Mast Kalandar

bandar's colander of random jamun aur aam

Sat, 15 Mar 2014

Guidance or Leadership

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There are those who aspire to lead and are good at it --- I am not one of them!

Through the passage of time, I am now a "senior member" of the academic community; roles like Professor, Head, Dean etc. are a consequence.

A leader would take such role to mould the community around her/him. A leader would be able to delegate much of the work to others while ensuring that all policy matters were referred back. A leader would lead the community into possibly risky but potentially fertile territory. A leader would also take the blame where the group fails.

The leadership interpretation of these roles is too demanding for me! I prefer to see these roles as service roles. You need a length of rope? Let me see if I can find some. You want suggestions on how to use it? Happy to give a discourse. Tied yourself into knots? Maybe I can help you get free.

I also see these as guidance roles. One has experience and the analytic skills to organise that experience into rough guidelines about what is likely to work. "Last time I went that way, there was a swamp with alligators in the path. Perhaps you need to carry a big spear or learn to traverse the treetops."

To a large extent, this difference percolates into one's teaching style. I would like to spread out the ingredients and demonstrate one way to make something tasty, rather than say "Here is a recipe."

Leaders like to see the world as made up of leaders and followers. Guides like to see the world as made up of guides and potential guides.

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