Leaders Should change

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Throughout my career, I have got guidance from many leaders. Some leaders stayed with me even though they have done with their careers. Those were the ones who are open to change. The ones never stood out, even if they are so good in what they do are the ones who did not accept change. I am almost closing towards three decades in leading various teams. Leadership 101 I learned is to trust your team. You hired them to do the job. You should let them do.

What I am trying to say here is, We all have our own ways to get the job done effectively. My father used to say you want to go from A to B, whether you walk, you run or take a bus. It doesn’t matter, as long as you get there eventually in a timely manner matters. Same thing here at work, If an employee is doing a chore in a certain way and it is not to your liking, trust that person to do that job. As long as the job is done with quality and we meet safe practices. You should be good to go. Those are the leaders. They will let their team grow with them.

These days we all communicate via email. If you have an employee who writes an email longer than your liking. Do not push that employee to change his way to bullet point form. This will hinder his thoughts. He may not find it easier for him to convey his thoughts. He will miss valuable points. As a leader, read that email regardless of the length, because this employee put effort in that communication. If you constantly try to change this employee, he will soon or later stop communicating. He will wait till things fall apart for you to fix or he simply moves on to next job. Another point to be noted her in this scenario. He or she may finish the lengthy email in 10 minutes, compared to bullet point format. Here this is not his or her strength. He or she will doubt how to write and wastes valuable time to convert a simple email to bullet forms just to please the boss. On the other hand, if the boss is complaining, that he or she doesn’t have time for long emails, then that shows his interest in this particular employee. This is not a leadership quality.

Guiding a person is different than changing a person. Do not change their strengths. You are the leader, you should change according to needs. Let them perform in their turf at its best. Involve with them with the same passion they show. You will have a great team to support you back.

Answering calls is an important part of leadership. Everyone is busy and employees know that. If a leader continues to let his calls go to his voicemail over and over, then this shows he is not taking the calls. Soon or later, this becomes an annoyance. Employee will not bother to ask any questions. There are many times an employee need support right away from his or her boss. He or she understands if they cannot get hold of them once a month, but if this is a recurring issue, Leader will be considered as ignoring the staff. They will not feel the support.

Answering calls is an important part of leadership. Everyone is busy and employees know that. If a leader continues to let his calls go to his voicemail over and over, then this shows he is not taking the calls. Soon or later, this becomes an annoyance. Employee will not bother to ask any questions. There are many times an employee need support right away from his or her boss. He or she understands if they cannot get hold of them once a month, but if this is a recurring issue, Leader will be considered as ignoring the staff. They will not feel the support.

One who works or takes Credits?

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I heard from someone today. There are two types of people. One who works and other one takes credit. Who you want to be?

For me, I want to be the person who work. You know why? There is less competition with this group. You are like minded. The other group always wants to takes credit from other people who work or bring ideas. They will compete each other to claim the work or Ideas others bring to table. Let me tell you one thing, here, I am also kind of doing what the group I don’t want to be in. The line I heard above is not mine. But the lesson I learned from the question is big. So I would like to put some work here to make this easy to relate to. I will not claim any credit for the question in discussion here.

As a leader, It is very easy to sit back and take the credit of the team themselves. Lot of people tend to do this unknowingly.A true leader will work hard and walk with the team. Credit will be given to the team as well.

Same thing applies, Some leaders support their subordinates with all their power as long as they are working together. The day they move to a different part of the company,the leader will not even talk to them. This gives the employee a big doubt in their mind “Did my boss used me to move up the ladder?” That is not a good motivation spark for the employee. There are many times leader may have to re enter the same department due to organizational changes. Then that dynamic between the employee and the leader will be struggling for sure.

Leaders are not born, they are born through hard work. Motivating others and guiding others to succeed with out fear is what makes the unique strong leader. They will have followers. They will last long. Showing that soft side of vulnerability will take you to higher stands in the mind of employees. So who are you? One who works or one who takes credit? Food for thought here.

Real life lessons

Today, I was part of a leadership conference. Many of us get excited when we have this opportunities to hear and learn something new. Or same things we know, but with a new twist to it. I got energized by this small glimpse of history. Those who know me, I am not at all a fan of history. I do not really pay attention to what happened long time ago. This particular incident actually paves a good lesson to aspiring managers. So I decide to share on a quick blog here.

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Many of you may know about Terra Nova Expedition. I have to admit here, I am not so sure whether I have learned about this in school days or not. The host today talked about this. Interesting story. Two expedition to south pole. Both did not know they were doing this (I am not sure about this). But they wanted to be first one to reach the south pole. Robert Falcon Scott from Britain and Roald Amundsen from Norway were the two teams leaders. Robert Falcon had only one ambition. Conquer it. He pushed his team members as much as he can. They worked so hard daily. Every single day, he pushed his team to better their efforts.

Roald Amundsen on the other hand asked his team to do 20 miles a day. Regardless of what it is. He did not push the staff, but encouraged them daily to do what they do their BEST. He also did not had any schedule. As long as the 20 miles are done in a day he was happy. You can now see two different strategies as leaders. This is definitely thought provoking for me. I myself is a leader. Which path I should be taking? Many leadership conferences we will get something like this thought provoking isn’t it.

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At the end Norwegian team gets to south pole 34 days before the British team lead by Scott. None of the Scott team including him did not make it back. They all perished in this journey. The lesson is simple. As a leader, lead the team, not push them. See the goal and circumstances. Team will support and deliver if they are treated well. If you respect them you will get the results. As a leader Roald knew the health of his team is more important. They are in the rough seas. They need to take it steady but with same pace. What does this remind you guys?

Story of rabbit and turtle isn’t it? Slow and steady wins the race. All the leaders out there, you don’t need to micro manage your employees. They will deliver if you give them the trust. You hired them once by seeing their ability. They will deliver, Keep them on track and motivate them. I am delighted to hear this story. Don’t you?

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Disclaimer- I did not read any facts about the above said story. I heard it from the host and felt it was great to share. If you are a historian and have lots of insight, I do not offend anyone here. Just a small story to reflect a little on leadership styles. That is all this blog intend to do so. Thank you.