Narendra Modi and Followership

I have no argument with this enthusiasm. Leaders matter greatly. But in searching so zealously for better leaders we tend to lose sight of the people these leaders will lead. Without his armies, after all, Napoleon was just a man with grandiose ambitions. Organizations stand or fall partly on the basis of how well their leaders lead, but partly also on the basis of how well their followers follow.
- In Praise of Followers, Robert E. Kelley, HBR November 1988

Leaders can’t exist without followers. As per ‘Followership’ the article from Kristina G. Ricketts of University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, there are five diverse rationales that followers tend to use when deciding to follow a leader, some are negative and some are positive.

  • Fear of Retribution – “If I do not follow, I may lose my job!” Following out of fear.
  • Blind Hope – “We must do something, and I hope this works!” In this situation, the follower is desperate for some solution and is probably only following due to a lack of alternatives.
  • Faith in Leader – “What a great person. If anyone knows the answer, they do!” Here, the follower is blind to the solution but follows because they have put faith in the leader.
  • Intellectual Agreement – “What a good idea, that certainly makes sense!” Logic guides this rationale, and the follower understands the logic of the argument the leader is putting forward.
  • Buying the Vision – What a brilliant idea, I don’t care who thought of it!” When followers buy a vision, they are emotionally identifying with a view of the future that appeals to them in some way.

In a tabular form it will look as follows:

Narendra Modi was being perceived by a wide section of intellectuals and media that there is “outright opposition” to his candidature as Prime Minister. They forgot that he had ‘Powerful Buy-In’ followers. Narendra Modi along with ‘Powerful Buy-In’ followers was able to not only convert the followers from ‘Wait & See’, ‘Blind Hope’ and ‘Blind Faith’ segment but also from “Outright Opposition” to ‘Powerful Buy-In’ followers e.g. Madhu Kishwar, M J Akbar etc.

To do this, Narendra Modi didn’t just stand in front of a group or organization and demanded buy-in. He was able to do so by creating a sense of identity among ‘Powerful Buy-in’ through talking about “Developed and Strong India”. Followers notice what their leaders say and do. If followers value what leader has done / doing then they start promoting the leader and acting themselves as spokesperson for the leader. This happened with Narendra Modi. He had a developed Gujarat to showcase.

No matter who is memorialized as founder, no nation or organisation is built without the collective effort of a group of able, energetic, unsung followers. The nature and functions of a great follower are little understood and almost never articulated. But this is not the case with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He always acknowledged the role of followers, he always mentioned about representing 5 Crore Gujarati’s as Chief Minister of Gujarat and now as Prime Minister he talks of 125 Crore Indians.

No leader however brilliant, however charismatic can clean river Ganga on his own. Addressing a large gathering on the banks of Ganga at Dashashwamedh Ghat, during his first visit to the Varanasi town after winning the Varanasi seat by a huge margin of 3.7 lakh votes, Narendra Modi said, “I have one dream that I want to begin from Kashi, but that work cannot be done by the government alone, it also needs the help of the people of Kashi,”.

Followers need leaders to help them follow what leaders themselves are following. This relationship takes the form of a shared response-ability to a shared calling. Both find each other in a true fellowship to create the world responsibly. (James Maroosis, Leadership: A Partnership in Reciprocal Following)

Narendra Modi is a successful leader because he understands (i dare say, he alone understands among the current leaders worldwide) followership so well. He understands “Followership is a discipline of supporting leaders and helping them to lead well. It is not submission, but the wise and good care of leaders, done out of a sense of gratitude for their willingness to take on the responsibilities of leadership, and a sense of hope and faith in their abilities and potential.” (Paul Beedle)

In Developing Great Leaders – One Follower at a Time, Rodger Adair says: Followership is not a part of leadership – leadership is a part of followership. All people begin with the foundation as a follower and build up from there.

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Comments

  • Sharad Mistry wrote:

    Congratulations!

