New Age Leadership: A Critical Insight
| Onkareshwar Pandey - Editor in Chief - CEO, IOP - 17 Apr 2021

BOOK REVIEW

The Concept and Thoughts of the New Age Leadership & Critical Insight of the Challenges 

The book ‘New Age Leadership: A Critical Insight’ jointly authored by Dr. Raja Roy Choudhary and Dr. Raul Villamarin Rodriguez, aims to elaborate upon the ethos and thoughts involved in the concept of leadership while building a dialogue with the reader through the process of achieving great leadership. As a definitive reference guide, this book examines the various types, models, theories, challenges and resources that leadership depends upon and its impact on organizational performance.

By Onkareshwar Pandey

Last year, in 2020, several books on the topic of Leadership hit the market. The first book I would mention here is - Leadership at Scale: Better Leadership, Better Results By McKinsey’s Leadership Development Practice co-founder Claudio Feser; former McKinsey Organization Practice global leader Michael Rennie; and McKinsey Associate Partner Nicolai Chen Nielsen, the second book - Beyond Performance 2.0: A Proven Approach to Leading Large-Scale Change written By McKinsey Senior Partners Scott Keller and Bill Schaninger, global leaders in the Strategy and Corporate Finance and Organization Practices, respectively and the third one is Kayvan Kian’s What is Water? How Young Leaders Can Thrive in an Uncertain World.

These books published in the beginning of the new decade, were basically to explore and realize every last ounce of the leadership potential, and to understand the definition and mindset of what Leadership is.

However, another book ‘New Age Leadership: A Critical Insight’ jointly authored by Dr. Raja R Choudhary and Dr. Raul Villamarin Rodriguez, aims to elaborate upon the ethos and thoughts involved in the concept of leadership while building a dialogue with the reader through the process of achieving great leadership. As a definitive reference guide, this book examines the various types, models, theories, challenges and resources that leadership depends upon and its impact on organizational performance.

The authors duo Dr. Raja Roy Choudhary, who is currently Director at Universal Business School; a Visiting Professor at NITIE; was Ex Chief Happiness Officer, IIT Madras and distinguished Faculty at SPJIMR, and Dr. Raul Villamarin Rodriguez, who is currently Dean, Woxsen School of Business, at Woxsen University, Hyderabad has written about the type of leadership that succeeds in any organization saying, “to some degree, that is determined by the organizational culture in which the company operates.”

Dr. Raja Roy Choudhary is also involved in consulting and research in the area of Leadership and used this book to build a framework on Leadership Lessons in Public Speaking for a US based client.

Dr. Raul Villamarin Rodriguez, the co-author of the book, holds three Master's degrees being an MBA, MHRM, and Master in Big Data and Business Intelligence and Former CEO & HR Manager at Irians Research Institute, a research institute specialized in the field of neuromarketing, AI, ML, cybersecurity and market research, who has also collaborated in the organization of symposiums at several educational institutions including Oxford Brookes University, UK and European Union-government bodies in Brussels, Belgium, is a registered expert in Artificial intelligence, Intelligent Systems, Multi-agent Systems at the European Commission and nominee for the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe 2020 list.

They say, “Leadership and management are necessary components of any organization, and managers who combine leadership skills with management traits offer organizations enhanced productivity and better long-term prospects than those managers who are not leaders. However, the line between leader and manager is ill defined: leaders are not necessarily good managers, and managers do not always possess leadership characteristics. Leaders provide the long-term vision for the organization, while managers possess the talent for putting that vision into concrete action and managing day-to-day activities that accomplish that action.”

He further wrote, “The type of leadership that succeeds in any organization is, to some degree, determined by the organizational culture in which the company operates. Increasingly, however, organizations are demanding that their managers train in leadership so that leadership principles are applied throughout all levels of the organization.”

Their finding is based on their research which examines management and leadership and the effect that the new orientation of combining the two is having on the workplace.

