Thursday, May 5, 2011

President Obama's gutsy decision

More often than not people on the sidelines or arm chair politicians loosely comment about people in leadership positions. That is a curse the leader has to live with. However, great leaders go ahead with their convictions in what they think is the overall good. In this context, Obama's decision stands out as exceptionally brave. Ordering a secret attack in Bin laden's hide-out in Pakistan was fraught with danger. Should the mission have failed or mis-fired, Obama would have been in the receiving end of world ridicule. The responsibility that weighed on his shoulders and the enormity of the dilemma was mind-boggling. Most world leaders in his position would not have had the guts or the gumption to take the decision he did. This is where the best gets separated from the others. That the operation went thro' successfully was a fitting outcome for his bold decision. Rewards are commensurate with the risks and it is no wonder that Obama's popularity ratings went thro' the roof after this event. Kudos to him.

That this mission was aimed at eliminating the most wanted terrorist in the world helped in galvanizing the world opinion in lavishing praise on Obama. However, one hopes that such events are not taken as a precedent in clandestinely encroaching on a sovereign country for other flimsy reasons.

That Pakistan has been helping and shielding Osama has become blatantly clear. The very fact that Osama has been living just a stones throw from the military Academy clearly shows the nexus. It needs a strong leader and a stronger government to reverse this trend in Pakistan.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dhoni's leadership qualities

"Cool as cucumber". That saying is probably history for the Indians. They now say "cool as Dhoni". Yes! That is one of the many attributes of this man. Always cool, calm,composed. That is his Brand image and he has worked hard at it. Whatever be the situation, however much the pressure and tension, one hardly sees Dhoni getting rattled or tensed. Don't get me wrong. He must be feeling all the tension and pressure inside of him. Everyone faces pressure-cooker situations in life. It is how you deal with them that separates the good from the great. People who say they don't feel pressure or fear are telling a lie. Every leader feels it. But great leaders don't show it outside. The leaders' body language is keenly watched by his team and Dhoni has always excelled in this aspect with his positive energy.

He must be one of the very few sports leaders who have led different groups of people and still delivered the winning mantra on each occasion. Starting with the T-20 world cup win in 2007, he brought India to No.1 ranking in both the Test and O.D.I format. He also led the Chennai Super Kings(CSK) to its IPL win as also in the Champions league. To lead the Indian test team consisting of the senior stalwarts and then leading and nurturing the youngsters in the other formats of the game shows his man management and motivational skills as a leader.

In the 2011 world cup final match, he promoted himself up the batting order even though he has had a below par batting performance in the tournament. That required guts and sent a clear message to the opposition that " i am going to take you on". When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Dhoni proved that by leading from the front and taking Team India to victory.

There is a lot one can learn about Leadership attributes from Dhoni . One hopes that once Dhoni hangs his boots, he would probably use these Leadership skills to better and bigger use to society in general.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The year 2010- A Flashback

The year started with the official opening of the world's tallest man-made structure- The Burj Khalifa in Dubai- on Jan 4th. Before the world could rejoice came the news of the Haiti earthquake on 12th Jan. More than 230,000 people lost their lives in one of the worst quake disasters in the history. April saw the Volcanic ash eruption from the mountains of Iceland disrupting Air traffic in Europe.

More misery was to follow when BP's Deep water Horizon oil platform exploded off the Gulf of Mexico on April 20th. One of the worst oil spill resulted from this which polluted and damaged the waters, marine life and coastline of the U.S.A. After close to three months, on 15h July, the well was finally capped after 4.9 million barrels (about 206 million gallons)of crude oil spillage.

World economy was still in tatters especially the Western countries. Iceland went to bankruptcy. Greece was downgraded to "junk" status in May. The Euro zone and IMF had to work out a Euro 110 billion package to bail out Greece. Later during the year, Republic of Ireland had to be bailed out with a 85 billion euro package. Amidst all this chaos, the silver lining was the successful conduct of the FIFA world cup football in South Africa during June-July which Spain won.

The Wikileaks came out in July which shook the world and put U.S to shame exposing their misdeeds in Iraq and Afghanistan.Further leaks during the year added to their embarrassment.

More bad news in August when 33 Chilean miners were trapped 700 meters below in the mines in Chile. After a 69 days ordeal, they were remarkably rescued on 13th October.

India went through it's share of woes in the form of scams and corruption in the X1X Commonwealth games( Kalmadi and party), 2G telecom auction (minister Raja) and the Adarsh housing allotment. Inflation and food article prices sky rocketed with onion prices reaching 120 Rs/kg. The winter session of the Parliament virtually came to a standstill with the opposition stalling the proceedings in view of corruption charges against ministers and the Government. The ruling UPA government's credibility took a severe beating.

The year 2010 was dominated by more negative news than positive. Let us hope that the year 2011 turns out to be a good one.