13th Dr. Dara P. Antia lecture on ‘A Discourse on the Art of Leadership Practice’ by Dr. Sanak Mishra : “Leadership is contextual and there is no such thing as universal leadership”, said Dr. Sanak Mishra while delivering the discourse on the ‘Art of Leadership Practice’ at the annual national event of the IIM, at College of Engineering, Pune on September 17, 2019. Citing many examples of leaders like Yudhisthir, Moses, Adi Shankaracharya, Lincoln, Gandhi and Einstein, he pointed out that the context of their leadership was very clear and sharp at different times. Leadership is about influencing the mindset, behavior and actions, in that order, of people that come across in our lives or the people at our workplace and even the people who are our nextdoor neighbours. The ‘Metaphysical Powerhouse’, the novel concept developed by the speaker detailed the different types of powers and their hierarchy, to influence people. One by one, unfolding the petals of different inner power centers like the power of mind, the power of communication, power of relationships with intrinsic abilities, based on the foundation of tradition, heritage, culture and values were explained in detail with their order of importance and hierarchy. The transformational change in an organisation will mean that all its members act collectively and in unison and for a common purpose. Only leaders are capable of unifying the collective energy of their followers in one direction. An organization is also like a powerhouse. It deals not only with human resources, but also simultaneously with financial, technological and natural resources for the purpose of materialistic gains such as productivity and profitability. The leader is able to leverage his powers as an individual, namely the power of the mind, the power of communication, the power of relationships and the power of intrinsic ability along with all the powers of the organisation streamlining various processes, systems, assets and structures in their right proportions leading to a perfectly balanced organisation.
‘Every leader has a Mission, the one that his followers should be able to subscribe’, Dr. Sanak Mishra concluded. He explained that life seems to have five dimensions. These are physical space (length, breadth and height), mind space (mental space), time and matter (mass, or substance). The true leaders impact all dimensions of life along with the fifth dimension of ‘Samskar’. This is a way of living, of say a human being or a group of human beings, as they anticipate and cope with the changes that occur around them. We have to add Samskar as the fifth dimension of life. Institutions, Societies and Civilisations which survive are those whose leaders carry out a continuous Samskar. At the end of the discourse, the speaker discussed the qualities of responsibility and courage of a good leader. The responsibility is something that is never handed over; what can be handed over is accountability. It is a reflection of one’s own inner urge to respond to the call of the inner self. However to be responsible one has to have courage. It takes courageous approach to uphold principles, to invoke and uphold values. The leader should have courage to do the right things and also the courage not to do things which are not right. Finally, Dr. Sanak Mishra mentioned that taking responsibility is the ultimate essence of personal courage. ‘Leadership lies in taking up responsibility, in facilitating others, and in letting people make a significant contribution to a befitting cause - with full freedom, dignity and without fear. Be a Leader!!’ The Memorial Lecture function started with the welcome address by Professor B. B. Ahuja, Director, College of Engineering Pune, followed by a welcome address by Dr. U. Kamachi Mudali, currently the President of IIM and the Chief Executive of the Heavy Power Board, DAE, and by Mr. Hemant Nerurkar, Chairman of the Dr. Dara Antia Memorial Lecture Committee. Dr. Kamachi Mudali recalled the pioneering contributions made by Dr. Dara Antia in building the IIM on extremely sound foundations and that is the reason it has withstood the test of time. It is today the premier professional body for the minerals, metals and materials engineering fraternity in the country, with more than 10,000 members drawn from industry, academia and the research institutions. Mr. Nerurkar introduced the distinguished speaker and felicitated Dr. Sanak Mishra.