Sunday, January 20, 2019

Leadership Training Program - Infiniti TechLabs

Infiniti TechLabs is doing is absolutely right. They decided on a team-bonding plus outdoor activity combined with training first and we did a cricket-based 'Win by Design' first on December 25, 2018. We followed that with a 'Visioning and Culture Setting Program' for the leadership team where the entire leadership team got together and visioned their 'Why, What and How - Purpose, Goals and Values'. Yesterday we got together for a leadership training program on leadership principles, building teams, performance management and people management. The program was conducted yesterday.

The participants were Gautami, Ajay, Suresh, Suresh Narayanan, Rajneesh, Inder, Lavish, Neelima, Purnima, Murali, Raghu, Santosh, Ramesh. We started with the Knowledge or Learning prayer - to be able to say 'I don't know' and to quickly learn that as soon as we can by asking for help or seeking guidance from those who know.
The Infinians!
Principle and Practice 1 - Double your enthusiasm 
The first part of the program was about the importance of energy. Through and exercise and a story we discovered that enthusiasm is a trait within us that we need to constantly work at until it becomes second nature. High energy attracts people and as a leader one needs that enthusiasm. Most importantly, as Frank Betteger says, 'If you double your enthusiasm, you can double your income and happiness.'

Principle and Practice 2 - Evolution of leaders
Leaders evolve from
1) personal leadership (being an expert at own role and outperforming others)
2) completing one's work and then helping others in team to perform better for team benefit
3) putting up hand for higher responsibility when team needs
4) leading a team effectively and delivering better than average results
5) growing leaders in team and making oneself redundant so succession is easy
10x Game
Principle and Practice 3 - Leadership is about showing the way and influencing others to follow
We watched the TED talk of Derek Sivers "How to start a movement' and understood the importance of other team members in creating a movement
Leadership is about influencing as many followers as one can. Key - if you lead a follower you get one follower but if you lead a leader, you get the leader and his followers to follow you.

Exercise - We did an exercise where two teams competed on gaining the advantage in an opportunity of manufacturing and delivering paper rockets. Some learnings were - organisation of resources, everyone pitching in, putting right people in right jobs (squares in squares)

Principle and Practice 4 - Leadership Blackbox
The leadership black box consists of Why, What, How and Who.
Why is the Purpose
What are the goals to be achieved
How is the process - values and processes
Who is about people concerned

A leader who knows his why, what, how and who is in a good position.
Exercise: All team leads can ask these questions - why does my team exist or what is the purpose of my team, what are the goals that are possible for my team to achieve - committed goals and aspirational goals, how can we achieve them - what values do we practice and recognise and what processes can we adopt to make 10x change and who are the people involved and how do I get their best work.
Some suggestions
Principle and Practice 4 - 3 As
To make genuine connections with people and to be in a position to influence them, practice these three As
1) Acknowledge people - Greet and meet people everyday with enthusiasm, say hello, look into their eyes, shake hands, ask about their life, families, treat them like they exist - with everyone
2) Appreciate - Find every opportunity to appreciate people. The principle is this - when you focus on what they are doing right and appreciate, that behavior will grow.
3) Ask for help - Asking for help is a great quality in a leader. It not only allows people to feel useful, it helps forge bonds. A leader has to constantly ask for help from so many sources - so get comfortable with that.
Gautami, Ajay and me
Principle and Practice 5 - Learning Mindset
Of the two mindsets Growth and Fixed mindset, develop the learning mindset as a culture. The only desire is to learn, to seek higher challenges, to see effort as the path to mastery, to not be afraid of failure, to play with higher leagues, to seek feedback, to ask for help, to persist in the face of setbacks, to get inspired by and learn lessons from others success.

While on the learning mindset it is also the best approach to be a secure leader - one who is not afraid to be the one who knows the least in his team, one who has no fear of growing others in the team. The learning mindset is a great way to keep the ego in control - you are always receiving, not giving.

