Last Friday June 12th, I was invited (hmm just the night before the event...probably to help fill up some empty chairs(heheh)...but I would rather much like to think that my good fren Dr Kamal, CEO of IBBM ...invited me because he thought I would greatly benefit from this one-day mega event!) and not tit-for-tat cos there was a recent event I invited him at the eleventh hour too!! hahaha. Thank you Doc for the invite, I did. Leadership seems to be the buzz, today's currency and it is fashionable to talk about leadership too. I commented about 'leadership has no gender' in my earlier blogpost. I gave public lectures on leadership at West Mindanao State University, Zamboanga, Philippines and to MBA students at Universitas Airlangga and at the Training & Development Board of East Java in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
Leadership, older than the Neolithic Era and newer than the New Millennium, continues to fascinate and perplex. Are leaders born or made to order? Should they be incubated or tested by fire? What's a leadership developer to do? And to add insult to injury, we burden our leaders with crippling expectations. We demand them to be wise, swift, fearless ( just like Jet Li hahaha), and visionary. And, by the way, they should turn a handy profit and help us grow too! Who'd want such a role, and moreover, who'd ever fit the bill? Think of the size of the rock that must be lifted by anyone seeking to develop leaders? No wonder, no less than 600 people, local corporate chieftains, head honcos, directors or heads of knowledge & learning centres (hmm.. in those days we call them training managers and training departments!) were with me, trying to pick up a trick or two from John Maxwell!
No business topic has been explored (exploited?) more obsessively than leadership. No behaviour in the workplace has been more analysed, parsed, or dissected. No role has had more expectations heaped upon it. And no failure earns more oprobrium than a leadership flameout. Sometimes, it seems as if leadership is an organization's drug of choice. Companies pay huge sums to get it; employees crave it. And when it's withdrawn, they crash. If leadership had a gene, we would have decoded it by now. I salute the tenacity of scientists who continue seeking to unravel the human leadership genome.
John Maxwell 's views on leadership gravitates around four (4) themes which to him are: relationships; equipting, training & developing other people; attitudes about differences and adversities; and leaders learn to lead other people. He believes that the best leaders are good listeners. He contends that most leaders are 'travel agent' leaders and propogates that one should be a 'tour guide' leader! I like his repeated reminders not to jeorpardise our leadership by sending our ducks to eagle school! hahaha...how true (?). If what I had said triggered your interest, go get yourself his books! My final observation...I wonder if the same audience would respond, laugh at some of the silly jokes, if the speaker had not been a matsaleh and was from one of you?...heheh....think about it folks...and do enjoy the rest of the weekend.... I will be away awhile for the 2nd International CEOs Conference in Sabah and then the 5th Asean Leadership Forum in light of the Asean Charter in Singapore (on the invitation of the Institute of South East Asian Studies, ISEAS) immediately thereafter...and as always...I will blog my observations.