Character of an Institution is Reflected in its Leader.

The year was 1999. Ratan Tata and his team had gone to sell off the company’s emerging car business to Ford, but what came as a result of the meeting held, was something very humiliating for not only the private firm holding its root in India, but also left a tarnished image of the country’s indigenous automobile manufacturing sector.

“You do not know anything, why did you start the passenger car division at all?”

In a dramatic change of events, during 2008 sub-prime crisis, the same Ford’s JLR was bought by Ratan Tata.

“You are doing us a big favour by buying JLR.”

The above extract not only has the theory of “Karma” instilled in it, it also shows how two different leaders showing different personal characters of leading their firms, sailed the way through while being in a crisis being faced all around the world. While Ratan Tata is known of being humble and a motivational character- a “Man of his words” as we know him, the same way Bill Ford, showed the character of vanity,conceit and narcissist who regarded no one but himself to be the top in this business.

So, what was it that differed between the two, so much so that they were/n’t able to make sure they were stable in adverse conditions? Apparently, a leader needs to be a humble servant and a charismatic leader at the same time. While being able to guide the fellow subordinates, inculcating faith in them about success to follow is imperative (which is more about having faith in the team and less about believing in the luck factor) . The driving factor for TATA in the Indica project was to a launch an indigenously developed small segment car, which could displace the monopoly of Maruti 800 and give other options to the rising middle class.


While in the initial years, it experienced a major setback and was suggested to sell the passenger car, the “faith” developed by Ratan Tata in his fellow employees led it to a success. Thanks to a full of character and strong personality leadership, Indica became one of the leading sell-outs in the small car segment after just 3 year of its launch.

Let’s first understand what all are the institutions we’ll talk about in the following write-up. Institutions for me ranges from a philanthropic institute like Bills Foundation, a small town, a whole country, the diaspora, firms like Facebook or even a terrorist organisation as Al-Qaeda.

A leader is some one who takes initiatives to bring about a change in the society. Bill Gates is a known billionaire. What sets him apart is the amount of philanthropic activities he takes under his account. Apparently, his initial motive was bringing in “connectivity” to the suburbs of the country- the developing ones.  He came to know only after he visited those place, that how ridiculous the idea was when he saw living conditions there firsthand. A patient of TB in a clinic hospital of Africa bowed the seeds of apathy towards the billions who were denied equal rights to live – for something that wasn’t in their hands. His Bills and Melinda Foundation has been going strong still, and helping the poor get out of the miseries of life – which are not the same for different people. What character does this show about institute he has been working for?


Moving on, let’s take an example from sports. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a world-wide known personality, known more about how successful a captain he has been sailing the country through World Cups, won some of them, and still maintains his calm and composed nature. What sets him apart is not how he keeps himself cool while the wins, but also how he takes the responsibilities for losses from the front,replying with wit to the press that haul on him criticizing for the heck of it. At an international stage, he not only represents the country, he also represents his small town of Ranchi, which is known as the city of Dhoni around the country. Thanks to his contributions, even small town boys aspire of achieving something great in life. While being a leader, he inspired some and showed a character of small towns (institutions), because of which people believe that a leader can come out of these corners of the country as well.


Furthermore,a leader needs to be visionary. Narendra Modi, the leader of the country has been known to be diplomatically active since his party started his tenure. The world now knows our country by his name – such is the charisma of the leader. What sets him apart? The way he dreams of the country, being a world leader irrespective of the party in power is what has fostered a ray of hope in the youth today. Thanks to the Skill India mission, even a 12th graduate now knows he can attain skill and earn their living by getting a job. He has been representing the country and addressing the diaspora which has infused a sense of respect for the fellow Indians in any countries. Same as his character, people now see Indians as being hardworking and visionary at the same time.



Also,the world knows our country by Gandhian ideologies. He showed remarkable traits of “servant-leadership” by showing how he took care of his followers first. Thanks to his theory of “Non-violence” the world knows us as being a tolerant nation, with a wide range of diversity, having different practices and faiths, still living with peace.


Evidently, leaders like Mark Zuckerberg are examples of how “quiet leaders” need to be. He doesn’t give inspirational speeches, nor does he force anyone to do anything they don’t wish to do. He himself takes initiatives, to make sure things are done. He represents Facebook on the international level, as a place where people learn and not act like machines. It is his characteristics of “getting things done himself” why people want to join the firm.