    With your latest CXO effort starting with Narendra Modi & Followership, you have chiselled out a much-needed, but less thought fresh approach towards the cross-spectrum of the leadership for this wonderful country called Bharat, of which India is just kid on the bloc, and an aspirational one at that. We all of your friends in particular, and also the Friends of Bharat in general earnestly look forward to the serious acceptance by the target audience – Chairmen, Directors, CEOs, CFOs, et all – of your hearty, soulful and highly intelligent pointers in finding new ways and means to convince the masses to join hands to take this country forward in this new Knowledge Era.

    Yours is surely a Challenging Effort which will surely need the much-needed coming together of intelligent minds – not just profit-and-benefit seekers. This will call for periodic sitting across the table by (a) the Political leaders; (b) the leaders from the private sector, and also the socio-religious leaders to be able to see the elusive common goal and also seriously and intelligently work to achieve the goal in time-bound manner.

    After a serious Samudra-manthan like mental and physical churning, you have brought out what we have woefully forgotten – Yathaa Raajaa tathaa prajaa – as is/are the leader/s, so are the foot-soldiers/followers. It is the leader/s who do the much-needed Samudra-manthan with themselves and also with his/their generals and the foot-soldiers/followers, to seriously dream individually and collectively of the divine and common goal of holistic growth and prosperity of/for one and all.

    Congratulations, once again to take the modern-day Bulls by their Horns!

Author : Sandeep Singh, www.swastik.net.in , #swastiknetin
an initiative supported by Rishipal Chaouhan of JIVA

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NASSCOM Social Innovation Honours 2014 Winners

NASSCOM Foundation, the social development arm of NASSCOM announced the winners of the NASSCOM Social Innovation Honours 2014 edition today. This is the sixth year of the Honours and over these years the Foundation has given many social innovators a platform to showcase and scale their initiatives.

NASSCOM Foundation endeavors to promote technology based social innovations that work towards solving some of the most pression social challenges that our country faces. The Honours have been supported by Industry leader Genpact, since its inception.

This year the NASSCOM Social Innovation Honours received astounding responses with over 300 final applications from all parts of the country. This year finalists consists of i-Mobile Labs, Far-eye – last mile delivery of products, Cloud-based proprietary Health Management Information Systems, Centralised Online Real-time Electronic PDS and others that are geared to provide services, strengthen processes, and creating lasting solutions for the end beneficiaries in India.

The Grand jury members that selected the winners were Mr. S. Ramadorai – Vice Chairman Tata Consultancy Services Limited, Mr. Jaithirth Rao – Chairman of Value Budget Housing Development Corporate of India Pvt. Ltd, Ms. Kalpana Morparia – Chief Executive Officer J. P. Morgan India, Padamshree Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala – IIT Madras and Ms. Valsa Nair – Additional Metropolitan Commissioner MMRDA.
The winners of the sixth edition of the Honours span innovations across the fields of, governance, healthcare, education and citizen services.
Commenting on this occasion Ms. Rita Soni, CEO NASSCOM Foundation said, “India has many social problems and to solve these endemic issues, we require innovation and active participation from people across the country, across all sectors. The thought behind the Honours is that technology has the ability to bring forth social change in a way that no other tool can. The NASSCOM Social Innovation Honours not only recognize these ideas and projects but bring them to a platform where they can collaborate with the nation’s most innovative and inclusive industry. I congratulate all the winners and hope that they will continue to bring about a positive change in India through their innovations”.

“Information and Communication Technology fosters growth in emerging economies as it creates an enabling eco system that not only produces entrepreneurs but also drives inclusion.” said Mr. Mohit Thukral, Senior Vice President Genpact. “The innovations around ICT open up avenues for large scale, sustainable development. We congratulate the winners of NSIH 2014 on their commendable work using ICT to transform citizen participation, health care delivery, education solutions, e-governance and financial inclusion.”

Apart from the recognition that comes with the awards, the Honours provide social innovators and entrepreneurs with exposure to the entrepreneurial ecosystem through mentoring, exposure to potential investments and other opportunities of engagement.

