When the leader is hell bent on pushing his (hidden) agenda, irrespective of divergent views from the core team, then those team members are virtually not with the leader. These members would start to question the motives, words and actions. Soon the leader loses the trust and without trust, the leader loses his ability to influence others.
But all this fails to cut any ice and CMD successfully pushes his agenda. As per the limited data given in the case, where CMD's conduct and leadership style is largely implied and not explicitly depicted in the case, the leadership style of CMD appears to be an Autocratic Leadership.
As against that, he is told curtly "Be optimistic, do not see things from a myopic vision". Whereas the Director Finance had not shared any of his personal views - he had only presented hard data!!!
Researchers have also found that autocratic leadership often results in a lack of creative solutions to problems, which can ultimately hurt the group from performing. Come to think of it, if I know that my (valuable) contributions are going to be snubbed upon, next time I will be looking the other way as ultimately only the ideas generated brilliantly by the CMD are going to be 'most practical', 'strategically right' and eventually implemented, irrespective of the consequences - like in the current case.
If the situation is of any emergency or where it's a small group having no leadership or in situations that are particularly stressful, such as during military conflicts - group members may prefer an autocratic style. This helps the members to focus on performing their specific tasks without worrying about making complex decisions.
Business Acumen of CMD
Business acumen demands intense mental activity. When the Director Finance presented the harsh facts to him, he should have done his calculation and understood if the company should be taking such an aggressive risk or no. A debt of 20000 Cr and an additional requirement of 70000 Cr is a herculean order by any standards. Business requirements warranted that this investment, even if someone makes it, taking huge risks - needed to generate revenues at the earliest. A delay of 5 long years that resulted in project cost rising three times was suicidal by most moderate terms.
Given that MAIL performed very well during the preceding three years, the top management lead by CMD should have done a detailed analysis to understand, if the company did something brilliant to earn 5000 crores or were the market conditions primarily responsible for such stupendous performance - given the cyclic nature of the industry. After doing this basic analysis, a joint decision either ways could have been a life saver for MAIL.
MAIL is in a recarious situation. They are in a financial mess, to say the least. Based on the data available in the case - the company has limited choices:
1) To reduce debts, it should look for such assets that can be encashed. May be there is some extra land that can be sold or redundant P&M (KISCO may have certain P&M that has been replaced by the green field expansion)
3) The IR scenario is again on the verge of a breakdown as the union has waited for 2 years for a wage revision. So the union needs to be formally informed about the financial condition of the company. They should be made an offer to help the management reduce the additional employees by way of a VRS and then be eligible for a discussion on wage increase.