Wednesday, October 20, 2010

“How to Build Your Leadership Resume?” - Professor M.S.Rao

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly." - Theodore Roosevelt

If you want to build your leadership resume globally, you need to have five-fold strategy. First create new things in your domain as nobody appreciates the routine things. You need to go by the road less traveled. Secondly, communicate with the world through research papers and articles either by blogging and, or writing to magazines and journals. Thirdly, teach and train people in your area of interest. Fourthly, network with the experts in your area of interest and fifthly, lead in your domain by interacting with others globally by participating in conferences, seminars as a guest speaker

Leadership Resume Tips

Follow the below tips for building your leadership resume.

• Check your passionate areas.
• Be clear about where do you want to go and in which stream of leadership you are inclined to grow.
• Follow unconventional path.
• Create a unique roadmap to reach your leadership position.
• Always emphasize on pretty ideas not on petty individuals.
• Always look at the ball not at the score. That means, how you play is more important than looking at the results.
• Although continuous tooting your horn is not advisable, you need to do sometimes to stay in the race to get noticed.
• Keep doing and keep going.


The number one leadership guru, John Maxwell is good at four areas such as leading, communicating, creating and networking. He was not worried about his weaknesses. He knew where he was strong at and leveraged effectively and grew as a leadership legend globally. He began focusing on personality development when he was 17 years of age by investing one hour a day regularly. You can take a leaf out of his consistent and continuous efforts and build your leadership resume to make a difference in the lives of others.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultant, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

“Which is the Power Predominant for Leadership Effectiveness – Expert, Referent, or Personal?” - Professor M.S.Rao

"Charisma is the result of effective leadership, not the other way around." - Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus

Leadership Effectiveness

Leadership effectiveness is confluence of several competencies and capabilities. However, the current article addresses it from three types of powers such as expert power, personal power and referent power.

According to business directory, referent power means ‘Influence over others, acquired from being well liked or respected by them’ and personal power means, ‘Influence over others, the source of which resides in the person instead of being vested by the position he or she holds’. In addition, expert power means, ‘ability to influence someone regarding a course of action because of specific knowledge, experience, or expertise. A person may be given the power to make decisions for others because he is an expert on the particular subject.’

For leadership effectiveness all the three powers are required for leaders. But the moot point here is which is the predominant power for leadership effectiveness. Any effectiveness starts with domain competence. That means leaders must be good at their tasks to command respect from their followers. Succinctly, they must be good at hard skills. Secondly, personal power does help to greater extent in enhancing leadership effectiveness. That means leadership without title in the words of Robin Sharma. Several definitions of leadership clearly say that leadership is not a designation, nor a title. Leadership is by example. Thirdly, leaders must have referent power of being liked to get the tasks executed efficiently and effectively. To conclude, leaders must blend all the three powers judiciously for enhancing leadership effectiveness as per the situation.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultant, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Monday, October 18, 2010

“Are There Level 6 Leaders?” – Professor M.S.Rao

According to Jim Collins, there are five levels of leadership. The level 1 leaders are good at their work individually. They can contribute their best individually both efficiently and effectively. The level 2 leaders are not only efficient and effective but also work in teams effectively thus gelling well with team members. The level 3 leaders are competent managers who can get the work done effectively and efficiently from level 1 and level 2 leaders. The level 4 leaders think ahead of level 3 leaders as they have clear vision to where they intend to go and take their team members forward. Finally, the level 5 leaders are highly passionate and don’t mind who get credit for their contribution. They have humility and professional will. Such leaders take organizations to greater heights of glory. Level 5 leaders are required to take organizations from good to great. Are there level 6 leaders beyond level 5 leaders? Let us look at the same.

Level 6 Leaders:

Level 6 leaders work with passion, patience and perseverance. They emphasize on values and ethics. They empathize with others. They believe in values based leadership. They build further leaders thus ensuring longevity of the organizations. They know how to inspire the motivate people. They are master trainers and mentor others. They are transformational leaders with passion to make others believe in themselves for the good of others. They are knowledge leaders having specialized knowledge. They are thought leaders who see the invisible and forecast the future requirements that are beyond the reach of normal leaders.

