Understanding Anna as A Leader

Dr K K Aggarwal
Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee
President, Heart Care Foundation of India 

There are only two types of people in the community: leaders or followers. Most of us are followers with only a few amongst us with leadership qualities. A leader is the symbolic soul of a group who acts as a catalyst for change and transformation. The group may be a family, business, political party, community, nation, civilization or any other organization. The actions of the leaders are shaped by the memory and experience, propelled by desires.

The state of consciousness and their corresponding mind-body expressions determine the response to a situation.

In every situation, there is one or more of the following seven responses, which decide the type of leadership.
1. The most primitive response is the response of “fight or flight”. Leaders with this response have no higher aims in life. They only believe in do or die.
2. The next type of response is “reactive, impulsive or egoistic response” and leaders with this response are egoistic, find fault in every failure and do not want to accept failure in life.
3. The next response is a response of “inner protection or restful alertness.” Leaders with this behavioral response are balanced, believe in meditation and do not react in gains or losses.
4. The fourth response is the response of “intuition or knowingness”. Leaders with a predominant intuitive response are not only relaxed and balanced but also take every adversity as an opportunity. They accept situations and persons as they are.
5. The fifth response is “creative response” and the leaders with this response exhibit creative behaviour. They create something new out of every adversity.
6. The last two responses are “response of visionary or higher guidance” and response of unity or sacred response. Most leaders with any of these responses have behaviour suggestive of sainthood. There are very few people today with these types of leadership qualities.

Just as there is a rising hierarchy built into us there is a rising hierarchy of needs. The needs are need for survival, safety, achievement & success, belonging, self-worth, expression, renewal, spiritual growth, vision and transcendence. Leaders and followers co-create each other. Leaders exist to embody the values that the followers want and the followers exist to fuel the leader’s vision from within themselves.
Only those leaders who understand the hierarchy of needs and response succeed in life and those leaders who aim only for external goals such as money, victory and power falter when it counts the most.
Depending upon the response, the leaders therefore, are classified as protector, entrepreneur or politician, team builder, nurturer, innovator, visionary and saint.

The leaders also respond differently during failure, when their needs are unfulfilled or end up in inappropriate responses. Leaders whose needs are survival and safety and responses are based on fight or flight end up with terrorist movements, corruption, gang wars and criminal activities.

Leaders whose needs and responses are based on achievement and ego, the failure will make them victims of empty fame and burnt out celebrities. They will also end up as corrupt politicians.

Leaders whose needs are based on belongings and responses are based on inner protection when fail ends up with hostility and divide and conquer strategies.

When leaders whose needs and responses are based on nurturing and intuitiveness fail, they end up with creating racial differentiations, welfare systems and social security systems.

When leaders whose needs and responses are based on renewal and expressions, fail, they end up with biological warfare, internet debacle, hacking, information sabotage and nuclear wars.
Finally when leaders with visionary and sacred needs and responses fail, they end up with religious fundamentalism, communalism, idealism and unionalism.

We in the community today are lacking leaders. The followers need someone with good leadership qualities with creative, visionary or sacred response. Only then the present status of violence in the community, suicidal blasts, all over, killing of innocent people, will come under control.

Anna’s cause is good but the methodology and impulsiveness does not make him a great leader. In the current Mumbai campaign the Anna Party arranges luxury buses to transport people form 3 km are to the venue. Then what is the difference between him and the politicians.

Public campaign cannot be based on public money. If his campaign is based on true leadership he does not have to spend a single pie. People will gather on the roads and the government will be forced to give you free space and even facilities.