Comparing Leaders: Desamanya Ken Balendra and Sarath Fonseka

Keywords: leadership assessment, sri lanka leaders, developing control skills

This particular assignment concentrates on evaluating on two individual leaders, where one individual is a innovator at present and the other is a great innovator in his time. This task is not only based on to understand about this individual's leadership features and styles but also to get knowledge and experience about how they are suffering from themselves with their positions in life and modern culture they are really in today.

According to Dubrin, Dalgish & Miller (2006, p. 3) authority is the main dynamic pressure that motivates and coordinates the organization in the success of its aims. Appannaiah & Reddy (2006, p. 261) says that authority is an impact procedure for inducing a subordinate to behave in a desired manner. Therefore in order for us to virtually understand the reality of the control theory, we have analyzed the leadership attributes of two different leaders that are in the domains of Business and army/politics.

The first innovator that we preferred was Desamanya Ken Balendra. He was the first Sri Lankan Chairman of John Keells Holdings Ltd. (JKH), an extremely varied blue chip company and the sole Sri Lankan Company to be detailed among the world's best 200 small companies by Forbes Global journal. In 12 months 2000, on reaching the age group of 60, he retired from his position.

Our next choice was a simple and more popular choice, that was Basic (Rtd. ) Sarath Fonseka. The ex - basic of the Sri Lankan army who lead the military of Sri Lanka to triumph over the war against the Tamil rebels which dragged on for over 2 generations.

A detailed analysis on each individual leader is roofed in the survey, as well as a evaluation of their management traits and styles by having a theoretical record.


The major reason for choosing Mr. Ken Balendran for this assignment is because he is one of the most successful chairman's of Sri Lanka to ever before achieve success in a blue chip company like John Keells Holdings. He converted around things for JKH to attain higher objectives and be a well known people oriented company. And he indeed succeeded. After retirement his ways and rate of business continues to be been conducted at JKH. The present Chairman is also following a ways and footsteps of Mr. Balendra to bring out the best in John Keells. The key reason why we chosen him as the existing leader is basically because he is still the Chairman of varied other companies. He still operates his companies the same manner he used to perform JKH. Along with his experience and his visionary ways he is the most respected man in the corporate world today.

He is also the supports the existing positions of,

Chairman of Brandix Lanka Ltd. A respected manufacturer and exporter of clothing.

Director of chevron Lubricants Lanka Ltd. , a subsidiary of Chevron Texaco.

Chairman of the investment committee of Aureos South Asia fund

Honorary Consul-General for Poland

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Council for Mental Health.

Trustee of the Royal College or university Union


Deshamanya Ken Balendra was always a Team player. On the interview with him, we were holding the first words he spoke to us. Declaring "I'm a Team Player. When analyzing his background he was a good sportsman participating in sports activities like Rugby. He was the vice captain of his team in royal college or university. Also he was responsible for the main aspects of running a rugby team. Although he never became a Captain, he was established to lead the team directly into greater heights. He also performed for the Ceylon Barbarians and captained the team for four years. He also received colors in doing this and is an extremely successful sportsman as well.

When Mr. Ken Balendra was immerged to be always a leader in the future, the question of role models and inspirations came up in to concerns. Mr. Ken Balendra didn't quite have his role models or Inspirations like most of us do, but he would remember his role models to be his bosses when he started out his working job. He started his carrier with Tea. His family was in to planting therefore into planting he travelled. Having completed 'creeping' at Halgolla estate near Avissawella, he was transferred to Hapugastanne Group. Where he worked well generally under the past due Sepala Ilangakoon. He still reckons Ilangakoon to be 'Sri Lanka's best ever before planter'.

Mr. Balendra learnt commonly by Illangakoons bank account, he was a model planter. Through this he gave Mr. Balendra connection with both tea and silicone planting. This would stand him in a good stead during his early years at John Keells. Illangakoon later put him responsible for welfare and public activities including the annual sports activities meet, a sizeable responsibility considering just how many families were applied and housed at Hapugastenne. He continuing to try out rugby as he previously at university, turning out for the Ceylon Rugby & SOCCER TEAM as well for the national team, the Ceylon Barbarians.

Mr. Balendra then moved to the capital and started his are 'a fairly mature exec' in the tea department of John Keells. He did as well at Keells as he had at planting. Mr. Sepala Illangakoon was gratified to learn from Make Bostock that the new recruit possessed graduated to auctioneering in a record time of 90 days, when most others took at least six. Because of his bosses' visionary thinking of diversifying one's capacity to handle business, Symbol Bostock assigned Mr. Balendra in to touring operator companies and also jewel miners and stores. Here Ken Balendra discovered his true vocation.