Level 6 leaders strive for the personal and professional success of their followers. They handhold, guide and groom them as leaders. They create more leaders to take things forward. They ensure the longevity of the organization without expecting any rewards and returns.

To conclude, level 6 leaders create more leaders. They are above level 5 leaders. They are humane and kindhearted. They believe in soft leadership that blends both soft and hard skills. These leaders are legends who will be remembered for several generations for their commitment and making difference in the lives of others.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultant, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

“What is Customer Pipeline?” – Professor M.S.Rao

You must have heard about leadership pipeline. Let us also know about customer pipeline. It sounds strange to hear about customer pipeline, right!

In leadership pipeline companies keep their leadership talent in the pipeline to avert any kind of organizational eventuality. Especially when key senior executive surprises with sudden resignation, companies don’t have to worry with the sudden exit as they ask the next senior most to take up the charge for time being. In the meanwhile companies shortlist the leadership talent available in the leadership pipeline for senior position for taking the organization forward smoothly and successfully. Leadership pipeline helps companies to have organizational effectiveness and excellence. However, in customer pipeline companies must constantly create new customers as an ongoing process as customers are not permanent to any particular company or brand. When customers find better products and services elsewhere they shift their loyalty. Therefore, companies must regularly find out the pulse of the people to know their tastes and temperaments in order to retain their loyalty. Precisely, customer pipeline is all about retaining the existing customers by finding their changing tastes and temperaments and expanding the customer base through innovative tools and techniques through continuously and constantly for the growth of the company.

Researchers and marketing experts must look at the ways and means to explore and expand this concept as it is well known fact that all businesses purely depend on customers.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultant, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

“Grooming Generation X as Leaders” – Professor M.S.Rao

“Most CEOs are boomers, and an impending leadership crisis is coming. As many as half of senior managers are leaving in the next five years.” – McKinsey Trends Quarterly

You heard about generation and generation gap where generation means people who are born in a particular period and the generation gap means the gap between two generations. However, there is another term ‘Generation X’, widely used for the people who were born after baby boomers and before generation Y (Gen Y). Precisely, they are called Gen Xers. Gen X is very difficult to define as it is not clear exactly the years these people were born because some experts classified these people having been born in the period of 1965 - 1976 and some in the period of 1961 - 1981. They are also known as Thirteenth Generation and baby busters.

Generation Y (Gen Y) are those who were born in the period of 1977 -1996. The early members of Gen Y are often referred as MTV Generation. They are largely the children of the baby boomers and younger members of this generation have parents that belong to Gen X. They are also called Net Generation, Generation Next, iGeneration and the Millennial Generation. The details of all generations are briefly outlined as follows:

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
Generation Xers (born 1965-1976) / (1961-1981)
Generation Yers (born 1977 – 1996)
Digital Natives who are also referred as Hyper-connected (born after 1997)

Challenges for Gen X:

"Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." -Joshua J. Marine

There are several challenges for Gen Xers. Their percentage is lesser than Gen Y. In fact, Gen Xers are caught between the devil and deep sea where older people enjoyed several benefits being senior and the younger generation is much benefited by the rapid growth in technology. They are sandwiched between two other generations such as baby boomers and Gen Y. When baby boomers retire it is the X-ers who have to take up the leadership roles.

Grooming Gen-X as Leaders:

“It is possible at any age to discover a lifelong desire you never knew you had.” - Robert Brault

As the baby boomers are retiring we are heading towards a major global challenge to keep Gen X ready to take on leadership roles and responsibilities. How does it happen? Are the organizations ready to train and groom these people? Have they kept these people in the leadership pipeline?

Gen X employees are a cursed lot as they are not experts in technology like Gen Y. They missed their bus because they were born in a particular era. Their average tenure span at the workplace is decreasing with an average of three to five year life span in any one organization. Companies have made mistake by not focusing on their training and grooming for senior positions. One great advantage is that they have passion for learning and growing and are willing to take up leadership positions. Since baby boomers are retiring there is dearth of leadership talent at the top. Therefore, companies must put earnest efforts to train and groom Xers so that the talent is kept ready in the leadership pipeline to take the companies to greater heights.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultant, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Saturday, October 9, 2010

“Is Coaching An Integral Part of Leadership Development?” – Professor M.S.Rao

Coaching is one of the most effectual means of leadership development as the coaches involve actively in imparting, interacting and providing feedback to their clients. Any doubts can be clarified instantly as there is accessibility of the coaches for the clients. It provides confidence to the clients thus ensuring effective leadership takeaways. In fact, leadership development is incomplete without referring to coaching and mentoring as the clients need to be coached and mentees need to be mentored through mentoring.

