This is a guest post by Ali Jafra. Throughout his professional career Ali has been associated with globally recognized consulting firms, including PriceWaterHouse Coopers & Mercer consulting where he has undertaken a number of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) assignments, which has given him a diverse and unique perspective on Change Management. He has successfully managed relationships for blue chip companies, such as, Pepsi International, Microsoft, General Motors, Standard Chartered Bank, Polycom, Du Pont & Al Ghurair Group.
He has also worked as a Lead Project Manager for United Nations (UNDP) project to build capacity of Ministry of Economic Affairs Team in Pakistan to strengthen their online presence and virtual coordination for technology cooperation among developing countries.
In his passion to facilitate dissemination of knowledge with ease, he has moderated more than 100 Live Webinars on MILE’s platform by successfully engaging speakers from Top Academic Schools in the world and Global Consulting firms, such as Harvard, Columbia, Oxford, INSEAD, London Business School, Wharton, Babson, Yale, Standford, Carnegie, IESE, Cranfield, Oliver Wyman, Strategy&, United Nations Chief of E-government and many more.
Ali is a Certified Practitioner of Personality & Preference Inventory program (PAPI) which is a Psychometric tool developed by Cubiks an entity of PA Consulting U.K.
Ali holds a BSc. Degree from Elon University, North Carolina, USA.
Sinking of the Titanic in a cold night on April 14, 1912 will go down as one of the greatest tragedies in the history of mankind. The incident instantly became the epitaph for the lives of more than a thousand people who died. The ship was definitely doomed and slowly but surely sinking into its boundless water grave. Have you ever thought what caused the most advanced and largest ship of its time to sink.
Anyone who has seen the movie or read stories about the disaster would know that the Titanic did not sink because of the iceberg, but it was actually the failed leadership that sent the unsinkable ship to the depths of water. The ship now rests in the bottom of the ocean, but the calamity can certainly teach everyone a lesson about how to become a good leader.
A Leader Has to Take the Responsibility:
You cannot become a leader by acquiring a senior position in an organization, job title or by becoming a figurehead. A leader should be motivating, involved, engaging, training others, removing obstacles and always ready to explore new opportunities.
Captain James Smith was heading to an easy life as it was his retirement trip. One wonders why he ignored 7 warnings about icebergs both from his crew and other ships. A leader should be held responsible for everything an organization does and its success and failure.
Bigger is not always the Best:
Bigger organizations tend to be more inflexible as compared to smaller ones. It becomes difficult leader for such organization to steer, change course or adapt to the changes.Things like policies, procedures and rules and regulations become a norm and even senior employees need to take permission from higher authorities before making any decision. Today’s businesses need to adapt to the changes quickly otherwise it will become too quick for them to change the course after seeing the iceberg.
The Truth Changes:
The Titanic was “unsinkable” or so everyone thought. They were so confident that whatever lifeboats were available on the ship could accommodate only half of the passengers. Dee Hock once said, “The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out.”
Does Rank have its Privileges?
A good organization or leader builds a sense of equality and trust among all the employees. However, sometimes organizations make certain people feel less valued due to their education level, status, rank or any other type of qualification either intentionally or unintentionally. This is especially dangerous, for those organizations who have to incorporate change innovation. By ranking people, leaders limit their potential and therefore, it is necessary for them to clear the line of communication and make everyone feel that they are equally important for the organization. When a disaster strikes, everyone is equal.
Technology cannot Substitute True Leadership:
Someone very wisely said that “The danger is not that computers will replace us. The real danger is when we start acting like computers.” In this regard, a true leader will always guide his troops even if the technology fails. Captain James said years before sinking of the Titanic that the advancement in technology means no ship will ever flounder in the future. Many businesses nowadays invest more in technology instead of leadership development without realizing that the technology alone is not going to help them survive in the absence of true leadership.
When the Titanic sank, none of us was alive, but everyone of us lose something on that fateful night. Hopefully, leaders of today recognize the lessons learned and will strive to make their course towards the right direction.