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Speech for Prism District Conference ( Leadership) Opening Remarks Good Morning to my fellow Rotarians, esteemed panelists, and

my dear friends. It is my pleasure to be introducing my fellow panelists. Mr. Wajahat Habibullah - the chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities. Prior to this, he held the position of the first Chief Information Commissioner of India. He has spent much of his career in Jammu and Kashmir, most of it in the Kashmir valley as Right to Information custodian. A former senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace; he has been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Secularism. And I also have the honor of introducing Mr. M. N. Venkatachaliah Chief Justice Retd (Padma Vibushan)

Today, I feel privileged to be sharing the opening remarks on this session on Leadership at this important Conference. Much is written about what makes successful leaders. Thousands of definitions of leadership have been developed over time. With so many definitions of leadership, the question has slowly evolved from what is the definition of leadership? to what is good leadership. Today, I will focus on the characteristics, traits and actions that, I believe, are key to good leadership most important of them being ethics & core values. We have heard time and again that values and ethics are central to any leader. What exactly do we mean by values and ethics? Both are extremely broad terms. Values can be defined as the set of affairs that are considered by the individual to be important. One place where values are important is in relation to vision and having a clear cut vision is one of the most important traits of an effective leader One of the imperatives for vision is that it must be based on and be consistent with the leaders core values.

Core values are traits or qualities that you consider not just worthwhile, they represent a leaders highest priorities, deeply held beliefs and fundamental driving forces. They define what the leader believes and what he / she wants his followers resonating with and also appealing to the external world. So how do values relate to ethics, and what do we mean by ethics? One of the keys is in the phrase I quote: "Values are what we, as a profession, judge to be right." Individually or organizationally, values determine what is right and what is wrong, and doing what is right or wrong is what we mean by ethics. To behave ethically is to behave in a manner consistent with what is right or moral. Ethics is the heart of leadership and a good leader is ethical and effective. There are countless books that cover ethics, values and leadership. When researching this topic one will find him or herself constantly coming across five connected words: Ethics, virtues, morals, values and principles. To the untrained eye, these words seem interchangeable; however, each term builds on another to develop a good leader. The best leaders exhibit both their values and their ethics in their leadership style and actions, making principled decisions & not pragmatic ones. Your leadership ethics and values should be visible because you live them in your actions every single day. It will not be wrong to conclude that leaders that exhibit ethical behavior powerfully influence the actions of others. I would like to quote Roy Disney here Its not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are .

Closing Remarks

I would like to conclude by saying that leadership is the capacity to take others to a place they would not go by themselves; not by the power of your position , but by the strength of your example. Leadership is a relationship between people. Therefore, the ability to ethically influence is a major determination of effective leadership. A good leader will maximize output from a follower and achieve the highest results without compromising ethical beliefs & core values. Ethics positively affect leadership and when made a priority for leaders will always produce ethical and effective leadership. Bill George and Peter Sims have aptly said : Just as a compass points towards a magnetic field, your True North pulls you towards the purpose of your leadership. When you follow your internal compass your leadership will be authentic, and people will naturally want to associate with you. Although others may guide or influence you, your truth is derived from your life story and only you can determine what it should be.