Leadership – Part Four

Patience No matter how many attempts did a leader make and the number of failures happened, it will never deter a leader. A leader keeps pushing forward and works relentlessly until and unless they reach what they aimed for. This is one of the important characteristics of a leader.

Passionate  In any of the interviews that Kack Welsh, the Ex- CEO of GE, gave, every time he mentions “Be passionate”. A leader is very passionate of his job, about his organization and wants to do something different every time. There is a never dying thirst in a leader to reach the top.

Leaderships in Organizations

A person who has the capability to inspire others to dream more, to learn more and become more is a leader. Leadership in an organization is an action not a job position. A leader does not wait for a problem to come and then work on it but anticipates it and starts working on it before it can cause any damage.  Leadership plays a very critical role in any organization. If an organization excels it is because of the leadership provided by the leader of the company and vice versa. Just being in a high position will not make them leaders. A leader need sot have a vision to work for and needs to motivate his people around such that they are ready to excel their own capabilities to attain organizational goals.  A leader can follow any of the above mentioned theories to motivate his team. But what happens in reality. Are these theories just theories or are they implemented in the real life. Looking at the various companies and their leadership styles following are the observations made:

The British Railways British Railways was a pioneer in railway system. It gifted the world; the most easiest and convenient means to travel across to many places. However, the British Railways was in a complete mess in the 1980’s.Every CEO who wanted to reform the British railway system could not do so as the political influence was very high and the budget allocated to reform the system was sufficient enough. Here, I would like to talk about R.B.Reid who completely revamped the system of British railways, who initially was ruled out to be unfit for the position of CEO.  Many of his successors tried to change the system but every trial of their ended in a vain effort.

What makes R.B.Reid unique was he was from the system. He started his career as an Engineer soon after finishing his MBA studies and gradually grew from there to become the CEO of the company. He had a good rapport with various departments and made good friends.  This nature of building networks helped him to achieve what was impossible for his predecessors. British Railways is a very huge organization with many operational and safety regulations and various obligations to fulfill the statutory requirements of the government.  It was place which was bound with traditions, cultures and history. Mr. Reid being a part of the system from the beginning understood these very well unlike his competitors who were hired from outside the railway system. One of the necessary moves to be made to improve the services of British Railways was to reduce the debt on the organization for which Mr. Reid went on a cost cutting mode. He slashed most of the jobs that were unnecessary and unwanted. Within two years of he taking charge as a CEO, he has successfully delivered productivity improvements and cost reductions magnificently which was never achieved before.  By this he proved his worth and this gave him power to bid for the maintenance efficient rolling stock and the electrification and upgrading of major routes.  He made some major changes in the railway industry such as changing the double routes to a single route and so on and so forth.


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