Thursday, March 20, 2014

Leading by Giving - Workshop at StratApps Day 3

Day 3 of the workshop focused first on team dynamics. We looked at how teams can be made more resilient by leaders by setting the common purpose for the team (communication), setting clear values that the team is more important than the individual (communication and behaviors) and aspiring to build teams that are closely bound like a FIST (based on mutual trust and belief over a period of time). Efficacy of such teams improves dramatically, team finds synergies and there is great resilience and energy.

We moved on next to discuss the slightly lofty concept of inspirational leadership. We discussed these leaders with great vision and courage, great compassion and energy, and how they made their followers work like crazy for them. These followers would die for them, give their best for such leaders. What do they do?

It is a must that such leaders 'believe'. They believe that humans have great potential and that every individual wants to excel. They are also passionate in facilitating the growth of their team members in every way possible, genuinely caring to bring out the best in them. They somehow make us believe that we are capable of moving mountains, that they fully believe we can and egg us on. These are also the leaders who tell us what to do, and not how to do things. When they tell us how to do things, they set the framework, knock out all creativity, and limit the person. Each person must feel wanted, recognised and the inspirational leader makes each person realise that it is their own baby, and the whole structure hinges on him or her. People love this freedom to express themselves and normally give their best.

The key to people giving their best is to involve them personally. The 'I' must be brought into the equation. This job is mine, this work is mine. I am doing this well because it is benefiting my team which expects much from me. That is a good space to be in. The inspirational leader gently and compassionately transfers the ownership of the dream to each of his team mates, trusting them, encouraging them to give it their best shot. It needs constant encouragement, help sometimes and allowing space for mistakes, sometimes even costly ones. Do not lose belief in your team when the stakes are high. Hold on to belief.

Belief and Trust become key words for inspirational leaders. They give space, allow their team members to grow, support and encourage and help, get out of the way but are always at hand to help. PV did share a fine illustration, his own, about TRUST. He explained how it was Transparency, Result orientation, Understanding (asking questions), Speaking Up and being Truthful. It is a wonderful way to build Trust.

While at that PV also discussed the concept of values (sacrosanct), freedom (to do the job) and something else (support was it?). I liked the example of the football a lot.

Belief on the other hand is a thought and needs to be held in place. Trusting and believing in people when they are making mistakes or not pulling their weight requires enormous patience, conviction, compassion and clarity. We discussed MSD and his show on belief in Joginder Sharma, a fine story.

Overall inspirational leadership is about  the secure leader. One who knows he can handle it and deliver. One who trusts himself and therefore can trust others. One who believes in himself and therefore can believe in others. One who is secure within and is therefore secure about others.

We discussed leadership tenets and wound up a hectic day. Good participation and interaction and all participants were given a chocolate and asked to use it to make a difference in the world.

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