Sharpen Your Edge

Parsi Times is delighted to welcome on board our community’s leading business visionary – Dr. Adil Malia – who has shared his expertise championing diverse roles in Business Management, Law, Human Resources, Marketing and Employee Relations. A much sought-after business coach and mentor, having led companies at the Board level across eclectic industries, Dr. Adil Malia is a philosopher, writer, a voracious reader, an excellent orator, an innovative and powerful ideator. PT presents his column, ‘Sharp Edges’, aimed at readers who wish to hone their careers and grow as successful professionals. For professional consultations, contact Dr. Malia at

Inertia, Myopia And Complacency…

… the destructive trio that dulls your edge

Most Admirable Leaders Inspire Action. No action, no leadership – it’s as simple as that! Leadership without fire in its belly is unable to see for itself and thus, is unable to show the burning platform to the rest of its team. This leads to complacency in the face of impeding urgency.

Weak leadership gets startled in the face of formidable challenge and either gets paralyzed or ends up increasing the pace of the same old actions it used to take, despite not getting positive results out of it.

Inertia stops a leader from pressing on the action gasoline… Myopia makes him believe that it is a very short-term issue… and Complacency thus takes over to make the leader believe that the solution will find its own way to apply itself to the problem. This becomes the destructive trio of Leadership, and thus the nemesis of the corporations they lead.

Complacency is generally an outcome of human tendency to deny that which we do not want to hear. When the presence of a formidable problem appears on the horizon, it emerges with the thinking that leadership can get away with ignoring the information and pussy-footing around the problem, under the hope that the problem will sort itself out. Thus, by its own actions, such leadership self-destructs.

In psychology, a leader may become complacent and thus not initiate action for any of these 8 reasons: 

    1. ‘Problem Avoidance’ or carpet pushing as a default setting being the favoured style of dealing with

     challenges… Inertia.

    1. ‘Miscalculated Firefighting’ – the inability to foresee a big problem that looms large over the head, being otherwise preoccupied in fire-fighting other insignificant problems… Myopia
    2. ‘Stress induced Denial’ – the leader is too stressed out to take any action thus leading to the denial of the very existence of the problem!
    3. ‘Overconfidence’ – that makes a leader believe he can tackle a problem even later, when it may become rather way bigger or way too late to tackle.
    4. ‘Malfunctioning Gauges’ – measuring and valuing performance of insignificant smaller tasks, thereby totally avoiding measurements of the real critical problems at hand.
    5. ‘Absence of Feedback’ – which tells the leader the real issues he needs to be tackling
    6. ‘Messenger Killing’ – where the leader hates and thus kills anyone who delivers the bad news. The team then only gives good news and the leader is blissfully kept in the dark!
    7. ‘Risk Aversion’ – that makes a leader get into endless analysis before deciding action, thus missing the rabbit before pulling the trigger!

Complacent leadership, as a concept, is antithesis. You cannot be a leader and yet indulge in inaction. Complacent leaders dull their edges and corrode action.

Us Parsis are indeed very lucky, unlike so many others. We are privileged to get the right education, good backgrounds, sharp minds, good people skills, caring family, reasonable financial stability, integrity, good values and good social support. We have everything going good for us to become effective leaders. Except perhaps, the worry that all the good things going for us should not provide so much of security and protection that it takes away from us our ‘killer-instincts’ and make us so risk-averse, that we fear facing challenges!

Hungry bodies run faster. We cannot let our distinct advantages become our clear disadvantages.

Organisations wishing to make breakthroughs will push over complacent leaders.  You have to be an effective leader… you’d rather see the goal post right and clear!

So, Sharpen Your Edge and may you Run to Win!

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