Recently, I came across the name of M.S. Rao from India. Rao identifies himself in his blogs, his Wikipedia contribution, and his publicity material as Professor M.S. Rao. He is the founder of MSR Leadership Consultants. From India, he’s highly respected within a number of business circles.
Rao has written a number of interesting blogs, has spoken at many leadership events, and apparently has written some 30 books in this field. Along with that, certain web pages feature solid testimonials as to his abilities. He has video presentations, too.
Professor Rao loves leadership ideas, techniques, and visionary ideas. He identifies his own vision as “to build one million students as global leaders by the year 2030.” I like big picture guys.
One of his blogs relates to one of my personal favorite topics: mindset. This is the embedded way we process any number of things, holding dear to a set of beliefs that shape the way we respond. To influence or change a person’s mindset is quite difficult, yet that is the business in which I am engaged (talk radio).
Professor Rao’s areas of interest and expertise include Leadership, Executive Coaching, and Executive Education. He reportedly has conducted training programs for various corporations and educational institutions. Rao is equipped with 34 years of experience in leadership development.
A few things intrigued me about Professor Rao. One raises a bit of yellow flag. Before I get to that, here are two items that caught my attention.
The first is his writing on the subject of his term “soft leadership” — of which he is described as the “father” of this topic. From an interview, Professor Rao states, “Soft leadership emphasizes the significance of precious human resources. It helps in managing the emotions, egos, and feelings of the people successfully. It focuses on the personality, attitude, and behavior of the people, and calls for making others feel more important.” I like that.
In contrast to servant leadership, Rao notes: “Soft leadership takes support of soft skills, persuasive, and negotiation skills to get the tasks executed effectively. In contrast, servant leadership is about serving others.” His teaching on this contains 11 characteristics I’ve yet to review.
A second Rao item of interest to me was his very good review of the book, The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make by Hans Finzel. I have interviewed Finzel on a couple of occasions. It’s good material from an openly Christian perspective. (Rao’s summary can be found at at http://profmsr.blogspot.com/2010/05/book-review-by-profmsrao-top-10.html)
So what’s my “yellow flag of caution” on Rao? I ask…who IS this guy? I can’t find any educational background. Or where he teaches…outside of perhaps his own organization. He earned his “PhD in Soft Leadership,” which seems to be something HE’S developed.
If I didn’t think it so unlikely, I’d believe he’s raised himself up as a leadership guru (his term) and built a fine reputation by creating his own educational world. There’s no law against doing this. Nor does a lack of a PhD from a highly respected school (or a bachelor’s degree or a masters) deny you the right to call yourself “guru.” Or doctor…I suppose.
Let me clearly state that Professor Rao may have some educational credentials that for some reason don’t appear on his Facebook page, Linked In, or his own Wikipedia write up. But one has to admit…that is strange. Maybe guru schools are hard to come by.
But to my point, I would really enjoy some personal time with this fellow. He seems to have a tender heart, very good motives in what he is doing, and is a clear thinker. All things I like.
Another small mystery is where Rao’s spiritual beliefs are centered. Various faith traditions teach respect and honor for our fellow man — good to apply in all of business. The fact the Rao covered a Christian leadership book by Finzel also favorably impressed me. Spiritual foundations tell a lot.
Jesus of Nazareth had no earthly teaching credentials as well. He was the son of a carpenter. His family offered no pedigree.
But He amazed people with His teaching. The Gospel of John records it this way:
“…Jesus went up to the Temple and began teaching. The Jews were amazed and remarked, “How does this man know all this—he has never been taught?” Jesus replied to them, “My teaching is not really mine but comes from the one who sent me. If anyone wants to do God’s will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I merely speak on my own authority. A man who speaks on his own authority has an eye for his own reputation. But the man who is considering the glory of God who sent him is a true man. There can be no dishonesty about him.” (John 7:17-18, Phillips)
Elsewhere, it says Jesus spoke as one who had authority.
My friend, read His words. Listen to His message. Observe His wisdom.
You might find yourself asking, “Who IS this guy??”
That’s The Way WE Work. Click on the link to the right to connect via Facebook.
Catch “Let’s Talk with Mark Elfstrand" weekday afternoons from 4-6pm on AM 1160 Hope for Your Life. To listen to the live broadcast or a podcast of previous shows click here.