Why India can’t produce leaders

tarungill.comRecently I attended a corporate training program honing employees to be effective managers. With this whole splurge of leadership programs and focus on entrepreneurship, the word Manager in a training program should never be used now. But old school trainers have a mind of their own, refusing to unlearn what is redundant today.

To my surprise every individual in the training program was only concerned about one thing: growth and promotion.  Regardless of what he/she wants to do in life. Curious and surprised, I spoke to most of them and asked them their career aspirations. And almost all wanted to be senior leaders with loads of money and decision-making.

Here I was stuck in a room surrounded by MBAs from good business schools, with one common goal, career elevation, and what not to do to piss off the manager. Not even a single person wanted to be an entrepreneur or was suggesting a change, which could shift the paradigm of Indian business. This training program had people from all multinational organizations representing major Indian industries.

It became clear to me why we Indians are so transactional. Here is why

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We can never produce leaders

We in India can never produce great leaders, because we are always told to study so we could find a good job and a stable career. We are conditioned to be corporate slaves and workers. Even our MBA programs reinforce the same belief. Don’t you hear it every year in the newspapers, on how IIM graduates get recruited by a Fortune 100 company on fat salaries! The best brain apparently (is what IIM claims) is being made slave to a foreign company.


It is all in the upbringing

While growing up, every kid is told rather forced to study, score good marks, stay away from distractions such as sports, dramatics or any other extra curricular activities, which may interest them. Parents condition their kids to be workers. Study so you could find a good job.

In India it has now become a norm to be an MBA. A fresh graduate has to do an MBA to be more hirable. No wonder every second day, we see print ads of various Business schools blowing their trumpet of campus placements. Don’t be surprised if you see more business schools than MBA aspirants. That’s the way it works in India. Everyone is trying to copy each other in their quest to make a little money.

All this really needs to change, cut some slack and leave your kids alone, let them do what they want to do, trust me they are far more smarter than how you were as kids, it will only do you and India good.



Categories: Leadership Communications

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