“If the people you are leading have lost their spark, then try looking in the mirror and introspect, soon it will show you your roadmap,” says Richard Barooah, General Manager, Ascott Ireo City Gurgaon.
The role of a leader has always been a very complex process as it deals with the human mind. Humans are highly evolved animals, which makes them the most complex creatures, the smartest species on earth. Hence by default, managing people is one of the most difficult tasks due to the intricate and diverse nature of humans.
People management becomes the toughest job because of the human mind’s complexity as every human being is a unique thinking hub. It makes a leader’s job further convoluted to manage different kinds of people under one roof. Unless she/he is not fully connected with every single team member’s thought process completely, leadership is bound to fail.
We all grow up and experience varied environments in our lives. Naturally, as a result, every individual thinks, acts, reacts, perceives things differently even in a similar situation.
So for a leader to assert leadership is about understanding the fact that it is not about himself, but about the ones he serves and leads. It is not about exalting himself, but about elevating others by not being impertinent. It shouldn’t matter however good or bad the situation might be; being unprejudiced to each team member should be the leader’s focus area.
We all have room to improve as humans and it doesn’t matter whatever could be our experiences and seniority in our professional lives. A leader’s ultimate goal should be cumulatively driving everyone’s vision and dreams into reality.
Leaders who can build trust, respect and admiration will naturally be followed by his team with the same in reciprocation. Thereby, a leader should always be enhancing his skills of understanding human behaviour so that he can drive his team with the common objective. He should always lead the team through examples. He should be empathetic, unbiased and open enough to accept criticism with a positive attitude. It should not matter even if criticism comes from his junior-most team member. Leaders always should be full of positive attitude, so that nothing stops her/him to constructively accept and discuss the reason for criticism. Discussing a crisis can also lead to opening up of many new avenues of improvement in the functioning of the team and securing a common team objective. This will not only help the team to overcome adverse situations, but also restore higher trust amongst the leader and her/his team for healthy organizational growth.
In a dynamic working environment, many a time, leaders will face situations which are not as per the plan. In this kind of adversity, it is very easy for a leader to get distracted from the goal and negativity might prevail impacting the healthy work environment. In this kind of scenario, a strong leader needs to hold his ground with prudence, rather than finding faults or playing a blame game, which is the easiest yet calamitous act. In any such difficult situation, as a leader, it becomes imperative to conduct a self-introspection to analyze the situation with the ‘Why’ analysis approach.
Why did the crisis occur?
Why is there a disconnect amongst the team and the leader?
Why could not the leader foresee the onset of the crisis?
In the experiential journey of climbing up the organizational ladder, a leader’s personality is crowned with a huge bank of knowledge. This tool provides him with a sense of accomplishment and enormous confidence. However, there is always a thin line between confidence and overconfidence. This is the line that the leader should always respect and adhere to, so as not to cross the same.
But again, unconsciously, things could be taken for granted and the leader is susceptible to think he is not prone to make mistakes, as he is wise enough with abundant experiences. However, this perception could go wrong. With changing times, everything around us is constantly changing. People’s behaviour within the organization and their outlook towards life, as professionals or even as individuals, change as well. Therefore, a new age leader should open his mind and practice agile leadership.
We leaders look at any crisis with our perception built in from our past experiences, which is a very common fact. But due to this behaviour, we seldom open our minds and see the problem through the other persons’ perspective, which narrows down our mind to execute a qualitative responsive process. Thus, I feel, as a leader, one should always be above this psychological approach. Needless to say, it should be more factually correct with much a deeper 360-degree analysis.
Executing a perception-based decision can lead to either mindful delinquency and break the chain of trust and harmony, which, in turn, can lead to a volatile environment, which is not good at any given circumstances. So, as a leader, I feel we should always analyze any crisis with a complete 360-degree overview. This would help us to see our involvement either being a part of creating solutions or the crisis. If, as leaders, we cannot score 100% on our 360-degree evaluation, it means there are gaps in the process including in our leadership quality. Any kind of gap in the 3P's (People, Processes and Profit) of an organization will never allow an optimal result.
Therefore, it becomes of foremost importance to be vigilant, to keep a check if all the 3P's quadrants are aligned and they are in sync to the perfection.
I remember the old saying by Albert Einstein: “The world as we have created it is a process of our constant thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” So, as a leader, it becomes utmost importance for each one of us to keep our leadership skills abreast with the changes, not only technologically but also with human behaviour.
Needless to say, people are the biggest asset of any organization and if we have happy people they would be selflessly aligned with the organizational road map and its objective. Happy people always love to follow their leaders due to their stronger bonding and trust. This helps the followers to go beyond their limit even to execute the toughest task which is laid by the leader keeping in mind a much bigger goal.
When we have a happy team in an organization, they follow the leader’s footsteps from their heart. Positivity gets engraved in the system, which creates synergy and thus great teamwork prevails, resulting in happy employees and happy customers, which yields long-term, better profitability.