Monday, January 10, 2011

Leadership Simplified

All of us have a hidden leader within us and that comes out only when we take more responsibility. Leadership is all about taking more than individual capability and making sure it’s done as desired with the help of ours and subordinates.
I would like to describe key factors of leadership that would simplify this subject for newly elected leaders or someone aspiring to be a leader in future.

Put yourself to other's shoes: This is the first lesson, leadership is not about me, and it’s about we. Leadership is not about how I want to do; it’s about how people would do it the way we want them.

Understanding people and circumstances, considering their capabilities, pros and cons of them and utilizing them for wellbeing of the tasks assigned to them.

Comparison is the killer.  Never compare subordinate with yourself. You might be a superstar but you were not like that from day one, so if you really want to compare, do it right with right age and experience. Do not compare people with people, not all of us are same.

Do not Under Estimate or Over Estimate: not everyone in your team has same capabilities, but you should always know your people well. Load them with difficult task and see who comes out well in the test. Use that person for difficult tasks who does it quick and smart. Few are good at small things only, let them do that and be happy with that.

Over expectations could turn out to be nightmare, if you over expect from an average person, you might end up losing the person or putting the person in solid mental state.

Judging people is the key, put right people at right job.

Plan it well: Plan your resources, plan your time, plan almost everything before you can move ahead. Because you may fail but plan will not.

Let your subordinate involve in plan, ask them their availability, they should agree with your plan, check with senior management about their inputs. Check your calendar, whether, holidays in country, holidays of customers and all that matters to your tasks.

Such plans with above factors will be less vulnerable for failure.

Providing a correct career path to subordinates: You cannot move ahead without replicating yourself. So do not shy away from sharing your success secrets with people under you.

Give them the vision for the career path. They would love you if they see they are improving with you and they are on right track to replace you some day and you replace your senior.

Human Factor, use it right:  all of us like to have love, warmth and respect. Deal with your subordinate with those factors but make sure you are being fair.

Being too sweet could be a disaster and being bitter won’t help. The best way out is being fair.  Practice of being fair with people, being fair means evaluating people on standards set by organization or expecting something that is promised by individuals themselves.

Example : Mr. X promised to finish some task tomorrow, and tomorrow comes, he wants to go home early without making sure he finished the promised task or not, here you need to deal with him stating that stick to your promises, or don’t promise unless you can really make it.

Here you were not being sweet like to let him go without finishing, you were not harsh that you could order him to do it anyhow, but you made him realize that it’s important to keep promises. This is called being fair.

Be friendly with people with you but expect a respect from them, get close to them but let them know that you are a bit ahead and you have to be; because only then you can take them to next level.

Don’t just look back, Look forward: This is management perspective. Leaders are responsible to senior management also, so keeping senior management in confidence is important.

You are the one, who would make the management’s dreams come true along with your dreams, so “being a Yes Man/Woman” is important. Management loves those leaders.

In a nutshell taking responsibilities, drawing a right plan, using senior management’s experience, utilizing the given work force efficiently and improving your mental state every day is all we call a “Leadership simplified”