stamina, intelligence and action oriented judgement, eagerness to accept responsibility, task competence, understanding of followers and their needs, skills in dealing with people, need for achievement, capacity to motivate people, courage and resolution, trustworthiness, decisiveness, self-confidence, assertiveness and adaptability/flexibility. It concludes with several quotes about leadership.


“Leadership is the lifting of a man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations.” – Peter Drucker

The book is worth reading for beginners who have passion for leadership and would like to grow in the domain of leadership. It outlines ideas and insights about leadership It is worth investing your time to know various facets of leadership and the contributions of leadership gurus precisely.. It is also a must for busy executives, leadership practitioners, faculties and students.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Book Review By Prof.M.S.Rao – “Change Management – A Guide to Effective Implementation” Authored by Robert A. Paton and James McCalman

“The first law of the jungle is that the most adaptable species are always the most successful. In the struggle for survival, the winners are those who are most sensitive to important changes in their environment and quickest to reshape their behaviour to meet each new environmental challenge.” - John Cotter, in his book ‘The 20% Solution (1995)’

I have read the book titled “Change Management – A Guide to Effective Implementation” authored by Robert A. Paton and James McCalman (Publishers - Response Books- Sage Publications) It has several takeaways that are beneficial to change agents, change practitioners, senior leaders and students. The authors roll out ten key factors in effective change management. They are:

1. Change is all-pervasive.
2. Effective change needs active senior management support.
3. Change is a multi-disciplinary activity.
4. Change is about people, pure and simple. Change management is about people management. When managing change, you manage people. Remember the basics such as openness, communication and involvement.
5. Change is about success.
6. Change is a perpetual process.
7. Effective change requires competent change agents.
8. In terms of methodology, there is no one best way.
9. Change is about ownership.
10. Change is about fun, challenge, and opportunity.

What Do Authors Say?

We shall look at what the authors say along with several relevant references the book contains.

Change is challenging. Changes can either make you or mar you. If you take change positively you can excel as a better manager and leader and you can stand out from the pack.

Force field analysis is a positioning tool that assists the management of change by examining and evaluating, in a basic yet useful manner, the forces for and against the change.

The change agents have to ask the following questions:
1. What is causing the problem?
2. Why do I want to enter into this relationship?
3. Who is likely to be affected by change in this client system, and how are they likely to react?
4. What can I do to help this organization change?
5. Who should I be at certain points in time?
6. How do I get constant change in this organization?

According to Kanter (1983) effective organizations, or at least the masters of change within them, are adept at handling, ‘the triggers of change’, namely:
• Departures from tradition.
• The crisis of a galvanizing event
• Strategic choice
• Prime movers
• Action vehicles

Peters and Waterman (1982) and Kanter (1983; 1989) would suggest that there are common culturally related attributes associated with organizations recognized as being masters of change. The attributes may be presented as follows:

1. A clear and communicated strategic vision
2. Visible senior management involvement
3. People-based competitive edge
4. Marketing ethos
5. Consensus-driven management
6. Awareness and reflection of social responsibility

Follow the guidelines when communicating the change events:
• Customize the message
• Set the appropriate tone
• Build in feedback
• Set the example
• Ensure penetration

The effective change agent must be capable of orchestrating events; socializing within the network of stakeholders; and managing the communication process.

Warner Burke (1994: 72) identifies seven phases which the organization experiences during a typical OD change process. These are described below with appropriate examples from our own experience.
• Phase 1: Entry
• Phase 2: Formalizing the contract
• Phase 3: Information gathering and analysis
• Phase 4: Feedback
• Phase 5: Planning the change process
• Phase 6: Implementing the changes
• Phase 7: Assessment

According to Margulies and Raia, the effective change agent takes on a number of roles:
• To help the organization define the problem by asking for definition of what it is
• To help the organization examine what causes the problem and diagnose how this can be overcome.
• To assist in getting the organization to offer alternative solutions
• To provide direction in the implementation of alternative solutions
• To transmit the learning process that allows the client to deal with change on an ongoing basis in the future.

Margulies and Raia (1972) note that there are three attributes that the individual needs to enable them to take on a consulting role in the area of organization development. They are: the change agent must have a particular personality. Secondly, the change agent requires both analytical and diagnostic skills. Thirdly, the change agent needs to have client-related experience.


The authors refer the four ‘golden rules’ (Lippit, 1959) that the change agent has to observe:

Rule 1: the nature of the relationship.
Rule 2: to action an organization development process within any organization, the change agent has to help solve a current or potential problem.
Rule 3: the relationship is a temporary one and the change agent and the organization must accept the temporary nature of the assistance being provided.
Rule 4: the change agent must be an outside who is not part of the hierarchical power system in which the client organization is located.

Authors provide stages of ‘Intervention Strategy Model(ISM)’ such as
1. Problem/systems specification and description
2. Formulation of success criteria
3. Identification of performance measures
4. Generation of options or solutions
5. Selection of appropriate evaluation techniques
6. Option evaluation
7. Development of implementation strategies.
8. Consolidation.

