Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Leaders must be passionate & passion is contagious, says Nirupama Rao

FORMER foreign secretary and current Indian ambassador to US Nirupama Rao has said that “we are all born leaders”. Referring to the Arab Spring, she said how ordinary young people with access to information inspire people’s movements and revolutions. “We are witnessing the true democratization of leadership. It is no longer exclusive or hierarchical…
We are in the age of a true people’s leadership and the consequences of that will dictate the history of our times,” said Rao while participating at a panel discussion in the Global Leadership Summit organized in Washington DC recently. The following are excerpts of her thoughts on global leadership:
• Leadership involves certain constants regardless of the era or time zone in which we are placed. Human beings are not very different from each other regardless of the languages they speak or the cultures they belong to.
• There has never been greater need for an equal representation of women in positions of leadership and responsibility in government, in parliaments, in business, in the non-profits and NGOs, and in academics. It’s a fifty-fifty representation we must aspire for. That should be the mission for our century.
• Everybody recognizes the need for inspirational leadership. The word charisma is also a natural attachment to this definition. To be inspirational and charismatic means more than just inspiring with words and flights of eloquence. It is about walking the talk and moving people to walk alongside you, as Mahatma Gandhi did when he defied the might of the British Raj in India, when he led thousands of people to march to the seashores to harvest salt and defy the pernicious salt laws.
• Leaders in our century will also have to be, as they have been through history, better and better communicators. They will have to embrace the power of social media, and understand the need for instant response and setting the tone and getting the message right so people are not misled by wrong and motivated messaging from vested interests and groups who wish to cause social unrest.
• Leaders have to possess not only intelligence but also good instinct. They must expend their energy and their time wisely and with a sense of balance. They must walk the middle path, they must be focused but also have peripheral vision, they must be structured and methodical, that they must always be authentic because people are wise and they see through you.
• Leaders must get their content right. And they must be able to explain that content to the people, listen to their responses, and be responsive, not aloof or distant. They must know what their people think. They must inspire trust.
• Leaders must have not only a vision for the people. They must believe in that vision, they should embody that vision through irreproachable conduct, ethical behaviour, and incorruptible practice.  They must not be chauvinistic, vengeful or nepotistic. They must provide moral and political leadership. They must be passionate for passion inspires, it is contagious!

Action and Appointments
a) Pranay Sahay, a 1975 batch Manipur-Tripura cadre IPS, presently working as Director of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), has been appointed as DG, Central Reserve Police Force in place of K Vijay Kumar, a 1975 batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS who is retiring on September 30, 2012.
b) The ACC has approved extension of Central deputation tenure of PK Tripathi, a 1987 batch IAS, as advisor (joint secretary level) in the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) under the ministry of home affairs for a period of three months beyond October 5, 2012.
c) Prabhas Kumar Jha, a 1982 batch UP cadre IAS, has been appointed as additional secretary in department of food and public distribution.


  1. Many people know about what is real leadership. But becoming a true leader is a difficult. Theories don't help much. Leaders are born