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Lead From The Heart - Antony Jacob, Managing Director, Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company

07 October, 2004

The common factor in the many effective styles of leadership lies in meeting and overcoming challenges. Strong challenges produce the best results, and to achieve and exceed goals in a competitive environment, the philosophy of "anything is possible" must be embedded in the organizational culture. For this to happen, a clear and compelling vision for the future of the organization is an absolute necessity. Vision is not just about benchmarked goals or revenue/profit targets; vision is a place where you want the organization to be.


To execute this vision, you must lead people from heart and not your head, because people commitment comes from an emotional attachment to the leader, to the mission and to the goals conveyed by the vision. With the support of a committed, positive team, almost anything can be accomplished. To get this support, it is essential for an organization to develop a culture based on consensus. My experience has shown me that one is a better leader when one plays a support role in meeting challenges, allowing the team members to find the means to accomplish the goals in line with the vision. More importantly, recording the direction of the enterprise is fruitful, as nothing motivates action more than a view of a future target.


But most importantly perhaps, everyone must benefit from success and share the consequences of failure. If we reward people for success, then they must equally share the burden of failure. This is based on the premise that delegation of authority can be accomplished only when the team takes full responsibility for its actions. After all, if we never allow people to fail in their challenges, we will never have allowed them to achieve their ambitions.