The Leadership Factor

We are privileged professionals! As we serve a number of clients from different industries, in different geographies, we have a ringside seat to their strategies, successes & failures. We see same & similar inputs of knowledge, skills & resources blending together to produce a dramatic kaleidoscope – from utter cacophony to a sublime orchestra! When you analyze this phenomenon, you are inevitably led to some objective conclusions about the factors that enable success. Here are our conclusions about the hierarchy of factors that drive excellence in an organization:

1. The single most important factor – the Conductors of the Orchestra – Leadership Factor
2. The second most important factor – People Factor!
3. The third most important factor – Innovation Factor!

A lot has been said, & plenty has been written about the Leadership Factor. But 
it bears repetition. As someone said, ‘The currency of Leadership is presence. 
Where leaders spend their time determines what is important to their 
organization.’

In Tom Gross’s words, ‘Passion is the backbone of cultural excellence and is a hallmark of being a leader.’ When you have a leader on the floor or the front lines with his or her sleeves rolled up, it draws people in! I recently read an article by Michael Pryke, Managing Partner, EQ IMPACT. He describes the essence of Leadership by a model consisting of a central core/ hub connected together with 12 spokes supporting it, to make a round wheel propelling the team/ organization/ country forward.

The Central Core is ‘Personal Awareness’, which includes value systems, capabilities & empathy. The other 12 Ps forming the spoke are shown in the picture below:

There is much in this that seems to support our learning. Imai-sensei has been telling us for years about the three essential conditions of success in KAIZEN™ – Top Management Commitment, ……. !!

The other two factors listed by us also play very important roles in organizational success, but in the absence of right leadership, their efficacy is critically diluted. Perhaps, we shall discuss the other factors another time. Till then – cheers….

by Vinod Grover

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