Modi-fied India: Changing a Nation through Optimism & Charismatic Leadership

By Darshan Doshi | Blog

Jan 22

Narendra Modi

When India awoke in the morning of 26th May 2014, it opened its eyes to potentially an absolutely new nation. The air was heavy with hope and excitement about better times. It was as though its people had found a savior, a magic wand that would make all the evils of the past go away.

Narendra Modi is much more than a leader; he is a phenomenon, an emancipator of sorts. With the help of the strong tide of anti-incumbency against the prevalent government and a talented PR team, Narendra Modi climbed the ranks not just in his party but also people’s minds as the ‘only’ contender that can undo the damage done by weak policy decisions of the past and the rampant corruption that was rotting the roots of democracy. With his centralized style of governance and no-nonsense attitude towards administrative affairs, Narendra Modi made for an authoritative figure that was a welcome change from the previous socially awkward and often mute Prime Minister.

What makes Narendra Modi one of the biggest waves of change that India has witnessed in decades?

He does hit all the right spots when it comes to executing the impending change in governance. He has lead by example; the shining jewel in Narendra Modi’s crown is his stint as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He decidedly focused on infrastructural changes in the state and gave a big push to industry; structural changes that are quite evident to the eye and basically are like salt on the burnt face of India.

His image as a slightly dictatorial but highly able Chief Minister gave him the credibility as a capable leader. This was a ray hope for the millions of Indians awestruck by communist China’s dizzying successes; a sure shot solution to treat India’s lagging economic pace and lazy leadership. Narendra Modi hit the iron when it was at its hottest. With the help of an aggressive PR campaign that portrayed him as the answer to all of India’s questions, he made a space in the average Indian’s psyche. The catchy slogans like “Abki Baar Modi Sarkar” (A Modi government this time) and “Achche Din Aanewale hain” (Better days are coming) didn’t hurt either!

But to attribute Modi’s success just to a good PR campaign would discredit his intelligence, charisma and leadership capabilities. Seductive oratory and just the right amount of pompousness have made almost each and every of Modi’s speeches enthralling and entertaining. He has caught the nerve of disgruntled India and has pulled all the right strings of their hearts through his numerous public rallies. As against the absent PM of the past decade, people saw a leader who was not afraid to reach out or even speak out his mind.

Since the very beginning, Modi is known for his unforgiving determination and discipline. The middle one among nine siblings, Modi once said that his brother who is a government servant has never entered his office since he became a CM. He is known to be a taskmaster and does not shy away from tough decisions. A master strategist and development advocate; he is known to stick by his words no matter what.

Unfazed by the many controversies surrounding him, Modi employed technology and the skills of educated professionals to push for reforms and progress. Even though Modi was cleared of being a partial and racist leader in Godhra riots by Supreme Court of India, Modi & his team spent a great deal of time and efforts to overhaul this biased image through targeted publicity campaigns that gave a starved nation the much-needed morsel of ambition.

To the optimist, Modi is the harbinger of change. To the realist though, he is only the beginning of the much-needed transformation that India needs. Either ways, it won’t be wrong to say that he has made his critics bite their tongues and given his admirers a dream to live by; the dream of cleaner, simpler governance and unburdened development.

Five Leadership Lessons from Narendra Modi

  1. Lead by example – prove yourself as a leader at a smaller stage before taking the big jump.
  2. Know the rules of the game and orchestrate to get key stakeholder buy-in.
  3. Be an inclusive leader to integrate diverse perspectives to create high-performing teams that drive success.
  4. Take decisions based on sound values & a holistic approach.
  5. Be adaptive & innovative to solve challenging problems.

We hope this gets you thinking. Do you know a Modi and how you could support him or her to be more effective in driving change in a business or society?

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