Over the last one year and more so the last few months one has been watching the drama unfold. A large democracy at work, wheels within wheels at work, a time when the masses suddenly become important, when promises are doled out by the dozen mostly to be sidelined later. No one forgets.


Media goes on overdrive as it gives them something to fill up their 24×7 basket with some sensational stuff or the other. And of course a whole cottage industry of hangers on, rally organisers , outdoor and print media and maybe biased media gets pumped with huge sums to keep the leaders in the spotlight. Who ever said India is a poor country going by the amount that gets blown up in these exercises ?


Someone wins, someone loses, someone sulks and the show goes on till the next jamboree – an important exercise where for once the power passes on to the citizen to press that one button that can seal the fate of many leaders and parties.


I just thought of 5 key lessons ( there are so many more ) we can all take from this exercise for our lives or in our role as leaders


    1. Never underestimate the power of the common man or the youth in the country or an organisation. They have minds of their own and if they don’t like how you look at them and deal with them ,they will be more than happy to dump you and move on. Loyalty is passe. They judge you faster than you judge them.
    2. However high or mighty you may think you are, listen to the masses, the teams, the voice of the customer. They may tell you things you do not want to hear, but more often than not that is the reality – not always what your trusted right hand men tell you . Social media can be a great stethoscope to let you feel the pulse and also connect and influence.
    3. Try and be as much the Role model leader you can for your teamso that you inspire them, recognise them and they work with you and not work for you out of fear, insecurity or the money  they need to manage their commitments or aspirations. Build more leaders to strengthen your base so you can move on to bigger things. Being a power centre is good for your ego, but it spawns a culture of sychophancy that hurts you eventually. 
    4. Build a collaborative culture where leaders in the team work together, not just on paper, but in spirit and do not blame others for their ills. And are more than happy to work with other outsiders who bring in different perspectives and experiences .The MY Way or Highway mode usually ends up crashing off the highway.
    5. Never ever underestimate the power of humility which many secure leaders have attained or developed. One can be demanding, challenging, pushy but still do it with Leadership styles and behaviours that learn from past mistakes, inspire the team right down to the last employee, to achieve seemingly impossible goals. And see it as their win.


At the end, an election is very much like the corporate and marketing warfare that we witness being fought out everyday where great marketing minds search for ways to stand out from the crowd, build a positive image and build an aspirational need .


Great leaders do make mistakes, but if they learn from them and  score high enough on the 5 lessons listed they more often than not will win.


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