Leadership - V.S. Naipaul

Topics: V. S. Naipaul, Man Booker Prize, Miguel Street Pages: 5 (1848 words) Published: October 23, 2013

Description/Synopsis:
Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad “V.S.” Naipaul was born in Trinidad on 17th August 1932, the descendant of indentured labourers shipped from India, this dispossessed child of the Raj has come on a long and marvellous journey. His upbringing familiarised him with every sort of deprivation, material and cultural. A scholarship to Oxford brought him to this country. Nothing sustained him afterwards except the determination, often close to despair, to become a writer. Against all likelihood, a spirit of pure comedy flows through his early books. It is a saving grace. Footloose, he began to travel for long periods in India and Africa. It was at a time of decolonisation, when so many people the whole world over had to reassess their identity. Naipaul saw for himself the resulting turmoil of emotions, that collision of self-serving myth and guilt which make up today's bewildered world and prevents people from coming to terms with who they really are, and to know how to treat one another. On these travels he was exploring nothing less than the meaning of culture and history. Victimhood might have been his central theme, granted his background. That same determination to be a writer also liberated him from self-pity. Each one of us, his books declare, can choose to be a free individual. It is a matter of will and choice, and above all intellect. Critics have sometimes argued that people - in the Third World especially - are trapped in their culture and history without possibility of choice, and can only be free if others make them so. To them, V.S. Naipaul's vision that they have to take responsibility for themselves can seem like some sort of First World privilege, and a conservative philosophy at that. Quite the contrary: the absolute rejection of victimhood is necessary if we are to meet as we must on an equal footing, and it is no exaggeration to say that he has shifted public opinion towards this understanding as no other writer has done. Courage and persistence were required to hold a belief quite so unfashionable in recent years, but it is this belief that has made Naipaul the universal writer and humanist that he is. The comic spirit is still present, though submerged in his later books beneath a darkening sense of tragedy. Naipaul has written about slavery, revolution, guerrillas, corrupt politicians, the poor and the oppressed, interpreting the rages so deeply rooted in our societies. Long before others, he began to report on the irrational frenzy loosed these past two decades by religion in the Islamic world from Iran to Indonesia and Pakistan. This phenomenon too was a retreat from history into self-serving myth. Self-pity possesses Islamic fundamentalists so absolutely that they are able to close out everything else.

Describe the style of Leadership and its Influence:
V. S. Naipaul’s leadership style is Transformational Leadership. Transformational leaders are inspiring because they expect the best from everyone on their team as well as themselves. He identified the need to free himself from self-pity and began to express himself through his writing.

Outline how, when and why these achievements/accomplishments were made. 1958: He was awarded numerous literary prizes including the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 1960: The Somerset Maugham Award
1964: The Hawthornden Prize
1968: The WH Smith Literary Award
1971: The Brooker Prize
1983: The Jerusmalem Prize
1990: He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1993: The David Cohen Prize for the lifetime achievement in British Literature 2001: The Nobel Prize in Literature

How did the leadership style work (locally or otherwise?)
He transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony. His novels, set in developing countries, are known for their pessimistic and cynical tone, often referred to as “suppressed histories”. Naipaul has earned a reputation as one of the...
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