As I sit down on the eve of my 40th birthday to write this editorial, I couldn’t have thought of writing on a more important aspect – as great political leadership is what India requires more than anything else today. And though I have written considerably on leadership, it has mainly been about corporate leadership. Leadership in corporations is massively different from political leadership, and therefore it requires a special model and a special line of thinking. While in corporations the final aim is profit maximization in most cases, in politics the final objective is necessarily social welfare maximization. While in corporations the best leaders are often the best marketing guys, in politics the best leaders necessarily have to be the people who are the sincerest and most hard working. While in business you can make do without the knowledge of economics, in politics that can be suicidal. While in business being unethical can harm you and at most your stake holders, in politics the lack of ethics ruins an entire nation’s future. And most importantly, while in corporations leadership is about commitment to the strongest and survival of the fittest, in political leadership, the focus always is about commitment to the weakest and survival of the weakest – concepts about which I wrote a few issues back in Business & Economy (a Planman Media group publication), when I wrote about responsible leadership (please do log on to our website and check out the link for the same: Thus, for me, political leadership is not just about having certain qualities but also simultaneously about not having various qualities. Rather, what is important is to ensure that one does not possess certain specific qualities first; if that is taken care of, the rest would then automatically fall in place.

Keeping all the above in mind, I believe the model of the 7 winning virtues of political leadership (viz Credibility, Compassion, Clairvoyance, Camaraderie, Commitment, Charisma and Competence) that I have developed is most suited for Politicians in general and Indian politicians in particular, keeping in mind the spate of massive corruption scandals of late! So what is so special about these 7 Cs of leadership that has not been read before? After all, is it not just another word play?

Well, the difference in this model and any other such model is that in this model, each element or virtue is actually the opposite of one of the 7 sins of life – the seven deadly sins that we are supposed to avoid; to a large extent, as normal human beings and to an almost extreme extent, as a political leader! The seven sins originally are Greed, Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, Lust, Pride and Wrath! So how are these related, you must be wondering! Let’s go one by one!

The first sin that a leader must avoid is that of greed. This is what seems to be the biggest problem with political leaders in India. Greed. The reason behind all the lack of development in India at the cost of swelling Swiss bank accounts. Every politician looks at politics as a source of making quick money at the cost of the nation. And thus, instead of looking at the Commonwealth Games as a brilliant chance to develop the nation and its sports facilities – the way China looked at Olympics – they looked at the games as an opportunity to create a massive scam and looted the nation shamefully. So instead of looking at telecommunications as a big chance of taking the country towards better development, our leaders looked at it as a chance to loot and plunder. And this is where my first C of leadership gains importance. The virtue of credibility! Instead of greed, and dishonesty, political leadership is about credibility. That’s what defines a political leader’s true character. Once you lose credibility, you can still continue thanks to various reasons, but with no respect. That’s what most Indian politicians today suffer: the problem of credibility.     Read More....

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