Professor M.S.Rao is an international leadership guru and an internationally acclaimed executive coach, educator, author, speaker, and consultant. He earned a PhD in Soft Skills in 2011. He has 34 years of experience in leadership development and conducts training programs for various corporates and educational institutions. His areas of interest include Leadership, Executive Coaching and Executive Education. His vision is to build One Million Students as Global Leaders by 2030.
M.S. Rao | Father of Soft Leadership
Professor Rao is known as the “Father of Soft Leadership,” He is the founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He has made the biggest impact on the world with his Soft Leadership which can be applied for companies and countries to achieve excellence. He is the author of 30 books including award-winning 21 Success Sutras for Leaders and Success Tools for CEO Coaches: Be a Learner, Leader, and Ladder. He has published more than 250 papers and articles in international publications including Leadership Excellence, Leader to Leader, T+D Magazine (ASTD), Personal Excellence, Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer Magazine, Training Journal, UN Post, Emerald, and Sage.
He has been honored as an upcoming International Leadership Guru by ‘Global Top Gurus 30 Leadership’. His award-winning book, “21 Success Sutras for Leaders” was selected as one of ten finalists for the Department of Leadership Studies Outstanding Leadership Book Award – 2013 at the University of San Diego. His book “Success Tools for CEO Coaches” is the Award Winner from Small Business Book Awards, USA. His award-winning book Smart Leadership: Lessons for Leaders has been published as a Spanish language e-book. He received International Award – ‘International Coach of the Year’ from Prestigious ‘Comprehensive Coaching U, Inc’. He coined an innovative teaching tool – Meka’s Method; leadership training tool – 11E Leadership Grid; and leadership learning tool – Soft Leadership Grid, based on his new leadership style, ‘Soft Leadership’ which is most frequently downloaded research paper in Industrial and Commercial Training, Emerald, UK. He successfully led a webinar titled, “Soft Leadership: A New Leadership Perspective” organized by International Leadership Association. He serves as an Advisor and Judge for several prestigious international organizations Global Leadership Awards, Malaysia. He presided as a judge for Global Leadership Awards – 2011 and 2012 Malaysia and for Small Business Book Awards, USA.
He serves on the editorial boards of various prestigious international journals including Development and Learning in Organizations, Industrial and Commercial Training of Emerald, U.K, and The Journal of Values Based Leadership USA. He is the book reviewer for Human Resource Management International Digest, Emerald, U.K. His Amazon book URL: http://www.amazon.com/M.-S.-Rao/e/B00MB63BKM He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most of his work is available free of charge in his four blogs:
M. S. Rao Interview
Q: What is soft leadership?
A: Soft leadership is leading through soft skills and people skills. It blends soft skills, hard skills and leadership. It emphasizes on 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. It is an integrative, participatory relationship, including behavioral leadership model adopting tools such as persuasion, negotiation, recognition, appreciation, motivation, and collaboration to accomplish the tasks effectively.
Q: How soft leadership is different from servant leadership?
A: Servant leadership emphasizes on service mindset while soft leadership emphasizes on people skills which are often known as soft skills. Soft leadership is the way you lead people politely and pleasingly without losing sight of your organizational goals and objectives. Robert K. Greenleaf first coined the phrase “servant leadership” in his 1970 essay, “The Servant as a Leader.” I have coined the phrase “soft leadership” in my 2011 book, “Soft Leadership – Make Others Feel More Important.” Dave Ulrich wrote foreword for this book. According to Larry C. Spears, former president of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, the servant leaders possess 10 characteristics. They are listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community. However, the soft leaders possess 11 characteristics. They are character, charisma, conscience, conviction, courage, communication, compassion, commitment, consistency, consideration, and contribution
Q: What are the myths about soft leadership?
A: It is a great myth that soft leadership means being “soft” with people. The truth is that soft leadership banks on people skills to lead people successfully. Soft leadership is servant leadership which is another myth. The truth is that 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. Servant leadership contains 10 characteristics while soft leadership contains 11 characteristics.
Q: What motivates you to serve others?
A: I was born in a poor family with lots of financial challenges. I joined Indian Air Force when I was 18 years old as I had passion for uniform and wanted to serve my country. After serving the country I wanted to serve society. I thought the best thing is to become a professor to train and groom students as global leaders. There is a limitation to train students physically. Hence, I started authoring books to reach out the world so that my messages go to many people in the world. I created four blogs to share knowledge. I get up every day morning at 3 A.M and sleep in the night at 10 P.M. I author books in the early morning; and teach and train during the day time. I run every day morning for an hour and I hit gym every day evening for an hour. This is how I spend my day. Additionally, I am passionate about acquiring and sharing knowledge with the world free of charge. I constantly strive to achieve global peace and prosperity. I want to make a difference to the world. For me, to serve is to lead and live.
Q: What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
A: I have authored 30 books on leadership and two of the books titled 21 Success Sutras for Leaders was ranked as one of the Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year – 2013 by San Diego University, USA and Success Tools for CEO Coaches: Be a Learner, Leader, and Ladder is the Community Award Winner for 2014 by Small Business Trends, USA. James Strock wrote foreword for this book.
Q: What are your messages to the world?
A: I have two messages to the world.
First, be a continuous learner and take feedback constantly to grow in life. As long as you love and learn, you are young. The day you stop loving people and learning things, you become old.
Second, love your mother, but don’t hate another person’s mother. Love your caste, culture, community, race, ethnicity, region, religion, and nation, but don’t hate another person’s caste, culture, community, race, ethnicity, culture, region, religion, and nation. As your mother is precious to you, another person’s mother is equally precious to them.
Q: What would like to be remembered for?
A: People must remember me for the knowledge I have shared with the world free of charge despite being in tight finances. My students affectionately say, “Professor M.S.Rao is Born for Students.” It gives me a great satisfaction that I have added value to my students. I would love to be remembered that I served society and made a difference to the world.
Q: What is your lifetime goal?
A: My vision is to build One Million Students as Global Leaders by 2030. So far, I have trained more than 30,000 students. It is a nonprofit initiative. I want to make a difference in the lives of others.
Q: What is your ambition in life?
A: To become President of India.
Connect with M.S. Rao
Professor M.S. Rao on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.-S.-Rao/e/B00MB63BKM
Professor M.S. Rao on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Professor-MSRao/451516514937414
Professor M.S. Rao on Twitter: @professormsrao
Professor M.S. Rao on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/profmsr7
Professor M.S. Rao | Soft Leadership