This year, for the first time, a special Jury’s Choice Cash Award is being given at the Honours.

Appendix:

List of Winners:

Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation by a Government Body

iSARITA, Department of Registration and Stamps, Pune, Maharashtra: Integrated Stamp and Registration Information Technology : iSARITA is a web based centralised system which helps in streamlining the process for both the department and the citizens. Citizens can now find information on property transactions and registrations easily and can also use the online public data entry tool to enter their data themselves.
Centralised Online Real-time Electronic PDS (COREPDS), Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, Government of Chhattisgarh : COREPDS empowers the beneficiary by offering a right to choose FPS of her liking. Beneficiaries in COREPDS have been allowed to take their ration from any FPS by authenticating themselves by any one of the multiple instruments allowed such as Smart Ration Cards, Rastriya Swastha Beema Yojana, One Time Pin. The project has empowered the end beneficiary thereby reducing exploitation. The healthy competition improves quality of service amongst the shops.

Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation by a Corporate (CSR)

DataHalli BPO, JSW Foundation : With a core focus on marginalized and exploited women this initiative aims to provide means of employment to women from the 21 villages that surround the JSW Steel plant in Vijayanagar. Working at the BPM centre provides rural women with a sense of pride and dignity while giving them a source of income. The centre also trains the community in skills such as data entry and typing etc.

Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation by a Corporate (Responsible Business)

Jaipur Rugs Company Pvt. Ltd. : The organization has deployed ICT to streamline the production process starting from yarn production to delivery of products, generating employment for 40,000 grassroots level people. Technology is used to create designs for the carpets; villages are linked using Virtual Private Networks and uses technology to monitor, maintain a quality check, date recording and analysis.
Paperless Automated Testing, EduLabs Solutions (Certificate of appreciation): Edulabs advanced cloud based solution for paperless tests is served over web or android devices. The paperless testing solution provides analytical tools and ease of delivery. The solution has the capability of saving upto 48 Lakh trees per year.

Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation by a Social Enterprise

Competency Based Experiential Learning Solution (CoBELS), Callystro Infotech Pvt. Ltd. : Callystro works towards developing interactive content, completely game and activity based which solves the biggest problem which is the learner engagement. Learners repeatedly like to play games. Hence the solution is capable of holding both the attention and retention of concepts through repeated engagement by the child.

Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation by a ‘Not for Profit’ organization

Technology enabled Rural Primary Healthcare Service Delivery, SughaVazhvu Healthcare : SughaVazhvu’s innovation is a cloud-based proprietary Health Management Information System (HMIS). Other than capturing patient-physician interaction the web-based, open source HMIS has fully functional units for supply chain management, monitoring and evaluation, clinical audit and integration with android based mobile platforms for data integrations. Modules such as human resources management, training management, clinical data analysis and community disease mapping aided by geo-visualization are under development.

Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation by an Individual or Group

Governing Education Management Systems (GEMS), Arpita Gopal and Gauravi Pimpalkhare :
GEMS is an academic institution administrative solution which supports a platform for a connected campus, with processes seamlessly sinuous across departments, constituents and stakeholders. At the user level GEMS provides a familiar experience with easy access to the requisite information. Simple, collaborative and integrated applications across departments and constituents foster speed and streamlining of functions.

Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation by Multi Stakeholder Partnerships

MeeSeva – Issuing of Digitally Signed Government Certificates across the counter, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh & Tata Consultancy Services Limited : The Project brings in a digital PKI enabled integrated architecture to deliver G2C Services in a purely electronic mode (replacing issuing of ink signed paper based manual certificates). Services are classified into two categories: Category “A”: services will be delivered across the counter. Category “B”: services which are Statutory in nature where Notices/Hearings/Field Inspections are required.

