India – the land of billions!
That is what makes us so special – the large numbers. So while we represent a plethora of opportunities for someone to choose from; in many cases we also present a plethora of choices for a particular opportunity. Each of them is individually good and almost equal in performance. So the tough challenge that we often face at many levels of decision making is to choose the first among equals.
The scenario that best describes this challenge is the choices ahead of us for the presidential post – the highest office of our country! No this blog is not going to analyze the candidature – each of them being illustrious and meritorious in their own way. This blog is trying to throw some light on the approach that we have taken as individuals and leaders at both political and intellectual level, and if possible any lessons that we can gather.
If you happen to watch or read (which is increasingly becoming difficult to avoid) any discussion on the presidential candidature, you will find the discussion hovering around preferences, choices and opinions passed on candidature’s capabilities at a rather fleeting level. Not one discussion can you see someone discuss the challenge that is ahead.
The challenge which is to choose a president for the largest (by population) democratic nation, a nation that is at the brink of a make-over from a developing country to an acknowledged global player and a nation that is trying to balance current economic challenges with future economic stability. The discussion seldom resides on what then the office of the president demands from its occupant in the coming 5 years – in terms of capabilities, skills, leadership, maturity and respectability in national and international arena.
The discussions have become reduced to expression of independent (party level) preferences and opinions – mostly predicated upon an entirely different agenda from what should have been the focus point of discussion! But why is this happening? Is it possible that when this could happen with regards to the highest office of the nation, it could also happen at smaller levels of individual, family, society and organization?
Could the affliction of our political leaders stem from something fundamental that can impact any leadership level decision?
In fact one can reduce the entire observation into two aspects; both of which I have begun to spot off late across great decision making situations at leadership level – Objective and Objectivity.
Objective: In the whole clamour of making the decision, the objective of decision making is often forgotten amidst differing and at times conflicting agendas. What we are trying to select here is the most suitable candidate for the highest office for the largest democracy which is at the peak of change in cultural, social, political and economic fronts. Any other declared or undeclared agenda – will lead to a compromised if not an incorrect choice. Keeping track of the objective of the decision to be taken is hence paramount while making the choice.
Objectivity: In situations where the better amongst the best ought to be chosen – the only way to make the right choice is to match the option’s performance against the objective’s requirement. If approach is not on assessing the candidature’s individual fit to the demands of the presidential office – it is not going to yield a decision based on clear choice. The choice would be one that is born out of the need to make a choice rather than the commitment to making the right choice. The difference in approach does seem thin – but could make the world of a difference in consequence.
Agreed that the two aspects of keeping in mind the objective and maintaining objectivity while taking decisions are easier said than done – but who ever said responsibility at leadership level is easy?