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Monday, October 21, 2002
Guest Speak

‘Thought leader’ first, leader afterwards
Navyug Mohnot

Navyug Mohnot
Navyug Mohnot, Managing Director, QAI India Ltd.

RESEARCH and development backed with a proper knowledge management system is the key to sustained growth and development in the present day knowledge economy. The leader in such a situation is required to integrate the skill sets and customise them according to the corporate needs. He should be a visualiser in its truest form. Visualising, in terms of project goals, technical competency required, human resource requirement and deployment, time and finance, etc., really helps the leader to lead his team of skilled professionals. Understanding the skill sets of his team members and driving them to get the best output in terms of performance is one of the prime qualities of leaders.

To be at the helm of affairs, a leader should have the ability to develop and implement business strategy and have a fair understanding of the emerging technologies. Further, these two qualities are to be supplemented by the ability to analyse and manage financial metrics. A leader should be a perpetual student of experiences. This will help him to be innovative, always devising strategies to incorporate new methods and processes. Apart from being just a visionary, a leader should also have the ability to coach his team and be a good mentor.

In the present day knowledge economy, knowledge and expertise in one specific field would be a limiting factor. Therefore a leader should be well-versed with all related industry verticals. It is important as it gives a clue towards emerging opportunities for diversification and extending internal capabilities to other areas. This is where the dividing line between a manager and a leader is drawn. Leadership is not just getting things done by others, but leading the team towards the objective along with optimum utilisation of resources.

On the HR front, the leader should always be a team man with enough patience to listen to problems and outlining possible solutions so as to enhance performance and output of the team. Inculcating a sense of ‘freedom at workplace’ among the team members and allowing them to incorporate new ideas at work is another important quality that a leader should posses. A leader should be capable of making best possible use of the human resource within the constraints of time, money and resources.

Before delegating any task, a leader should act first, setting examples for others to follow, rather than dictating terms as to how things are to be implemented. Thus a leader should always work upon as to how the skills of the workforce can be updated. Retaining the best talents by including them as key members in decision-making is also another leadership quality. A leader should make his team men responsible and accountable with appropriate authority. To sum up, a leader should not only be knowledgeable, but be seen as a thought leader, which should transcend the boundaries of his team and set standards for others to follow.