India will need 250,000 leaders in next 3 years


Kalpana Pathak / New Delhi May 11, 2006

Business coach and author Mike R Jay believes India's diversity will help produce good leaders. Founder of the Leadership University, Mike continues to train global leaders in over 25 countries since 1988. He has authored a book titled Coach2 The Bottom Line: An Executive Guide to Coaching Performance, Change & Transformation in Organizations who has developed an innovative model for governance called Intocracy and an interdevelopmental form of leadership called Generati. Mike Jay, who was in India to address a leadership seminar, spoke to Business Standard.

You say India has a good potential to develop leaders but it should be careful. Kindly explain.

All countries which are growing fast should be careful that growth does not become a runway train. Unlike the West, where things are more homogenous, India has a diverse culture. Hence, it has a good potential to develop good leaders. Indians grow up learning to collaborate and viewing things differently.

This potential in people to collaborate will help leaders develop faster. But I suggest India should be careful when it comes to looking at the West and develop its own identity.

This is your fourth visit to India. So far you have trained 25 coaches here. Please share your experience with us.

India will need good number of leaders to meet the needs of its galloping economy but there is bound to be scarcity. The danger here is that people might bring in leaders which lack enough experience, who might not be tested and who can have a lot of leadership failures.

India's problems are much bigger than problems of the West and thus leadership is going to be more difficult. People here need more leadership training as the problems and environment here is more complex. Though India has a conducive environment to train leaders, it doesn't understand its immediate need.

So how should India address this problem?

In next three years, India would need approximately 250,000 leaders at different levels but it would be short of one-third of what it needs. Leadership development is going to be a challenge in India. I don't think IIMs are the only solution here.

India could address this problem at a much lower level by giving young people as many leadership opportunities as it can in working with businesses, community and industrial organisations.

Giving leadership opportunity is going to be more productive than sending people to business schools or waiting for people to graduate and then try train them in corporate. I don't think corporate can train enough leaders. Good leaders have to be grown and it needs to be started at a younger age.

What does good leadership imply?

Leadership is a way to intervene in a system that is becoming efficient. It's not only about telling people what to do but about keeping the organisation from becoming so efficient that we don't get feedback and the information we need to make an organisation work better and faster.

End quote

Leadership in India has tremendous implications for the rest of the world and I look forward to being a part of the challenge.

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