In market-driven politics, the shelf-life of a leader as a brand is somewhat also linked with the ability to attract audiences – Janta. It is important for a leader to be confident, decisive, mature and spontaneous. There has always been concern if Rahul Gandhi possesses all these qualities. The charisma of the leader reflects in the performance of the team. We all know that under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, Congress has lost many states and the new addition is – Kerala and Assam. Moreover, its performance in Tamil Nadu is deplorable.
This is not Rahul Gandhi’s first failure; he has strong history of failures. In the marketing world no product gets so many chances of launch and relaunch. No products get so many opportunities, and a blind backing of the product management and marketing team. No doubt Rahul Gandhi is an exceptional case. The biggest reason of exception extended to him lies in the fact that he is the brand extension of the biggest political brand in India ‘Gandhi!’
The brand Rahul Gandhi, in reality is not as bad as it is being perceived. There are many occasions when we have witnessed that Rahul Gandhi comes up with new revolutionary ideas. It also appears to be true that these ideas are out-of-box and well thought through. I mostly believe that it is not Rahul Gandhi who is at fault; the blame should go to the team Rahul Gandhi.
The challenge I see in Rahul is not of not having ideas. This individual has lot of ideas but he is not consistent with his ideas. He needs consistency in form of ideas, presence, and execution. It important to understand that any big and successful leader is not made of multiple great ideas, but they are made of implementation of just a few powerful ideas. In the case of Rahul Gandhi, it appears like there is sudden outburst of ideas and emotion. He will act on it for a few days, then will go back in his isolation. It will not be wrong to say he is consistently inconsistent genius.
In my views a political leader has to be consistent with his or her image. There has to be gravity in thoughts and it should reflect well in the all public appearances and acts. We all remember Rahul Gandhi tearing up the Jan Lokpal bill shielding convicted lawmakers and calling it “nonsense” at a press meet, or trying to push through anti-corruption legislation through an ordinance. As a leader you just can’t talk you mind in raw word. You have to be articulated and mature in thoughts and conduct. I believe what Rahul wanted to communicate was primarily the voice of most of the progressive Indians but it was definitely not presented well. It was a wonderful opportunity presented to him which he did not utilize well. As a national leader you have to be predictable. Without being harsh in words, I would like to say that no-one prefers following an unpredictable leader.
Moreover, I am not sure if he is introvert or not but for sure he is a perceived introvert. It is no brainer that Leadership is all about meeting, greeting, connecting with people and listening to them, engaging with them on various issues. A national leader can’t afford to be a private person and you can’t window dress the connect with masses by photo opportunities.
However, I must admit that Rahul Gandhi over years has improved a lot. He is much more confident, relatively more decisive, and much less of a reluctant leader. Also he is relatively more mature and spontaneous leader than what he was a few years back. For the next level of growth, it is important for Brand Rahul Gandhi to be surrounded by more straightforward and honest party members than sycophants.