With all the problems with the JVP and at the elevation of the conflict Mr. Ken Balendra was finally appointed Chairman of John Keells. He was on set on a course to couch JKH for another a decade. As chairman of JKH he worked well hard to bolster and disseminate the principles that possessed built John Keells. Management meetings were opportunities to transfer a few of the old spirit, Which Balendra performed in extrovert fashion, using humor, irrelevance and a being attentive ear canal to encourage people to speak their thoughts with eh frankness and lack of formality Keells demanded. His main technique however continued to be that of handing people more responsibility that they thought they could take care of and persuading them that they could manage it.


Mr. Ken Balendra when responding to a question of just what a leader should be a one who is right down to earth and knows exactly what goes in peoples' heads. His authority skills are still reputed today because he understood the way to handle people and almost all of all how listen to his supporters. He was also in a position to motivate his enthusiasts and guide them in their journey without discouragement. But a head would not be existent if there have been no fans. Mr. Ken Balendra advised that one's fans should be courage's and able to take dangers and believe in something that may not look bright colored now but if thought appropriately it would be with time to come. Therefore to enhance his followers to be the leaders in the future he developed a team called the "2020 Team". Whose people were outstanding young executives regarded apt to be among those working the group in the year 2020. Gatherings of the 2020 team were the most informal of all.

As I estimate,

"I used to cause them to become speak up, criticize the panel etc, and that presented a lot of good ideas. Two of the teams are now Chairman and Deputy Chairman: Susantha Ratnayake and Ajit Gunawardene. These were in the 2020 Team in the early nineties and jumped over several heads to become listed on the plank at such a young age"

Even at his time he managed to get a point to wait every seminar possible and was heavy audience in various catalogs and magazines publicized both within Sri Lanka and internationally. And later his skill of management came in play of handing responsibility and being in charge of ones actions. That is one of the ways he was able to get his results. But he'd never sack someone scheduled to not getting together with targets, but would achieve this task if the norms and ethics were breached by anyone. Therefore he was a visionary person who was very much People focused as oppose to Task Oriented. He was more thinking about the welfare of people more than the company itself. After all the companies existence is due to people who work for this.

Mr. Balendra's attempts, combined with those of his acquaintances, were effective at preserving the Keells Soul.


Named Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka born on the 18th of Dec 1950 is a ex - commander of the Sri Lanka Army and a ex - Chief of Security Personnel of Sri Lanka. As the Commander of the Military Basic (Rtd. ) Fonseka enjoyed an instrumental role in finishing the two ten years Civil War Sri Lanka, in '09 2009. Thereafter he became the first serving official to be promoted to a four star rank in the Sri Lanka Military. ("Sarath Fonseka the near future leader", n. d. )

Gen. (Rtd. ) Fonseka became a member of the Sri Lanka Army way back in 1970 and observed all action throughout the 26 calendar year civil battle, culminating in a term as commander from Dec 2005 to July 2009. As commander, he oversaw the final stage of the civil war of Sri Lanka which end resulted in the beat of the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organization (LTTE). Gen. (Rtd. ) Fonseka has been defined and seen as Sri Lanka's most successful army commander by local and foreign nationals as well, and his run of significant military services victories contrary to the LTTE during Eelam Conflict IV led the Indian Country wide Security Consultant Mayankote Kelath Narayanan to spell it out him as the "best military commander in the world". ("Sri Lanka Military Commander General Sarath Fonseka", n. d. )

After having chosen a job in the Army in 1970 to serve this great region, Sarath Fonseka met his life partner Ms. Anoma in 1972. They got into wedded life in 1979 and thereafter experienced two daughters called Apsara and Aparna. While a profession in the Army meant that Gen. Fonseka possessed to spend time from his family, he always ensured that he was a dedicated husband to his wife and a caring and caring daddy to his daughters. ("Sarath Fonseka the near future leader", n. d. )

In mid Apr, 2006 Gen. (Rtd. ) Fonseka survived an assassination make an effort when an LTTE suicide bomber attacked his motorcade, where he suffered critical abdominal accidental injuries. Following end of the warfare he was appointed Main of Defense Staff, a post from which he retired on November 16th, 2009. ("Sri Lanka Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka", n. d. )

