Heera Training & Management Consultants

eNewsletter June 2010

Hi! And how are you all? May was a really busy, busy month going to places from Gurun, Kedah to Johor Bahru and to Penang. However it is always worth it because one of the things that really motivates me is when participants write to tell me that they enjoyed the training and that it had made an impact on them. It makes all the hard work and travelling worth it. And being busy in my profession is always a ‘good’ problem.

As most of you already know, David Cameron from the Conservative Party is now the Prime Minister of Britain, as he has formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. They now have more seats than the Labor party which formed the previous government headed by Gordon Brown. I was following events carefully and the one that I liked from a management perspective was when Gordon Brown announced his resignation as British Prime Minister.

“I have no desire to stay in my position longer than is needed”.

In a dramatic speech just before he resigned, Gordon Brown said that he was doing it to pave the way for a stable government to take over in Britain. In his speech, he said: “I have no desire to stay in my position a minute longer than is needed. As leader of my party I must accept that the loss in the elections is a judgment on me and my leadership”.

This to me is leadership at its highest level i.e. a leader knowing when to pass on the baton in dignity and with distinction, with his personal interest second to the country’s interest. In resigning, Gordon Brown took a very difficult personal decision to ensure a smooth transition to a stable government in Britain.

I wish we could have more leaders like him, both in politics and in the corporate world. All leaders have a shelf life in whatever that they do. Once they pass their use-by date, they are no longer relevant and hence ineffective, irrespective of how good they were previously. The sign of a good leader is knowing when they have passed their expiry date and to magnanimously pass on the leadership role to others. This is however not easy as leaders always dread the thought of being powerless.

However staying on also has its drawbacks because you do not operate as effectively as you did previously and with each passing day, you become more and more irrelevant. The day finally comes when the leader is unceremoniously dumped out of office or even worst, is hounded out of his office in disgrace. All his previous achievements then comes to nought!

In short the sign of a good leader is someone who knows when to pass on power to someone else who can take the nation or organization to an even greater level. No one is irreplaceable. The realization that what is in the national or organizational interest is always paramount is a value that good leaders at all levels should reflect. This is perhaps one of the most difficult things that a leader must learn to do.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I do hope all of you will have a great month in June. Till my July newsletter, have a great month ahead and do take care.