Award Category : ICT led Social Innovation Concept by Students

EasyElect, Naveen Kumar, Mandrila Biswas, Prathma Verma, Surabhi Bhatnagar and Raja Biswas, National Institute of Design, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat : Easy Elect is an idea where the polling booth is taken to people rather than the other way round. Easy elect aims to “gamify” the voting process and enhance its perception amongst people. Using the database based on Unique identification protocol using digital authentication systems such as face recognition and finger print scan from Aadhaar card it aims to make voting ‘easy’ through an online process.

Automatic Voting Machine, Mayank Goyal, Krishna Institute of Engineering and Technology, MuradNagar, Uttar Pradesh : The concept of the Automatic Voting Machine aims to solve this problem. The machine will be connected directly to the server in which all the information about the voters and candidates is already stored. This AVM will help to solve the above stated problems in the following manner–Each voter will be able to access AVM only once and the access can be done by finger print or retina scan etc.

Award Category : Jury’s Choice Cash Award

Neurosynaptic conditioned telemedicine technology to work even in extremely poor settings and indigenously developed ReMeDi™ – Remote Medical DIagnostics solution. ReMeDi™ can measure basic physiological parameters like patient’s electrocardiogram, temperature, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, as well as transmit heart and lung sounds in real-time, through electronic stethoscope probe and provide vital information about the patient to a remote doctor for preliminary diagnosis. The medical device uses only 2W of power. The solution also includes video conferencing between doctors and patients which can work at a bandwidth as low as 32 Kbps. A preliminary diagnosis of cardiovascular problems can be carried out using stethoscope, ECG and blood pressure measurement. With images, taken using a normal web camera, doctors can provide eye care, dermatology and ENT services.

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Six technology trends shaping the business landscape in 2014

From digitally disrupted to digital disrupter. Six technology trends shaping the business landscape in 2014.

Accenture Technology Vision 2014—Every Business is a Digital Business by Accenture

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Networking : Quality v/s. Quantity

A 45 minute video has a discussion between Networking Guru Dr. Ivan Misner, Andy Lopata, Thomas Power and Max Steén about the relevant merits of broad and deep networks.

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Against all odds

This is a story of fighting huge odds stacked against you. This is a story of sheer grit and perseverance. This is a story of putting Science and Technology to good use. This is a story of overcoming obstacles like corruption and red tape without compromising on your ethics. This is a story of transforming 95 acres of the ‘worst land in Rajasthan’ into a green campus of an educational institute. -

Click here to read the full story

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Dynamic Visualizations Video by Bret Victor

Bret Victor is a master in converting large and boring data into easy to understand visual data. Check out his brilliant presentation

Throughout the history of science, diagrams and graphs have been essential thinking tools. In the past, such visualizations were drawn with pen on paper, and could embrace the directness, freedom, and expressiveness of hand drawing. Most modern visualizations are programmed instead, where a single description can dynamically generate a unique picture for any dataset.

Drawing Dynamic Visualizations from Bret Victor on Vimeo.

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World’s Greatest Workplace : MindValley founded by Vishen Lakhiani

Vishen Lakhiani is the co-founder of Mindvalley — a ground-breaking company comprised of innovators, artists, technologist and dreamers from over 30 countries around the world.

Founded in 2003, Vishen’s vision for Mindvalley was to build a company whose mission was to bring enlightenment and personal growth to the world in a scalable way using a hybrid of marketing and technology.

Vishen works with authors, thinkers, authors and leaders who have pioneered new ways of doing traditional things: parenting, entrepreneurship, spiritual growth, self-development and more. Mindvalley’s team of programmers and marketers then work to build the systems to take these ideas mainstream. His goal was to bring his own passion of personal growth to the masses in hopes of creating a better world.
The result is a new kind of publishing company; one that merges software, mixed media, video, mobile apps and social networks to put authors in the personal development movement in front of the internet generation while bypassing traditional media like printed books.  twitter account : @Vishen

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Why you never wash a Rental Car by Mark Fritz

When was the last time you washed a rental car? If you are like most of us, you probably never washed one, and you probably know why haven’t done it! It’s not your responsibility, as it is not YOUR car; and you just don’t have that feeling of ownership.