General Foneska's experience in military services things made him a very popular figure among all Sri Lankan people. Many statesmen adored his courage, stance on military issues, and his astute insurance policy insights into governance and conditioning democracy. Like a average he has been able to achieve what was once thought the unthinkable in Sri Lanka's politics history. Due to his persistence and commitment to place his country before himself, he has been able to unite major politics parties and cultural communities to work with him to guide our beloved motherland to a prosperous future; a location where every citizen irrespective of their ethnicity, faith and personal information can live freely with satisfaction and dignity. ("Sarath Fonseka the future leader", n. d. )


According to Mr. Fonseka there are many characteristics of the good leader. One is that he/she needs to be very translucent & should be impartial and also provide good strategic course to his supporters. And Gen. (Rtd. ) Fonseka is a solid believer of willpower and abiding carry out. These are a few of the main qualities which influenced Gen. (Rtd. ) Fonseka to be always a good head.

Another factor of his characteristics is that he could clearly take care of the pressures of political effect and his own leadership demands and function accordingly; individuals were called effective leaders because they had followers who trusted them and would go that extra mile for them.

An important quality he possesses is the capability to understand his subordinates and recognized that influencing others by itself is not sufficient in order to be a good leader. In most incidents he tried to lead by example and create a role style of himself to others. Nonetheless it is a must to influence others, when and where it is necessary.

Gen. (Rtd. ) Fonseka portrays a higher degree of reliable electric power as a Commander of the Sri Lankan military. However a point which he brought up was that a few of his leadership features were hindered because, regarding to his position; he's under responsibility to the president and he doesn't have the full authority to handle things his own way. ("I Survived To Do My Responsibility by My Country", 2009) Therefore we can say that situation also takes on a essential role in causing leadership qualities.

Another quality that he possesses is the fact he has a high level of inspiration. He doesn't believe in isolating his team and he delegates electric power and power to them. Delegation and follow-up is his method of working. Following up is how he attemptedto keep his control, where as delegation is how he empowered his team in order to take issues and complete their tasks. However, within an interview with Gen. (Rtd. ) Fonseka, it was evident that he was a courageous person. We are able to say this evidently since when we confronted him about his talents and weaknesses he said that his only weakness is that he doesn't wait for the opportunity to come to him. He goes behind the opportunity or will try to create an opportunity himself. It could appear to work at times but also vice versa, at times it doesn't. ("I Survived To Do My Work by My Country", 2009)

Gen. (Rtd. ) Fonseka also keeps positive work life balance though it is tough to keep up with the several changes in his life. Hence, we notice as, a head should also learn how to strike that type of work-life balance even when their involved in long, gruesome and tireless type of employment.


Problem solving and intellectual skills could be recognized as cognitive factors. To become a successful innovator, the leader will need to have the mental capability to encourage people, cause constructive changes and problem handling creativeness. The cognitive factors of a innovator can be classified directly into several parts, and they are a few discovered with regard to Gen. Fonseka.

Knowledge of business

In order to establish a romantic relationship with group participants, the leader will need to have knowledge of the business enterprise and complex and professional competence related to the business enterprise.

Considering the military commander, who have been working with fellow comrades before he was appointed to the positioning of General, it is apparent that Gen. Fonseka has the relevant technical capacities, professional competence on procedures and plenty of experience.

Insight into people and situations

This simply means that the first choice should have the mandatory level of intuition and common sense to make smart choices in selecting people for key assignments, enabling the leader to make the assignment are better and an improved dob training and development.

When appointing senior military officers to different areas, the commander acted in a manner that is expected by way of a leader who have that required level of intuition and common sense needed. For example, the Brigadier Walagama who previously acted as the principle of Diyathalawa military academy was determined by the commander to obtain amazing experience regarding Trincomalee area and he was immediately appointed as the commander of the Trincomalee area. ("I Survived TO ACCOMPLISH My Work by My Country", 2009)


In order to establish a corporate strategy and eye-sight, the leader will need to have the farsightedness and knowledge of the implications in the long run.

With regard to the commander, was regarded as a thinker and an exceptionally farsighted individual. For example when the commander had the possibility to clear the Kilinochchi town are before clearing the Poonarin area, he restrained himself from doing this, because he understood that if he performed that the military causes would be undoubtedly ambushed by the LTTE. ("I Survived TO ACCOMPLISH My Work by My Country", 2009)

Openness to experience

The commander admits that he still learns something new every day from his subordinates. And this statement was manufactured from national television set.



