Benazir Bhutto announced in her death letter that her 19 year son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will succeed her as party chief. Naïve and younger than umpteen other leaders in Pakistan Peoples Party, Bilawal got the post because her dead mother said so. She herself is a child of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. I heard that there is no other leader in PPP that could fill Benazir’s shoes.

I wonder why Bilawal got to be the party chief and why there is no other leader in PPP that could fill the departed leader’s shoes. Was it because there’s no other leader that Bilawal occupied the post? Or was it because she wanted Bilawal to occupy the post that there is no other capable leader in the party?

A leader should build an organization with capable leadership team that recruits other able leaders. If the leader brings in sons and daughters and relatives, will others in the organization stay behind? This situation leads to what Guy Kawasaki calls a bozo explosion. Without capable leaders, a company, a country, a political party or any other organization, at some point, will be without a head. That’s a nightmare for the existence of the organization the leader wanted to build.

But if the leader secretly wants to bring her kith and kin to fill her own shoes, the leader will avoid building a great leadership team. I think that’s what had happened with BJP after Pramod Mahajan’s demise and Vajpayee’s old age, to Congress after Rajiv Gandhi’s death and now with PPP.

The leader has not done the job well if there is no ‘second rung’ to lead. In fact he or she should build a culture that mentors and produces leaders. Yet, in India, can we name one credible organization that is devoted to produce great leaders for the country?

Related posts:

  1. A question of leadership
  2. Five Great Quotes on Leadership, Trust, Character, and Decisiveness
  3. What a cricket match taught me
  4. Entrepreneurship Ahoy!



2 Responses to Shameless Leaders

  1. Kusum Rohra says:


    This is not in relation to this post, but since I could not locate any email id of yours I’m commenting here

    I am an aspiring candidate for the ISB batch of 2009. I have my interview tomorrow will really appreciate it if you can get in touch with me on my email id.

  2. Chaitanya says:


    I would have been glad to help you. But I was on vacation and am back today. Sorry about that.


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