Wanted Urgently: A Transformational Leader

“This is shocking,” I said.

“The newspapers carry their daily quota of corruption, murder, suicide and rape news reports. I am not going to read newspapers anymore.” Jack, my Great Dane, said as he kept his front legs on my shoulders and read the newspaper which I was holding.

“It will do him good,” Jill, my Siamese cat said obviously referring to me. There is this snobbish attitude of cats which makes conversations so abrasive. “His shoulders must be aching bearing your weight, Fatso.”

“Oh, stop it. Don’t take a bite at him.” I warned Jill firmly. I have always believed that a team leader must reign in his team members who cross the invisible line of good behaviour. Otherwise the team members behave like Members of Parliament. “And Jill, I am not referring to any murder or suicide story. It is not about rape which seems to have spread like plague in our country. I am talking about the building collapse in Bangladesh in which a thousand were killed and injured.”

‘Shocking indeed!” Jack said as he settled on the carpet. “The retailers in the West are guilty – their actions have caused this accident. They give such low margins to Bangladeshi producers, who then try to cut cost and create very unsafe workplace.”

“All this is humbug.” Jill said. “Retailers will try to negotiate hard for low prices. What prevents the Bangladeshi producers from making a cartel? If you think you are weak then, well, you are! Nobody can save you!!”

“They have not attended your school to think like that…” it was Jack’s turn to deliver the snub. “The retailers would rather go to Sri Lanka.”

“I don’t envy Bangladeshi producers. They are caught between the proverbial devil and deep sea.” I said. Leaders like me often make such statements in a meeting. And the readers will realise that these are very autobiographical. What else can you do when caught between a Siamese cat and a Great Dane except turning philosophical?

“I think we are missing the point. If the Government makes strict laws everybody will comply with safety regulations, and all will accept the minimum

production cost at a certain level. Even retailers will find it safe and secure to place orders with such an establishment.” Jill raised her head as she got up from the sofa and looked around.

“Jill, you are hopelessly ignorant. Making a law is not the same as enforcing the law.” Jill said. I like this quality of Great Danes. Very affable canines they are, but if you hurt their pride, they will give it back to you.

“I see your point.” I said to Jack. “What is the use of stringent laws if they are not implemented?”

“Exactly” said Jack, “See what happened in Mumbra. The building crashed. Many died. And political leaders are joining hands to protect the builders.  

“The situation is hopeless. Corruption is rampant. Nobody sees anything wrong in protecting the criminals and wrong-doers. This can only become worse.” Jill predicted.

“Yeah, the future seems bleak.” I agreed. As a team leader I had to register my views and presence.

“Unless somebody gets up and says “I am not going to accept this” and uses his might to bring about a drastic change.” Jill said.

“Obviously he has to be a lone crusader. Like Seshan who checked political parties and their leaders. Or Like Chandrasekhar who transformed Thane and Nagpur.” Jack said, “The transformational leader does not think he is constrained by the system; he actually redefines it.”

“Isn’t he speaking like Jack Welch?” Jill looked at him and winked as we laughed.

Photo courtesy: dogspot.in and stuffpoint.com