Authors compare organization as the structure of a spider’s web. They say, “The spider builds a complex structure which, if the imagination is stretched, may be regarded as its organization. The structure is organized in such a manner that it provides a collective strength that may be brought to bear against intruders, be they a potential lunch or an aggressive predator. An organization is built on a foundation of systems which, just like those of the spider, have a common primary role of some description and may respond in a like manner when faced by an intruder, or indeed change.”

Authors eulogize Peter Senge who has been described as the ‘intellectual and spiritual champion’ of the learning organization by Fortune magazine and his philosophy is based on a humanist view of organizational change: that business should pay more attention to the conditions that motivate people to do great things for themselves and for their companies.

Senge’s work has led to the development of the five disciplines, which he describes as artistic rather than traditional management disciplines, aimed at enhancing an organization’s creative capability.

• Personal mastery (1990b:139-73: This is the ability to clarify what one most desires in life and work and to apply the principles and values most important to achieving those goals.
• Mental models (1990b: 174-204): These are the assumptions that shape one’s view of the world, developed from past experience, and feed the judgments and perceptions that influence what one hears and says and how one reacts to others.
• Building a shared vision (1990b: 205-32): Senge argues that whether a vision is created by an entire company or a team of two is not important. The key factor is that it is created collectively because the collective capability to realize the vision is more powerful than that of a single individual.
• Team learning (1990b: 233-72): This is based on the acceptance that people who work well together can learn more and accomplish more than is possible individually.
• Systems thinking (1990b: 6-7): This refers to a conceptual framework that defines a system as a set of interrelated parts. The key is to understand how all the parts connect and interrelate.

“Our organizations work the way they work, ultimately, because of how we think and how we interact. Only by changing how we think can we change deeply embedded policies and practices. Only by changing how we interact can be shared visions, shared understandings and new capabilities for co-ordinated action be established.” - (Senge, 1990b)


“We are not creatures of circumstances, we are the creators of circumstance” – Disraeli

The book unveils practical and step-by-step means of handling change. It is widely researched. It provides several activities that help the readers to think and come out with their solutions. It contains several case studies that are beneficial to practicing managers, change agents and students. It outlines several models that suit various scenarios. Overall, the book is worth reading and there are meaningful takeaways for the readers.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Is E-Recruitment the Emerging Recruitment?" - Prof.M.S.Rao

“The growth in the e-recruitment industry has been fuelled with the adoption of technology by prospective employers and Internet penetration. Organizations have cut costs by almost 80 percent over traditional recruitment modes by moving over to the online recruitment process.” - Dhruvakanth B Shenoy, Vice President-Marketing, Asia, Monster.com India

Now-a-days, people often talk of e-recruitment. Does the term ‘e-recruitment’ sound strange? Does it seem like any other e-ticketing, e-voting, e-teaching and so on? Let us find out what is all about e-recruitment.

E-recruitment is an online recruitment where the recruitment is done through electronic resources. It utilizes the web based tools, techniques and technologies. It is the speed that counts in these days of changing times and technologies. When employers want to fill the slots quickly, they prefer e-recruitment to traditional recruitment. E-recruitment is also known as internet recruitment. We can call it as emerging recruitment, evolving recruitment and also as effective recruitment.

The process of e-recruitment involves the elimination of ineligible and unsuitable candidates through automation process. There are resume scanners that filters automatically online and provides the right candidates to the employers on platter.


Conventional or manual or traditional recruitment takes lot of time in recruiting the potential hires. However, the e-recruitment saves lot of time for both employers and job-seekers. E-recruitment bridges the gap between the employers and job seekers. It provides wider scope, choice and opportunities for both.
The cost is low. There are no middlepersons involved. It saves time, money and energy. It provides round the clock services. It is indeed win-win for both employers and prospective employees.


There is still low computer literacy. At times the employers lose the right candidates. Several people don’t provide adequate information online as they are not computer savvy. There is also duplication of resumes by job seekers. There is possibility for passive resumes being uploaded. Besides there is no much of authenticity as background checks are not involved immediately.


“Recruiting online would ideally be more focused, fast paced, effective and give a higher RoI (Return on Investment)” - Raghuveer Sakuru, Managing Director Kenexa Technologies

The objective of any recruitment is to recruit the right candidate for the right slot. The means of recruitment is also equally important. Keeping the current technology and times, emphasizing on e-recruitment is highly ideal and essential for effective and efficient recruitment.

The days of manual recruitment are fading away gradually as organizations are moving to online recruitment. E-recruitment is here to stay. As change is the only thing constant in this world, there is need to change the strategies in recruitment as well for maximizing the accuracy of right person for the right slot as it minimizes employee dissatisfaction and attrition. Therefore, we can comfortably conclude that e-recruitment is the emerging recruitment in the 21st century.