Self confidence

Mr. Ken Balendran: - SELF-CONFIDENCE through the analysis of the interview has defined that the actual fact of climbing the ladder to being the Chairman of John Keells requires more self confidence than some other factor. Being truly a Head would be mostly based how self-assured you are in your activities and views. Therefore through evaluation Mr. Ken Balendra indeed is the most personal comfortable Chairman Sri Lanka has ever experienced.

Gen. (Rtd. ) Sarath Fonseka - Gen. Fonseka is a personal assured personality without having to be bombastic or overbearing, he instills self confidence in his team members. He always states that it's possible for the army to attain a position of durability not and then achieve its goals according to a proper conceived plan but also to retain the areas cleared.

Trust worthiness

Mr. Ken Balendra: - Mr. Ken Balendra always presumed in his visions. He was able to foresee the near future because of the coverage his bosses put him through. He was always the faithful and trust suitable persona in John Keells immediately. This is why he became the chairman of John Keells. He still remains chairman of many other companies due to the fact that the guy can take up responsibility which is trust deserving in his actions to making the company succeeds.

Gen. (Rtd. ) Sarath Fonseka: - In Riviresa functions General Fonseka acquired to handle many accusations on fraud anticipated to over use of an satellite mobile phone. The bill grew up up to 10 million rupees. However eventually the court retrieved the real reason for this to be; that the commander experienced given his mobile to soldiers to contact their parents. ("I Survived To Do My Obligation by My Country", 2009)


Mr. Ken Balendra: - Mr. Ken Balendra always wanted to really know what each staff in the business thought about. He even would see the worker of factory whenever they can. He was always assertive and didn't quite carry his brain up high because he was the chairman of John Keells.

Gen. (Rtd. ) Sarath Fonseka: - Inside a tv interview Gen. Fonseka once explained that it's his job to eliminated terrorism as used by the LTTE leader as the Sri Lanka Federal government will solve the political problem with a political solution, which statement sows the assertiveness and of his head. ("I Survived To Do My Duty by My Country", 2009)

High Tolerance For Frustration

Mr. Ken Balendra: - Although he could be peaceful at any stage, he pointed out that he'd have any person in charge of their actions. He was also lenient on the other hand of encouraging them to take up responsibility. Through this he was quite tolerant and realized how to take up problems or whatever could frustrate the company. He handled them quite well. Due to these aspects he is the most respected man in Sri Lanka today.

Gen. (Rtd. ) Sarath Fonseka: - The major factor which allowed the LTTE to increase its power and impact was because the federal government during the early on periods didn't act accordingly and they were undecided whether "to combat or never to fight". This gave the terrorists a chance to motivate and build a nexus. Gen. Fonseka discovered and frustrated that because of the lack of a strategy to beat the LTTE areas which were cleared would soon be lost because of the absence of course and dedication. However he tolerated that. He thought that your day would eventually come when he would lead the defeat of the LTTE. ("Sri Lanka Military Commander Basic Sarath Fonseka", n. d. )


Passion for the work and people

Mr. Ken Balendra: - In developing the 2020 team as mentioned above, he was quite visionary and considering the small man. He was interested to educate young recruits directly into being the near future leaders of the company. And continues to be motivating young employees of Brandix Ltd. to improve the future market leaders of the company.

Gen. (Rtd. ) Sarath Fonseka: - Extremely passionate for his work as well as for his country. The commander determined group participants, their pursuits and behaviour and just how which may use to reach and also to best communicate with and effect them. When enough time where he was engaging in operations he'd let his personal mobile get to his subordinate to get hold of their own families.

Emotional intelligence

Mr. Ken Balendra: - His psychological level was quite down to earth, showing his experience and passion often motivated his fans and the young executives at his time. When recommending his means of doing things it was clear that his position in the folks and process grid was on the significantly right suggesting that he is indeed a people oriented person. He is unquestionably interested in the people who make things happen for the business rather than the tasks which are done for the company.

Gen. (Rtd. ) Sarath Fonseka: - His staff members and followers always discovered his thoughts. He always used his feelings to persuade his fans.

Flexibility and adoptability

Mr. Ken Balendra: - Since the 2020 team was quite casual it is clear that he was adaptable in his thoughts and jobs. Along with his adoptability to issues in Sri Lanka at his time at JKH the guy can cope with any situation when necessary. He's now handling the tough economy with Brandix perfectly produces the same outcome. Therefore his adoptability is without doubt at the best of requirements and is versatile due to simple fact that his ego levels and his demand of value are really low.

