Thursday, March 20, 2014

Leading by Giving - Workshop at StratApps Day 4

While the participants trickled in I had the opportunity of discussing the story of Sholay and the leadership behind it. How Sippy stood his ground, how Sailm-Javed held their belief when everything seemed to be going down, fine stuff.
Leaders all - The StratApps team, from Lto R, Anuradha, Rajaneesh, Surendra, Sreenivasu, Sreenivas, Raghavendra, Kiran, John, Sandeep, Satish, Gopinath, PV, Me, Satish and Praneeth

PV administered a case study to three groups on which they applied the principles of goal clarity, role clarity etc and presented their plans. It was an engaging activity and I am sure everyone benefited by the process. The importance of clarity and communication was emphasised once again. He followed that up with another fine model - the AAC model - which gives great clarity in roles. It is the Accountability (whose head is it), Authority (to decide) and Competencies (skills and traits required) model. Very interesting.

We were coming to the end of the session and I summed it all up and put it into context. Organisations start with a vision. The vision can be fulfilled only by a series of tasks i.e. work. To fulfil the tasks resources are taken on board. Certain basic processes fall into place once resources are on board so it interconnects the effort.

So far so good, but it is here that the second line of leadership, or even individuals who have the leadership attitude, can make a difference. Using all the resources efficiently is the key for the leader on the job. If the leader has no belief in people, has no process, no knowledge and no vision, he will be akin to a bullock cart leading a posse of powerful cars. The entire team is restricted by the leader's lack of vision and efficiency. The next type of a leader who knows the process and has some knowledge can use the resources enough to perhaps achieve the vision or task as set out. The inspirational leader however gambles big on the potential of his resources, gives them freedom, allows them to grow, helps them grow and as they grow, sees the vision expanding exponentially.

Leaders will be finally judged only by their performance and the growth of their team as individuals and as a team. If the team performs but individuals have not grown, the leader has not done his job. It is obvious that leaders must prepare themselves for the role too as with everything else. On skill and physical aspect first and then on the mental side which is about 80% of the performance. The mental aspect involves knowing the context, process-orientation and understanding the belief system of the leader. The better prepared leader will be able to apply more principles of inspirational leadership.

Leadership finally is about power. The power to make a real difference. However the biggest problem is using the power that one is vested with, one has access to. Most of us use very little of the power we have and this could come from a space of being slightly insecure. In my mind being secure happens when one accepts oneself as he or she is. There will be imperfections, weaknesses, but this is me. All one needs to show is the intent to accomplish the task, intent to work hard and learn and to come back until the work is done. One who can think like that cannot be insecure. He will say he does not know when he knows not, and is willing to learn.

Inspirational leadership is about love. The quote says that true love is in bringing out the best in people around us. It does strike you that we do not really do that - we do not really care for bringing out the best for people in our families in our teams. Its time we made a difference there as well.

The team was asked to stay in touch with one another over a period of 100 days. Tasks to keep the team together and have while being on the job were assigned and each took responsibility for a task. I do believe we need givers, contributors at leadership positions in our world, and there is no reason why this group pf young, driven professionals cannot become inspirational leaders who are greatly influencing the space they choose to be in.

I must leave you with this link to a youtube video. If any of you from the StratApps team is reading this blog, pass this along. It is Simon Sinek speaking of inspirational leadership in a simple model, the importance of the purpose.

Thanks you StratApps for the opportunity, Naveen and Lalitha, PV for bringing us together. And so with the entire team of participants, leaders all from whom I expect much, Sreenivas, Praneeth, Satish, Rajaneesh, Gopi, John, Nagendra, Surendra, Kiran, Anuradha, Sreenivasu, Raghavendra and Sandeep. Good luck to you all and god bless.

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