Coaching Types and Methods:

Coaching helps in developing the abilities and skills of the clients. It makes sure their personal and professional advancement. There are various types of coaching such as personal coaching, performance coaching, sports coaching, skills coaching, career coaching, corporate coaching, executive coaching, life coaching, and leadership coaching and so on. With the rapid growth in technology and mushrooming knowledge workers, there are specialized coaches for specific domains.

There are two methods of coaching such as directive and non-directive coaching. In directive coaching, the coach teaches extensively for upgrading the skills and abilities of the clients. However, in non-directive method, the coach questions the clients and moves them forward towards their goals. In this method of coaching, questioning is the key and it emphasizes on Socratic Method.

Coaching Vs Mentoring:

Coaching is different from mentoring. In mentoring, the mentors shape the attitudes, behavior and personality of the mentees. In contrast, in coaching, the coaches build skills and abilities of the clients thus widening their competencies and capabilities. In a nutshell, mentoring involves more of soft skills than that of hard skills while coaching involves more of hard skills than that of soft skills. To distinguish succinctly, coaches accompany achievements and mentors ensure shaping of the mentees.

Coaching helps in discovering the inherent competences and capabilities of the clients and in shaping them as competent individuals further. It helps in motivating and building confidence among the clients through continuous support and guidance. However, mentoring helps in showing the mentees their inherent competencies and thus grooming them.

Coaching is a structured and formal approach while mentoring is not so. Coaching involves physical interaction and constant correction with right feedback. However, mentoring is all about sharing advices and experiences.

Qualities of Coaches:

The coaches must be confidential, friendly and must be psychologists. They must shoot right questions to get best out of clients. They must be good at giving objective feedback. Above all, they must be good listeners with right reasoning and analytical bent of mind.

Qualities of Coachees:

The coachees must be good listeners and should have respect towards coach. They must have passion to learn and upgrade their skills and abiliites and must have ability to take feedback objectively and constructively.

Coaching Strategy:

Coach must have clear strategy with a blueprint about the execution of the coaching process which must be aligned with the goals of the clients. Both coach and coachee must set SMART strategies to achieve desired results. They must set their strategies specifically to avoid deviation and to make sure clarity. The duration of the coaching must be measurable to be clear and to enhance seriousness. The strategies must be achievable so that both the coach and coachees get motivated to take it forward. Besides, the coaching strategy must be realistic and should not be a mere daydream. Finally, the strategy must be time bound to stay focused as well as to check for takeaways.

Coaching and Questioning:

The coaches must use several tools during coaching process such as usage of inquiry, interaction, reflection, and requests to get the best out of the clients. In addition, they must learn the art of questioning as questioning is an integral part of coaching. They must ask open ended questions that help their clients think broadly in coming out with solutions. Clients will be able to think and come out with answers when shot with broadening questions as people are usually committed to their ideas than that of others.

Coaching Questions:

Here are the great coaching questions to ask your clients, or yourself!

• What do you want to learn?
• What skills and abilities do you like to acquire?
• What action will you take to improve your abilities and skills?
• What are your professional goals and how much duration do you take to accomplish them?
• What do you mean by success? Has success got anything to do with coaching? How do you think coaching helps in achieving your success?
• What are the current challenges do you have and how will you overcome?
• Do you have the ability to manage external threats and minimize the internal threats?

The above all are of open-ended coaching questions that grill the clients and dig deep for aligning their efforts and energies with their goals.


Coaching as a career is promising as there are number of specialized areas evolving currently. Coaching makes the difference in the lives of others. It is a priceless gift if you have a coach who has passion to shape your personality.