Facebook Holds f8 Developers Conference

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – APRIL 30: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the opening kenote at the Facebook f8 conference on April 30, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the annual one-day F8 developers conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

We saw how robust, sturdy and vigorous leaders made their way to represent their institutions and have been responsible for each of its success. But why is it that the leaders needs to be so important, to represent his own firm/institute as a whole? It is because of some leaders in history who have redefined the meaning of leadership – In a bad way of course.

Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organisation. The word literally means “the foundation“. While the foundation could have been something looking after the welfare of the people, its leader Osama-Bin-Laden,actuated it towards spreading war and distress – the twin tower attack is an example of how a psycho leader can change the mindset of people and make them do things unethical and immoral. Ironically, he was an Engineer. Who knows, may be if he had nurtured this skill towards building an idea that could help the society, Al-Qaeda would have been a liberal, benignant and a humanitarian organisation?



Adolf Hitler was a conservative nationalist, who exploited the state of depression and hyperinflation  that Germany was suffering under and built a picture of a prosperous Germany. He was a brilliant rhetorician, and was also a man of extreme certitude, which you can clearly see in his speeches. But his vision slowly drifted towards military obsessed strategies and he was the one responsible for the second world war. He represented the whole of Germany, and even after the war, the people around the world feared the Germans. People became “germophobic” (metaphor) and considered them as the non-whites of Britain responsible for the inhumane sentiments around the subcontinent.


While doing all this, we forgot the most important element of quantifiablity. Without the representatives of the institutes on the subordinate level, we cannot expect an institution to flourish. Each and every element of the institutes – right from the CEO to the market to the consumers – everyone has a defined role. The efficacious conglomeration of the representatives of the firm on each level are the ones who either hinge or boost the efforts in placing the scalable organization in place.  Apparently, management and leadership are push and pull, one defying the mutual coinciding with the other. Leader is to inspire, while management is to motivate to the objective.

Leadership is about goal definition, vision creation, and mission articulation. An absence of leadership as it relates to scale impedes the growth of your objectives. A leader needs to show character, even in the adverse times to sail the way through it. A leader is the one who first aspires and inspires, who defines and follows, and in the same routes, lets other walk with him hand in hand and foot-by-foot, building the institution and displaying the epitome of his character in the same.


Philosophy Tuber

  • Hi Joker,
    1)Good Structure- I got your structure and flow this time which was hard to find in previous one
    2)I may be wrong but at some places I found the link between ‘leader’ and ‘institution’ missing. Please let me know about it!
    3)Conclusion was apt!
    The pen-ultimate para is a takeaway for me-it adds a new dimension to your essay
    Overall, it is a good piece but today Joker’s charisma was missing, that special element of your creativity is not present today :/
    Have a look at mine too 🙂

    • Hey BATMAN. Thank u so much for the review. Yes I lacked the creative element today, I wanted to keep it simple and not include the examples as I do.

      About ur second point, I left it for the reader to comprehend, more because it could have looked forced had I used those keywords (institutions and leadership) .

      1) Bill Clinton – Leadership quality was apathy towards the society and the institute was Bills foundation which is on the same lines of this quality.

      2) Dhoni : Keeping calm and cool, inspiring. It helped to show an image of small town boys (here small town/society is the institution) as being the same – having the leadership qualities because of such a successful small town leader.

      3)Modi – Vision. Institution : The country as a whole (better image of the diaspora outside the country)

      4) Mahatma Gandhi : Non-violent . Institute : Country = Tolerant

      5) Mark Zuckerberg : Hardworking and facilitator. Institute : FB (People eager to join the firm coz of the environment enabled by his leader, which is not forcing anyone and himself being the facilitator)

      6) Adolf Hitler : speaker, but cruel leader. Institute : Again country. Germans hence are thought as being the same post ww2 (germophobia around)

      7)Osama : Leading the world through terror. Institute : Al-Qaeda (same as their leader, it could have been a better humanitarian org, but instead became like the leader)

      Hope m clear! Kuch kuch cheeze reader k smjhne k liye chodh deta, taaki thoda forced na lage , but har jagah link hi kia hai maine 😀

      Ab Bill Ford and TATA ka nai bata raha mai, khudh hi smjh le 😛

      Tere blog pe karunga review

      • hahaha…Got your points now. But i feel you need to ind the right balance where everything is nor implied and neither it is forced. Your points were quite diverse.
        Han karde blog pe review 🙂

  • I too will say the same that :-
    1- Joker’s creativity was missing and
    2-The missing link between the Institution and the Leader is discernible.

