We need a few transformational leaders

When DA (Dearness Allowance) was introduced in India, the idea was to give redress to all the government employees who suffered from inflation. But as it turned out to be, it became a big factor fueling inflation in the following years. As a paradox this may be, DA still exists; the government is unable to touch it due to political reasons. All the extra money pumped into the system is causing inflation and again DA is increased in the subsequent years. The vicious circle continues.

I am telling this analogy to put forward one argument. A lot of the time, we simply do not know what to do in the first place. Again, a lot of the time; when we believe that we know how to do something, it just produces the opposite effect. As I have illustrated in an earlier blog, Jersey Cow; even with sincerity of heart, we sometimes botch up when we try to correct a mistake. We have insufficient knowledge. We are fallible. We are human.

This world is full of leaders who do stuff on a daily basis. A lot of stuff. Every leader has a lot of followers. But a lot of the time, I feel that their actions are flawed. There might be a lot of reasons for that. Lack of clear vision, insufficient data, poor execution etcetera can be said as the main reasons. Often, when we see the end result it may be just the opposite of what everybody wanted in the first place!

The term “transformational leader” is a subjective one. I try to define it with what it is not. Leaders who are part of the ‘system’ are not transformational. Because leaders who are part of the system will ‘work the system’. They give bribe. They do things that are not good for other people. They corrupt.

A lot of people had argued, during the freedom struggle, that the British should be dealt with violence and aggression. Mahatma Gandhi opposed it and embraced the path of ‘non-violence’. He led by example. He only asked other people to do what he did himself. Firstly, he showed the example himself before asking to do something.

We need people who have clarity of vision and purity of heart. Leaders who can change the world with their intelligence and pragmatism. What we need is some real transformational leaders. People like Mahatma Gandhi.

The entailments of a regular job

Some of us have the luxury of having other people manage their businesses. For the rest of us, a regular, 9-5 type of job is the norm rather than the exception. For me, a regular job comes with a lot of advantages and disadvantages. Having a regular paycheck is the biggest advantage and you need not worry about killing time, so to speak. If you are like me, the very process of working itself will take care that the time is spend fruitfully.

Every workplace is not the same. In India, lead is still widely used in paints. So a person working in the printing industry may have to handle lead-bearing paint on a daily basis; a thing that would make his American counterpart gall. Also, newspapers would occasionally pull out stories of certain sweatshops somewhere in Bangladesh, a fact that still looms large on the textiles industry here in this part of the world also. Anywhere in the world, there should come a setting where people are able to work in healthy environments.

Certain offices have coffee vending machines in their cafeteria. Employees can drink coffee or tea anytime they wish. That too for free. One of my friends used to get restaurant coupons as part of his salary. Once he paid for him and me with coupons, and the restaurant gave him cash for the balance of the amount. That is convenient; I suppose.

Also, there are certain people who would not allow other people to work above certain ‘standards.’ They would secretly, and sometimes openly also, counsel them that there is not need to work your butt out on the job. This is rampant in the construction industry. They say, anyhow, you will get a fixed wage by the day’s end and there is no point in working that little bit extra for the guy who employed you in the morning.

For me, due to the way resources are distributed, the majority of the people are supposed to work for other people. Everyone is like a carpenter who starts with some wooden logs in the morning and then turns it into something beautiful during the course of the day. We make a positive difference to our world. That is creativity.