Guiding Light: Reading people

-- Sadhguru, Isha Foundation

Q: How do we groom leaders to move to the next level, to take on bigger responsibilities?

Sadhguru: From my experience of people what I have seen is, if you pull somebody who is doing great at one level up to the next step with all the necessary preparations, he can still do so badly because his internal the organisation does not allow him to function at a different level.

In Isha Foundation, for example, from one level of performance to another is a completely different skill level. What you knew in your previous level just does not fit into this. It needs a completely new human being altogether. There is no easy solution unless you have a certain way of reading people for what they will be tomorrow. What they have been until now may be wonderful, but what are they going to be tomorrow is something that a leader should be able to read. I know we are getting into the mushy ground.

You would like three principles with which you can make your judgment. But I am telling you if you have three principles like that, all of them could go wrong. You need something else to figure out a human being. Somebody may not be doing so well in his position, but you give him a leadership position and that guy is suddenly going like a bomb.

When so many operations and investments are involved, maybe you cannot risk it with whatever speaks in your gut, your heart or your head. So I think one of the most important things is a very close observation of human beings – not their performance, not their activity, what they are doing and not doing.

Simply observing how they sit, how they stand – observing them as human beings is a very important aspect before you give them deeper responsibilities. Because when they fall apart or when they do something which is not proper, it is not only a question of his career; it is going to affect everything across. And many times it is very difficult to make corrections after a little mess up has been done.

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