“Organizational philosophy is cited by analysts as being part of organizational culture, and this represents the belief structure that permeates an organization. Philosophical differences can be among the most difficult to resolve because they are not associated with specific behavior, but rather with the way in which each group approaches,” the book underlines.

Defining and differentiating the Management and Leadership, Dr. Raul Villamarin Rodriguez says, “What is Management? Management is about getting things done. And what is Leadership? Leadership is about achieving goals by creating a direction for a business and inspiring employees to take initiatives and make the right decisions.”

“Enterprise managers need the skills to motivate, lead and influence others. Enterprise aims to employ people who can take on a leadership role and help to grow the business for the longer term. Its management and training programmes help to provide employees with the skills necessary to lead others. This case study illustrates that within a business, there are leaders at different levels within the hierarchy. Depending upon the circumstances, leaders will use different leadership styles,” says Dr. Rodriguez.

While analysing the several challenges posed on Leadership, the book ‘New Age Leadership: A Critical Insight’ put them in three categories: external (from people and situations); internal (from within the leader herself); and stemming from the circumstance of being a leader.

Suggesting the ways to deal with each category of challenge, the authors outline following strategies that can help leaders to cope.

For the external, these include:

• Be proactive

• Be creative

• Face conflict squarely

• Look for common ground

• Be objective

• Be collaborative

For internal challenges, according to book, some strategies are:

• Listen • 360-degree feedback

• Look at what's going on around you

Finally, strategies for coping with those challenges that stem directly from the circumstance of leadership:

• Create mechanisms to review the vision

• Share the burden

• Find mutual support with those who share your experience

• Take time for yourself

If you can employ some or all of these strategies to cope with the challenges that leadership brings, you're likely to be an effective and successful leader.

During the study, done by Dr. Raja Choudhary, and Dr. Raul Rodriguez, with the primary aim to establish the relationship between effective leadership style and effectiveness, the two authors find following areas of managerial inadequacies:

“Poor spread of executive skills and delegation of power: Power is poorly delegated among staff. This results to inability to take decisions when the manager is not available. Also, use of own initiative by the staff is hampered. Thus, most work is monotonous and lack innovative: since the workers have to carry out their duties according to laid down rules. Ruler ship by one man: It was observed that the owner of the business is in his own world. Most times he only gives directives and watch: doing a little of everything.”

“There are no formal controls mechanisms employed in these companies and level of expertise of the manager in all areas of the business in questionable. For instance, it was noticed that the owner of the business addresses issues such finances, marketing, distribution, recruitment and production himself. Certainly his degree of expertise will vary in these fields. Thus his overall competence in handling the business is questionable. Other issues that were of importance in this study are mentioned below: The small-scale industries had more of the relations of the owner of the business working there. Most times, this could be seen as a favor to the family members. In another sense, the employer places them in different units of the business to act as checks to other employees,” the book discovers.

According to Dr. Raul Rodriguez, “Some subordinates do not feel free to discuss with the owner of the business. Some supervisors also take little or no interest in the workers. Therefore, the workers often live on with the problems. Resultantly, this affects work situation. Lastly, some of the employees were not promoted in recent years. Thus, they are dissatisfied and this affects their attitude at work. They gave favoritism and managing director’s discretion as the cause.”

Thus, by developing leaders who are able to make decisions at a local level, Enterprise can respond more closely to customer needs within a competitive service industry. Its high levels of customer service provide it with competitive advantage over its rivals, Dr. Rodriguez suggests in his 178 pages book published by Himalaya Publishing House, Mumbai.  

As the title aptly suggests, the book not only talks in detail about the concept, thoughts and types of the new Age Leadership, with their various dimensions, but also takes a Critical Insight view of the challenges before the leadership today while giving some practical tips and solutions to cope.

A must read book for leaders, entreprenures and leadership aspirants.  