Gen. (Rtd. ) Sarath Fonseka: - Considering the action of the commander, who transformed the framework of the army and established a specific coordination among different forces such as the army, navy and mid-air force to complement with the modern and required level of specifications one could say that Gen. Fonseka was indeed versatile and very much adaptable to new technology and other. Furthermore he went out for new technology and aircrafts such as M27 to battle against the terrorist when the terrorist gone for air attacks. These can be identified as proof flexibility in his management.

Locus of control

Mr. Ken Balendra: - Mr. Balendra is a person with a high inside Locus of control. His ways and decision were predicated on what he thinks in and is dependant on what his enthusiasts want need. His fine art of obtaining supporters were automatic. Supporters who were his needed to be able to take up responsibility for his or her actions and can be self-confident in what they believe that. Therefore Mr. Balendra always exhibited his faiths and would allow his enthusiasts to make their own decisions.

Gen. (Rtd. ) Sarath Fonseka: - The commander once said in a television set program, "I am assured that once the Tamil youngsters in the East start to see the advantages of calmness they'll not go back to sign up for the terrorists. All communication in the East is cooperating with the security causes and the federal government as they can imagine a excellent and peaceful future for many communities. "Hence this would realize Gen. Fonseka with an inside locus of control.


Mr. Ken Balendra: - Mr. Ken Balendra definitely is courage's in turning around John Keells. Which is also still making things brighter for the firms he is chairman to. Therefore is quite clear that his degree of courage to make those changes going through various critics certainly has compensated him in being the most successful chairman's of Sri Lanka.

Gen. (Rtd. ) Sarath Fonseka: - He is able to be discovered as a courages person. He previously to face many obstacles in achieving to his position but he never quit his eye-sight and his aim for of peace to his mother land.


The basic command styles can be classified directly into three main phases. And they are;


All the decisions of the group are created unilaterally by the leader. The leader will not give any aut hority to subordinates to make any decision.


The leader provides significant amount of autonomy and authority to be a part of your choice making and the first choice applies being participative.

Laissez Faire

The innovator has presents full autonomy to subordinates for decision making and initiate whatever decision they see fit.

The leadership style of Gen. Fonsek a could be categorized into the participative style, because he stocks the decision making process with the other users of his group and after the decision was created by the subordinates the overall would give his consensus, if your choice is at a considerable condition.

The Leadership style of Deshamanya Ken Balendra could be grouped as a participative style. He is a down to earth person who likes to delegate work to subordinates and young people to help them gain experience because of their future efforts. His leadership style also shown that he's quite charm and would pay attention to anyone and their ideas in any position. His change management is prosperous and visionary and has made sure everyone was happy in the business. He has been the best option man to any company to take up the chairmanship position. He's still the esteemed man in the country and is viewed up after by anyone.


In analyzing of this two great individuals who have managed to get big in their individual occupations, it is obvious that these two possess different control styles, but whereas the substance to it are almost the same.

Though various scholars have discussed it in their own respective way, the question still remains; are leaders given birth to or made? Looking at these two highly well known individuals it is quite hard to fathom of what sort of leader can be made, in fact if it's possible can another Ken Balendra or Sarath Fonseka made? Is it possible to or I become one?

It may also be too good to be true but if we check out the characteristics and attributes of all market leaders we tend find common floor. Some may have a lttle bit more on certain qualities or characteristics plus some less. But it isn't about how good or bad these characteristics and features are but rather how effective He/she is. Nurturing of the attributes and characteristics may possibly make us a innovator in our own field too and it's quite sure it doesn't happen instantaneously.


Appannaiah, H. R. , & Reddy, P. N. (2006). Business management (2nd Ed. ). Bangalore, India: Himalaya Publishing House ( p 260- 300)

De Janasz. , Wood. , Gottschalk. , Dowd. , & Schneider. (2007). Interpersonal skills in Organizations, NSW: McGraw Hill

Dubrin, A. , Dalgish, C. , & Miller, C (2006). Management (2nd ed. ). Queensland, Australia: John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd ( p 26 -95)

Hosking, D. M. (1988). Organizing, authority, and skilful process. Journal of Management Studies, 25, pp. 147-166.

I Survived To Do My Work by My Country. (December 13th 2009), The Sunday Innovator, p. 2.

Internet Referencing

Sarath Fonseka the near future head. [n. d. ] Retrieved January, 2010 from http://www. sarathfonseka. com/about. html

Sri Lanka Military Commander General Sarath Fonseka. [n. d. ] Retrieved January, 2010 from http://www. scribd. com/doc/11514520/Sri-Lanka-Army-Comander-General-Sarath-Fonseka

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