The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management” by Alan Murray describes - Leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing. But they are necessarily linked, and complementary. Any effort to separate the two is likely to cause more problems than it solves.
I read the above lines from someone from LinkedIn who actually sent me a personal email regarding one of my crazy blog posts. I didn’t want to reply because I know the basic electronics and the post was more about my fiction than the actual electronics. One day I was casually browsing through his LinkedIn profile and found some interesting articles relating to leadership, management and technical leadership. Since then I was thinking to write about the leadership and management.
I usually take my writing through some famous quotes, in this case also no difference. Recently I have just finished reading the autobiography of the Indian Guru Osho and I like to elucidate my leadership and management style through one of his quotes. ‘Never ask, “Who is my real friend?” Ask, “Am I a real friend to somebody?” That is the right question. Always be concerned with yourself.’
On that note, the first question that came to me was am I a good leader or am I able to manage myself very well? I went back to my childhood and tried to remember when was the first time I showed my leadership and management skills? I am sure this is not the first time, but a striking one from a summer time after my class 6, a local Vayanasala(library) was conducting a cricket tournament. I and couple of local friends approached a team and told them we want to play for them. We took part in the trials and unfortunately they told us we were not good enough to play in the tournament.
After coming home, my thoughts turned to how we could play in that tournament. Next day morning I met my friends and told them we are going to form a cricket team and are going to play. To enter that tournament as a team we need to pay Rs.100 as an entry fee. I asked everyone, if they are willing to share the cost, but the consensus was that we wouldn't be able to collect that much of money, so we thought of several ways to increase our entry fee fund. We also tried one fraudulent thing. Near my home there is a small temple which hasn't got a hundi(collection pot) in front of the road at that time. We took a pot from my house and covered with red velvet and tried to imitate a hundi. One senior member in the village found this and advised “this as cheating the God”! Eventually we found the money from our parents so the team was formed and all my local friends were included in the cricket team.
So our dream had come true and I appointed myself as Captain of the team along with opening batman and bowler after vigilant selection process. As we were the rookies you can predict the outcome of the matches, but six months later we were starting to win the matches.
When I look back, my management skills were valuable in overcoming the hurdles to form the team and finding the money. My leadership skills were used in deciding the strategic decision of the team like opening batting/bowling and who should bowl the next overs or which batsman should bat in each position. I used my management skills to administer the team and my leadership skills innovates how to win the match. Another illustration of my leadership skills was always looking to win matches by rotating the bowlers or shift the batsman and making the correct alterations to the fielding positions. If we lost the match also, I was there to take the full responsibility because I might place a person on one fielding position and he dropped a lollipop. It was a clear example of my natural leadership. After each match while we were walking back, we discussed the mistakes and things that went wrong or what went according to the plan. Now in my IT career after each sprint or project these actions we call it as retrospective.
At the age of 11 or 12, I was able to do this because of the opportunities. Looking back, I also believe that captivating that opportunity was the key factor that ensued in developing the management and leadership skills that I had, along with my passion to play in the tournament, my decision to build the team, persuade others to share the cost, etc. One more thing I really want to emphasis along with this, if you want to chase something, you need to take brave decisions or steps, on the surface it might seem that in opportunities are limited then if you look around you can find the best wine out of the shelf.
Most of you might think what was the motivation behind this article or there are thousands of posts available about the management and leadership or what it stands out from other posts. The answer is unpretentious, at times there are circumstances in life where you could think, if you are good enough to do certain things in life. While looking back to our life itself, we might be able to find the best retort to that kind of puzzle. If not, please try to read about the other people experiences. Here, I tried to share a small incident from my life. If I ever believed I was not able to lead or manage myself very well, I wouldn't have been able to write about this.
The next topic, I am going to write about is my writing skills. Reflecting on my writing skills I hope that have shown some potential, there's room for improvement, but I believe the best is still to come.