Leaders who want to succeed or replicate success will have to be humble and investigate both success and failure with equal zeal, said Toronto-based international leadership trainer George Sebastian.

Speaking on “Leadership in uncertain times — why leaders do not learn from success,” at SDM College here on Thursday, Mr. Sebastian said bosses generally took the entire credit for themselves when analysing success but blamed others for failure.

Mangalore Management Association had organised the event. Mr. Sebastian said leaders should understand that old system of issuing orders from the top and all the others following it might not work. The “if-when” (if this happens do this) style should be dumped. He said leaders need to understand that those who follow him were also leaders.

The ground rules of leadership had been changing, he said and pointed out that the executives who took the views of their colleagues into account would succeed in the long run. “Power should not cause you to ignore advice,” he said. “Success should not make you less reflective,” he added. Leaders should involve experts both within and outside the organisations.They should understand how experience shapes learning, challenge assumptions, and move forward creatively. He gave the example of how an Indian-born CEO of Federation Express, the courier company in Canada, drove courier vehicle for a vehicle to understand the problems of the company, though the company was in a comfortable position in the country. This made the CEO appreciate and address the problems of parking better.

He said most Indian graduates did not have soft skills such as the ability to interact with others or make a presentation. Soft skills were needed to build a career. “Graduation without soft skills is nothing,” he said.

Keywords: MBA

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