“Organizational philosophy is cited by analysts as being part of organizational culture, and this represents the belief structure that permeates an organization. Philosophical differences can be among the most difficult to resolve because they are not associated with specific behavior, but rather with the way in which each group approaches,” the book underlines.

Defining and differentiating the Management and Leadership, Dr. Raul Villamarin Rodriguez says, “What is Management? Management is about getting things done. And what is Leadership? Leadership is about achieving goals by creating a direction for a business and inspiring employees to take initiatives and make the right decisions.”

“Enterprise managers need the skills to motivate, lead and influence others. Enterprise aims to employ people who can take on a leadership role and help to grow the business for the longer term. Its management and training programmes help to provide employees with the skills necessary to lead others. This case study illustrates that within a business, there are leaders at different levels within the hierarchy. Depending upon the circumstances, leaders will use different leadership styles,” says Dr. Rodriguez.

While analysing the several challenges posed on Leadership, the book ‘New Age Leadership: A Critical Insight’ put them in three categories: external (from people and situations); internal (from within the leader herself); and stemming from the circumstance of being a leader.

Suggesting the ways to deal with each category of challenge, the authors outline following strategies that can help leaders to cope.

For the external, these include:

• Be proactive

• Be creative

• Face conflict squarely

• Look for common ground

• Be objective

• Be collaborative

For internal challenges, according to book, some strategies are:

• Listen • 360-degree feedback

• Look at what's going on around you

Finally, strategies for coping with those challenges that stem directly from the circumstance of leadership:

• Create mechanisms to review the vision

• Share the burden

• Find mutual support with those who share your experience

• Take time for yourself

If you can employ some or all of these strategies to cope with the challenges that leadership brings, you're likely to be an effective and successful leader.

During the study, done by Dr. Raja Choudhary, and Dr. Raul Rodriguez, with the primary aim to establish the relationship between effective leadership style and effectiveness, the two authors find following areas of managerial inadequacies:

“Poor spread of executive skills and delegation of power: Power is poorly delegated among staff. This results to inability to take decisions when the manager is not available. Also, use of own initiative by the staff is hampered. Thus, most work is monotonous and lack innovative: since the workers have to carry out their duties according to laid down rules. Ruler ship by one man: It was observed that the owner of the business is in his own world. Most times he only gives directives and watch: doing a little of everything.”

“There are no formal controls mechanisms employed in these companies and level of expertise of the manager in all areas of the business in questionable. For instance, it was noticed that the owner of the business addresses issues such finances, marketing, distribution, recruitment and production himself. Certainly his degree of expertise will vary in these fields. Thus his overall competence in handling the business is questionable. Other issues that were of importance in this study are mentioned below: The small-scale industries had more of the relations of the owner of the business working there. Most times, this could be seen as a favor to the family members. In another sense, the employer places them in different units of the business to act as checks to other employees,” the book discovers.

According to Dr. Raul Rodriguez, “Some subordinates do not feel free to discuss with the owner of the business. Some supervisors also take little or no interest in the workers. Therefore, the workers often live on with the problems. Resultantly, this affects work situation. Lastly, some of the employees were not promoted in recent years. Thus, they are dissatisfied and this affects their attitude at work. They gave favoritism and managing director’s discretion as the cause.”

Thus, by developing leaders who are able to make decisions at a local level, Enterprise can respond more closely to customer needs within a competitive service industry. Its high levels of customer service provide it with competitive advantage over its rivals, Dr. Rodriguez suggests in his 178 pages book published by Himalaya Publishing House, Mumbai.  

As the title aptly suggests, the book not only talks in detail about the concept, thoughts and types of the new age Leadership, with their various dimensions, but also takes a Critical Insight view of the challenges before the leadership today while giving some practical tips and solutions to cope.

A must read book for leaders, entreprenures and leadership aspirants.  


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(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. http://bit.ly/2mh7hih Email - SMS- 9910150119)


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