Sunday, June 30, 2013

Leadership >> Make it happen!!

Leadership is many things to many people. For some it is about about leading an effort, for some it is about steering a ship, for some it is about bringing in a new idea, for some it is paving a path for success, for some it is about motivating people, and the list does not end here. But according to me, Leadership is about making things happen!

To be a leader takes much more than what you are made of and rise above any odds that comes on the way in the execution of a task, a goal or a project.

We are into highly competitive environment where everything is being watched under microscope that includes time, effort, resources,  team dynamics, work-life balance, changing priorities and at the same time ability to get things done in time with utmost quality meeting core objectives of a project. Leadership is about how effectively and efficiently you juggle all these dimensions and making it happen in a way that management could count on you for even tougher and challenging task.

So how is this done? What it takes to get all the ducks lined up for a perfect score? Here are 5 core components which are crucial for a leader:

1. Attitude

The first and for most is the attitude which which you take up the task  and plan around its execution. You are in the game to win and not just play. You must come up with a wining strategy and mindset which sets the course from the get go. Seeing of the big picture and getting on with positive foot hold from the get go is the key to get the project off the ground with a solid start.

2. Purpose

You must be very clear on the purpose of over all task on hand and establish the clarity with the team. It is very important to not limit the goal to list of tasks but to tie with larger objective which could be performance improvement, cost savings, customer satisfaction, technology innovation, process improvement, global campaign or product innovation. This plays a vital role in team engagement as all individual tasks are being implemented.

3. Motivation

Any rock can be moved but for that it is not only requires you to be motivated but entire team and partners involved to make it happen. You need to have both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to help motivate your team. This does not come easy. It requires total dedication, commitment and positive mindset to drive yourself and team.

4. Focus

With the continuous changing environment and priorities, it is very difficult to keep focus and stay on the course. The key differentiator here is to have agility and nimbleness to adjust, adapt, respond,  and be resourceful in the face of change. And ability to seek opportunities to learn and learn quickly as things happening as well from experiences to apply as needed.

5. Skill

To achieve results, you must effectively manage people and processes. This requires skills along with attitude, motivation and focus. Based on my experience, the skills needed the most are:

  • Self-awareness - You must be able to continuously evaluate the proceedings and health of project under way. This includes team spirit, dynamics, and external environmental factors which are not in control. Along with this you must be in total understanding of style, shortcomings, strengths and motivation to help take day to day decisions, delegation and taking a stand on approach to be taken keeping partners/stakeholders into perspective.
  • Communication - Clear, direct and inclusive communication is must to set the direction and guide the implementation. You have to make sure that the channels of communications are open to enable sharing of ideas and induce creativity. It is very important to learn and have skill of communicating top, down and accross of the same message to have its impact in its respective space. It is always good to share more information rather than hide it with team, partners, stakeholders and sponsors.
  • Influence - It is vital to develop variety of influencing styles to help you get different people with different people perspectives on board. This involves networking and building lasting relationships with people on team and outside of team to help reaching out in times of need where time is of essence. For any project to succeed, it requires 4C's:  Cooperation + Coordination + Communication + Collaboration. And each of it requires good influencing skill to have commitment from all parties involved to achieve successful results

With these 5 core competencies under belt, leader can navigate through any storm, twists, uncertainty and roadblocks to guide the ship to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!!!

Roopak Desai

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