Most of the leadership development programs include coaching to make the programs effective. Besides, coaching clears and clarifies the any doubts instantly as coaches are available for immediate feedback thus improving the confidence level of clients. Coaching builds leadership competencies and capabilities among the clients. Therefore, we can comfortably conclude, that coaching is an integral part of leadership development.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultant, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

“Leadership Development Programs” – Professor M.S.Rao

As you cannot hand over the keys of your car to a person who does not know driving, you cannot hand over the reins of your company to a person who is not equipped with leadership qualities and competencies. Therefore, we need to train and groom the people as leaders before handing over the reins. Leadership development is the mantra for the employees who have high potential to take on the corporate battles with confidence and mettle. Designing the right leadership development program (LDP) is the key to successful leadership development for desirable outcomes.

LDP Objectives

“True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers not the enrichment of the leaders.” - Robert Townsend

Objectives of any LDP are to work out and create a strategy to build leaders as per the organizational goals and objectives. It involves content preparation, training and grooming, feedback and finally keeping them ready to take the corporate battles and challenges. It must be in tune with talent management, leadership succession and leadership pipeline. The bottom line is to ensure seamless supply of leadership talent to avert any kind of organizational eventuality.

LDP Preparation

Before you conduct LDP, be clear about the content to be covered as per the profile of the audience. Find out the profile of the audience that includes their educational background, cultures, gender, ethnicities, levels of position as it helps you understand the create content to match their needs. In addition, find out the duration of the program as you need to cater the content within the duration without compromising the quality of delivery.

While designing the content, find out the relevant areas to be covered. Explore those areas for adding new information, knowledge, skills and abilities. If you give what others give, you get into the rat race. Therefore, look at the innovative ways to design the content to stand out from others to get noticed for valuable takeaways.

LDP Content Plan

The LDP must align with the vision and mission of the organization. It is the base from which the training process must start. In addition, find out whether the LDP is to fill the performance gap areas or for growth areas. The content preparation is different for filling the gap areas and for growth areas. If it is for gap areas find out the gaps and create the content adequately for filling those gap areas. If it is for growth areas find out the next level the people will go and prepare content in those areas so that they can acquire the same.

The ideal content plan for LDP covers below items:

• Personality development
• Communication
• Strategy
• Managing change
• Power presence
• Diversity
• Coaching
• Mentoring
• Business etiquette
• Ethics
• Kirkpatrick’s evaluation

In addition, LDP must focus on both soft and hard skills, the former emphasizing on behavioral aspects and the latter focusing on the domain competency. Blending both soft and hard skills helps in creating smart leaders. The duration of the program usually lasts for five days. The outlined plan is only a tentative one and must be tailored as per the profile of the audience, budget of the company, availability of time and other factors.

While delivering the content, it is essential to use different methods such as lecture, case study, role play, behavioral role modeling, and simulations. The first three methods of lecture, case study and role play are familiar to everybody. Therefore, it is essential to emphasize on behavioral role model and simulations to bring out behavioral changes as leadership deals mostly with behavior.

LDP Execution

"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful." - Samuel Johnson

Be clear about the program and analyze the profile of audience. Find out what do the audiences expect and prepare the content accordingly. The success of any program depends on sharing what is essential to the audience rather than sharing what is one is comfortable with. Why do some training programs fail? The answer is simple as they deliver what they know but not what the audience wants.

Always present the benefits the audience gain during the presentation as it enhances their attention and respect to the trainer and the content. No one cares how big you are until they know how strong you are at your domain.

Create content that is relevant, unique and innovative. Don’t give what others give. Give something different and unique so that you can stand out. While preparing the content it is essential to cover it from three perspectives such as length, breadth and depth. While covering the content it is essential to present it at length such as covering the issue from multiple perspectives. In addition, address the content broadly with illustrations, case studies, activities, through experiential and blended learning. Finally, the content should not be superficial but must have depth of knowledge and information as it helps in minimizing the time during question and hour session.

Make use of innovative and varied instructional methods that attract the attention of the audience. Adopt these instructional methods as per the learning styles of the audience. Keep changing the instructional style as per the body language and the mood of the audience. Use film clippings, power point presentations, role plays and interactive methods as per the profile and mood of the audience.