With this in mind, what happens in your organisation when your people don’t have the feeling of ownership for what they are doing (and achieving)? There are probably some bad things happening, such as people missing deadlines and a lack of teamwork to resolve problems quickly or people simply avoiding doing what they should be doing. In fact, if you leading people at a distance, you can’t even see them not doing what they should be doing.

For today’s leaders who are often required to lead people across distances and cultures, getting your people to both take on the Feeling of Ownership and keeping that ownership is key for your leadership success. It all starts with the right mindset, a mindset of Outcomes & Ownership (Achievement Ownership).

An Outcomes & Ownership Mindset
There’s a great story that highlights the power of your people taking an outcomes mindset to their work versus an activities mindset. Many years ago, General Bill Creech took over the TAC – Tactical Air Command in the U.S. Air Force, an organisation then of about 170,000 people spread around the world and focused on repairing and maintaining airplanes.

When General Creech took over the organisation, it was organised by function, with workers directed by sophisticated computer systems to each aircraft to maintain and repair the airplanes. He understood the power of teamwork, and re-organised the entire organisation into teams, and assigned teams a number of airplanes to maintain (to keep flying). The teams shared best practices with each other and performance for the whole organisation increased dramatically.

General Creech went around visiting all the locations, and was always asking his people how they liked the new way of working (in the teams). One team member replied with a question back to the general:

When is the last time you washed a rental car?

This team member was saying to the General…

Before: They were activity focused – on their individual activity
Now: They are OUTCOME focused – is the plane flying?

There’s a huge difference when YOUR people are outcomes versus activity focused.

An OUTCOMES focus is a focus on Achievement.
An activities focus is a focus on busyness.

Ownership
This team member was saying that the teams now took ownership for the outcome (the plane flying), and helped their fellow team members to fix the plane faster. Because…if the plane has 5 problems and only 4 problems have been fixed, it’s still not flying! In fact, they painted their team names on the side of the airplanes, and that signalled real ownership. They realised that:

OUTCOMES drives Ownership, and Ownership drives Commitment.

Pride
Actually, the General’s target was beyond OUTCOMES, Ownership and Commitment, and to the word PRIDE. People who have pride in what they do, will do it well; and also continually search for ways to do it better. Now in today’s world, PRIDE often gets a bad name. Why?…because pride is often confused with EGO. Pride without humility is ego. However…

Pride + Humility = MAGIC

When you instil pride in your people and throughout your organisation, they will truly deliver magical performance for you. Do your people feel the pride in what they do?

Delegating & Asking Questions
Remember, as a leader, when you are discussing and delegating outcomes, you are first talking in the language of achievement, and getting your people to take ownership of the achievement (the OUTCOMES). If you delegate an activity to your people, who owns the outcome it supports? That’s right, you do…the leader.

Successful leaders focus on delegating outcomes (not just activities) and asking their people for the milestones on how they are going to achieve them. Your people will take far more ownership in milestones they give you, than in the milestones you give them.

Don’t be too quick to provide your people the answers to all their questions too! So, here’s a question for you. Two people are having a conversation, one is asking all the questions, and one is giving all the answers. Who controls the conversation? That’s right…the one who controls the questions. Now, what this means is…If you are a leader who is answering your people’s questions all day long, then that means that they are in control of every conversation with you! Is that good? Probably not…

Every time you provide an answer to your people’s questions, and you could have asked some questions for them to find their own answer, then you have saved them from thinking.

Save them from thinking, and you save them from growing.

Also, will your people have more ownership in your answers than in their answers? Now, you can’t go all day without ever giving an answer! However, getting the right balance of questions and answers will drive more ownership in your people. How was the balance of questions versus answers for you this past week?

