Life of a LeaderIn this article the author has presented a beautiful picture of evolution in a Leader’s life. The analogy drawn between seven ages or stages of man as described by Shakespeare in “As You like It” and that of a leader’s life is remarkably well. Accordingly, the author has described a leader’s life having seven stages namely – The Infant Executive, The School Boy, The Lover, The Soldier, The General, The Statesman and The Sage.
The author has nicely presented the important issues and crises that every leader has to face during these seven stages of his career. According to the author the most important issue in the infant executive stage for a leader is to identify and recruit a good mentor for him, who will change his life. He has given the example of Telemachus from Greek mythology as a perfect mentor. In the schoolboy stage the first move of the leader becomes very very important and therefore, the author suggests that the entry should be low profile and the first move should come only after gauging the prevailing circumstance very well and never in haste.
The lover stage in a leader’s life is full of problems he is expected to deal with effectively. In this stage one of the very important issue is to lead his former peers and this requires effective separation of personal and professional duties while giving due importance to both. As a bearded soldier the leader has become comfortable with his role but this comfort brings the gap between the leader and the followers.
Many times his is not able to read his followers well and many times his followers fail to correctly interpret him and execute what he never wanted. So the leader at this stage must do well to minimize this gap. Another equally important issue in this stage is to deal with subordinates who are equally or even more competitive than him and here comes real test of character of a leader. A true leader will nurture them to go ahead and do things better than him while the dishonest or vulnerable leaders try to sabotage their subordinates and in the process loose good people. As a general a leader is prone to become arrogant and thus fails to listen to truth and in this lies his fall. Example of Caesar is quite appropriate here.
As a Statesman a leader works very hard trying to pass on his wisdom in the interest of the society. As a Sage he becomes selfless and concentrates on the work rather than his ascendancy and this makes him very successful at his work.The author has derived delivered his points using appropriate ancient as well as modern day examples and this style adds to the charm of this article. The author says while no body can teach a leader as how to succeed during different stages of his career, the knowledge of these issues and crises may help him in preparing himself to deal with these issues and crises. In this statement lies utility of this article. In my opinion this article is a must read for all those who want to succeed in their life.