As feedback is the breakfast of the champions, at the end provide feedback form to find out the takeaways from the participants. It clearly spells out the pulse of the people and helps you do better in the next program.

LDP and Action Learning

Action learning is learning by doing where people learn through their experiences thus improving their performance. It helps in relating the reel content with real life, enhances awareness, makes the learning process more disciplined and boosts the overall confidence of the participants. It is usually conducted in small groups where people do certain activities and tasks under the supervision of a facilitator who corrects and moderates the behavior of the participants. It is a behavioral aspect. It does not involve in mere sharing or acquiring of knowledge. It is an extension of traditional learning. In traditional classroom learning the participants learn only knowledge. However, in action learning the participants acquire skills and abilities to execute the task effectively and efficiently.

Professor Reginald Revans is the brainchild behind this concept who developed in UK in 1940s. It helps tremendously in leadership development where the participants are highly mature and experienced individuals who do not need spoon-feeding. It is the key component for leadership development programs.

Learning Leadership

"The most important thing in life is not to capitalize on your successes - any fool can do that. The really important thing is to profit from your mistakes." - William Bolitho, from 'Twelve against the Gods'

Learning leadership involves both theoretical aspects and practical activities. You need to be equipped with the theoretical concepts so that you will be able to experiment in your real life environment. During the course of experimentation, you tend to make mistakes and learn a lot from your experience. However, the theoretical concepts that you learn from various sources will help you minimize mistakes thus enhancing your success rate as an effective leader.

People learn about leadership from multiple sources such as books, by observing leaders at the workplace or outside the workplace. You can also learn by reading good books. You can perfect your leadership skills by undergoing training programs wherein you involve in role plays and practical activities through blended and experiential learning. Above all, you need to get your hands dirty to excel as an effective leader. Therefore, learning the ropes of leadership is easier said than done.

Leadership is a trainable and transferable skill from one person to another. It is more of a behavioral skill that can be learned by experience and through proper training and grooming. There must be mentors who can share experiences time to time to walk the talk and to fine-tune the mentees. In addition, there must be coaches who can interact, question and grill to get best out of the coachees.

LDP in India

India’s ICICI Bank, Hindustan Unilever and Infosys have invested into LDPs and they are the top Indian companies to hit global headlines by investing into leadership development programs.

Indian companies prefer to train and groom the top leadership talent ready within their organizations rather than hiring from outside unlike the western countries. Indian companies have strong selection strategies to recruit and train the people as per their business needs.


“The ultimate challenge of leaders who are senior managers is to develop the next generation of leaders more capable than themselves.” – Dave Ulrich

The current financial crisis globally and the recent eruption of corporate scandals reflect that there is dearth of leadership talent and ethical leadership at the top. Therefore, there is need for emphasizing on ethics while developing leaders. Besides, research reports reveal that the turn over rate of CEOs is rising tremendously. Tenure span of CEOs is decreasing gradually. Therefore, there is an urgent need to conduct LDPs to groom leaders so as to ensure seamless supply of talented leaders to take on the corporate battles in 21st century.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultant, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Friday, October 1, 2010

“Accept and Respect Ayodhya Verdict” – Professor M.S.Rao

Finally, the sensitive Ayodhya issue has been pronounced by the Lucknow court on 30 September 2010. The features of the verdict are:

• Land is divided into three parts
• 1/3 of the land is allotted to Muslims.
• Status quo is to be maintained for 3 months.
• Idols cannot be removed.

It is a secular verdict. We have to accept and honor the verdict in the larger interests of our nation. India is still a developing country with several economic and other issues. In fact, these issues are more important than the Ayodhya issue. Therefore, it is vital for all of us to accept and respect the verdict for taking the country forward to peace and progress.

It is time to bid good bye to mixing religion with politics and start focusing in developmental activities for India’s growth. Let us forget the wounds of the past and move forward with fraternity and unity.

Let us congratulate the people of India for displaying peace and tranquility after the verdict. Let us also congratulate our Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram for taking precautionary measures to maintain peace and tranquility.

The author personally appeals to all Indians to respect the verdict in the larger interests of building a better and stronger India. Let us do remember that we are Indians first and Indians last. Jai Hind