The Business (or busy-ness) of leadership

As opposed to working in structured, conservative and orderly comfort zones, leadership in the 21st century must be prepared to excel under conditions of uncertainty, ambiguity and even chaos. These are not statements that apply to industry alone, they are as much applicable to the non-profit and non-government sector entities like ours. Are we ready to stretch our vision and consequent actions? Or are we just expending our energies in mundane matters and meetings with insignificant bottom lines?

Role of leadership

Industry Analysis – Recognizing the current and future trends and challenges
Directing development of the organization to meet such challenges. Maintaining the present results ahead of the average curve by exploiting the current opportunities and innovative expansion of operation

Lions Perspective – Retaining and developing our market share Enhancing community’s mind share through a result oriented PR strategy
Building significant partnerships, brand loyalty and donor constituencies

Practical Goals –Sustainable membership development through member engagement in need based programs Perception building and reputation management for recognition as a community resource Community, government, corporate and individual support for all lions programs

Do we find our leadership at the district and MD levels working towards above goals?
Do we feel they are contributing to the development of future models of success by learning from the past and preempting the hurdles for the future? Or do we find them more engrossed in the current affairs of routine nature which may include:

– Organizing large meetings that are basically conventional ceremonies or statutory conventions

– Ensuring that a large number of members attend such meetings irrespective of the fact whether or not there is any value addition component;

– Appointing individuals to positions without clearly stated roles and expectations;

– Working towards release of various periodicals without focus on the contents;

– Achieving goals that may have been set without needs assessments and SWOT analysis, and may be as good as carbon copies of the drafts of previous years.

I do understand that a number of expectations from our leadership may be of managerial variety, but even that may demand creativity to sustain interest. It is imperative that the leadership ought to have a priority listing to differentiate between urgent and important, and between routine and vital. I have seen some delegate tasks, but not decision making authority. Individuals in positions of leadership must recognize that they have to be responsible for the good health of our clubs and ongoing development. Excuses and blame games are not their tools. They are accountable.

Time just flies, but where are the road-maps for revitalization of the weak areas, up gradation of current programs and establishment of new projects. It is pointless to organize and attend meetings to circulate reports if there is to be no transparency/evaluation/accountability on a consistent basis. It is time to reflectleadership needs to be engaged in business, not busy-ness. There is tremendous opportunity to learn from the experience of others; we need not always invent the wheel. Let us commence the process of learning through sharing.


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