    I also think that Prabhu Ram and his leadership could have been mentioned here.

    Lord Krishna’s support to Arjuna when his Army was fighting for the opponents could also have been mentioned by you.

    Well, you know more about Ramayana and Mahabharata better than me.

    But, I think today your style of using them was missing 🙂

    Can you give me a review Serious?

    • I’ll review urs in some time. I would ask u to see my reply on Batman’s comment, u’ll understand the linkage 🙂

  • Really nice blog……learned how to write a essay…..thanks a lot…….happy day

  • Great Bro:) loved every aspect, excellent correlation. thanks for the beautiful essay, All the best:)

  • kant

    The essay is quite good.
    Good examples. You included negative examples too. Great.
    I feel intro was bit lengthy, around 1/5th of essay. But, intro is good.
    There is more focus on examples rather than analysis regarding the topic. you have included the analysis though.
    Conclusion is good but not comparable with the intro.
    That’s all from my side.
    Review mine when you have time. link:

  • Hello Serious 🙂
    1. Like always, intro was perfect. You are getting deadlier day by day 🙂
    2. Connectivity between paragraphs this time was somewhat missing- till the Gates example, it was going well but after that examples seemed to be in silos.
    3. Examples were perfect, each one. You equally emphasized upon negative leadership role too- best part.
    4. Zuckerburg and Gandhi example- that linkage with institution was missing explicitly. Though I read your reply to Batman but i guess you should have included it.
    5. Conclusion was nice.
    It was a brilliant piece- just you need to work out minor things here and there. Keep writing and inspiring 🙂

    • Hey Isha! I agree with u… The examples were in silos and I was lacking the connections between the paras. I’ll review urs today on ur blog. THANK U!!

  • Joker bhai, new experiment ?
    1. ur examples are top class, but i could get the order u chose, first business man then politician and sportsman,an then again business man,
    2. liked the way u respected the leadership qualities of Laden and Hitler, and showed their potential esp. th last line of AQ point
    3. good that u gave details about each leader (now i got what i missed in my essay)
    4. link of the leader with the institution is not explicitly mentioned,
    5. choice of words is too good
    6. conclusion, hand in hand and foot-by-foot, yeah good 🙂
    plz review mine as well 🙂

    • Yes bhai, I didn’t mention the “keyword” explicitly which is a blunder. Still finding a way to bring in balance without overdoing the usage of the keyword.

      Thanks for the review mate 🙂

  • sry yaar, wifi kharab tha, couldn’t review sooner.. you write way better than me so i don’t think i would have much to say to you 😀
    1. intro : unique as always ! but thora zyaada kheench diya i felt..
    2. examples : itne sahi examples kahan se dhoondh ke laate ho bhai _/_ laden and hitler were the awesomest. however, though you gave the examples in a proper structure, they seemed thora piled up in the middle, thora fundebaazi kar sakte the beech mein
    3. structure : perfect, positive /negative leadership ,importance of team members all covered well
    4. conclusion: good , but not at par with the intro, you have raised our expectations too high 😀

    keep writing man, tum fod ke aaoge essay ka paper 🙂

    • Thank u Jyotsana 🙂

      I hope I do well. U are doing well so keep up the good work too!

  • Hey Nitish !
    Your essays are truly creative.
    The start was wonderful, albeit a bit lengthy. Loved all the examples you quoted. Very good language and vocabulary. You’ve come far ahead of your essay about terrorism.
    I’m not going to criticize it 🙂

  • digambar

    Hi Nitin your essays are of top quality,after reading your essays , i able to connect linkges between different themes of essays. If its possible guide me on two topics
    1) are Gandhi ideas relevant in todays world.
    2)revolving examintion syestem is need of the hour