Powering the Ownership (the WHY)
Getting your people to “Own” what they are achieving is your goal, and especially if you are leading people at a distance. You’re not there to see them not doing what they should be doing (& achieving), and there’s an equation of success that really applies to leadership and ownership, and it’s…

WHY > How

Think about it for your own life first. How many times have you wanted to do something…the how was difficult and your WHY just wasn’t strong. You didn’t do it, did you? However, you can probably think back to those times when your WHY was so strong, that you would do ANYTHING to do it (& achieve it).

So, here’s what happens when this equation is out of balance (WHY < how). Your people find the how difficult, they don’t really have a WHY or understand it, and then they simply avoid doing what they know they should be doing. When you are leading at a distance, you are not there to see them not doing it, and pushing them to do. You need PULL power, and that comes from the WHY.

Successful leaders use a combination of PULL & Push. They communicate a powerful WHY that creates the PULL power, and pulls people to WANT to do what they need to. Push power comes from the leaders position, with people feeling they HAVE to do it. When leaders rely on using too much push power, their powers reduce a little each time they use it. Successful leaders use both PULL (the WHY) and Push (their position) to gain the achievements from their people. A key question for you… During this week, have you used the right balance of PULL and push in your organisation?

Outcomes Focused Meetings
How many times have you been asked to attend a meeting, and you’ve heard others say this? (“We need a meeting to discuss…..?”) If you are like many others, you have probably heard this quite often. Is discussion an activity or an outcome? Right, an activity… That means that most people and their organisations are framing their meetings in an activity focus, and not an outcomes focus. Actually, a meeting can only have three outcomes…

1. Agreed decision
2. Agreed action
or
3. Everyone understanding the issue in a consistent way in order to take consistent action after the meeting.

Remember, running poor meetings equals (in your people’s minds) wasting their time. You get more achieved, more ownership, and more commitment when you focus your meetings on OUTCOMES, and not on discussion (an activity).

Your INBOX is Telling You
Actually, your inbox could tell you a great deal about your leadership, and whether you are focusing on OUTCOMES or not.

If you are getting more emails (and questions) from your people than you think is necessary, and if those questions are quite detailed in nature, then you might not be delegating outcomes (and responsibilities), but just activities to your people. They don’t feel the ownership for the achievement, so they keep coming back to you on the activities.

Also, the level of cc’d emails is a strong indicator that you could have some ownership problems in your organisation, as your people feel the need to keep you informed of everything or they don’t want to take ownership on their own.

What is your inbox telling you about your leadership?

The Language of Achievement
Successful leaders think, discuss & delegate OUTCOMES to their people. They know that discussing in outcomes is the language of achievement.

When you speak in OUTCOMES (the language of achievement) in everything you do (including meetings), you get more OWNERSHIP, commitment and achievement from your organisation.

Mark Fritz is an international leadership speaker & Managing Director of Procedor, an international consultancy focused on helping international business leaders to achieve even greater success in leading across distances & cultures. He has lived & worked across the world, teaches leadership at the IE Business school in Madrid, Spain, and speaks regularly on the Power of Ownership in leading today’s organisations. (www.markfritzonline.com / www.procedor.com)

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Lie Spotting

On any given day we’re lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lie can be subtle and counter-intuitive. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and “hotspots” used by those trained to recognize deception — and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving.

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Are we a victim of your own success ?

I quite agree to this article on Harvard Business Review, something worth pondering.

Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.

Read the detailed article at http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/08/the_disciplined_pursuit_of_less.html

Personally, the only counter argument I could think of is to enhance our ability to create leaders to hand over the reins to of areas where we lose focus.

Also, this quote by Alvin Toffer is quite a good reminder of continuous unlearning and relearning. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”

Regards,
Ajay Sanghani
Founder, 10xGrowth.com and Talentexcel.com and CEOMAG.in
Cell :91-9820020753 Skype : ajaysanghani
Linkedin : http://www.linkedin.com/in/ajaysanghani
Email : ajay@10xgrowth.com , ajay@talentexcel.com

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