Principle and Practice 6 - OKRs
We looked at John Doerr's OKRs and tried to set organisational and team-wise OKRs as a first cut in 15 minutes.
The principles guiding OKRs
Set 5-6 broad, directional objectives that are 10x in nature over a time period (1 year). If you achieve 70% of the target at full stretch you have achieved your target -they should be that big. If you achieve 100%, it is an easy target. You can first set the objectives and then finetune with the consultation of the manager.
Ideally for the organisation OKRs flow top down. The company OKRs are set and then it cascades down per team- and always per individual. OKRs are for individuals not teams.
For each objective set 3-4 Key Results which are specific, measurable, time-bound. Key results are not actions, should contain numbers. By achieving all three key results, the objective is achieved.

Exercise- We played a ball game where we proved how 10x is possible by
getting all inputs from team members, deciding the objective first and then finding the ways to make it happen, that we cannot achieve 10x by working in the same process, we need to radically change the process

Principle and Practice 7 - Leadership Process
The process for any leader to know

  • Have a vision - purpose
  • Set goals (OKRs will help)
  • Clearly set roles (write them down as in One Minute Manager clearly setting expectations without ambiguity)
  • Provide inputs (help people perform by providing training, support, mentoring, coaching)
  • Monitor performance (without interfering, monitor performance)
  • Feedback (provide feedback to improve performance)
  • Achieve goal

Raghu, Lavish and Ramesh

Principle and Practice 8 - People Management tools
3As - Practice the 3As vigorously
Making connections with people - making eye contact, touching them, using their name often, sk questions about them, being vulnerable

Principle and Practice 9 - Feedback Management
All progress in the group, including working towards a learning culture, are driven by feedback management. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. If practiced diligently, this could be the biggest driver of growth and innovation.

It works on the A, B, C principle - Activator (goal), Behavior and Consequence (feedback)
When people have no confidence give only positive feedback. Praise all progress however small. They will try to repeat the behavior when praised. When they do not perform, do not say anything. Appreciation is addictive.
When they reach a level of confidence and commit a mistake, give them a reprimand as feedback so the error is not repeated.

Feedback principles
Do it immediately after the act
Tell person why feedback is necessary (for improvement)
Tell them what they did right/ wrong
Tell them the impact of their action
Tell them how you feel
Integrate the feedback by shaking hands
When giving a reprimand always isolate the action and never make it about the person. When it ends the person must feel that he is not rejected as a person, but that the act was noticed and he must correct it.

Role play was performed.

Principle and Practice 10 - Conflict Management
When there is a conflict it means two people have different points of view. The more each person hardens his point of view the more the other will feel threatened and wronged and it ends in a deadlock. As a leader, you must first make the other person feel secure. Always include, even if there
are differences. Eliminate personal biases.

  • If conflict is rising, break the momentum, energy by distracting or taking a break
  • Re-engage
  • This time let go of your point of view and let the other person talk
  • When the person talks without feeling threatened, listen carefully and non judgmentally
  • In this secure atmosphere, gently look for a middle solution
  • In whichever scenario, do not try to foist your decisions on others, listen, allow for a fruitful discussion with all parties in an honest manner and then bring the group wisdom out

Some feedback
It was nice, informative, life-changing for the Infiniti team.
Amazing mentorship. Amazing learning.
The same kind of sessions are required for all team members apart from leaders.
Very encouraging and motivating which will help in future growth of organisation and individual
Understood how leadership thinking should be and how leaders are made with their vision and effort 
Session on conflict management was very good. I learned new people management skills.
Can be put into practice immediately.
Asking for help, energy, enthusiasm are useful in life.
A wonderful program to bring all seniors together as part of a common objective and share a common vision.
Provoked deeper inner thought with a slow and steady mentoring methodology was the core of this program. Structuring is nice. The journey from fun to win seems exciting and I think this will help grow the belief in ourselves. 
Your program has greatly helped in driving and executing the transition than any of us thought of.

A lot was achieved in a day. Thanks Infiniti Tech Labs. Thanks Shobhs for helping.


Vikram said...


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