Posts Tagged With: Leadership

Leaders who do things right…or wrong

One of the most important relationships in our lives — that between the manager and the managed.

I will use the word `boss’ rather than `leader,’ `manager,’ or `supervisor’ (although all are bosses) because it implies an authority figure that has direct and frequent contact with subordinates – and who is responsible for personally directing and evaluating their work.

We are living through a period of tremendous change in the workplace and the world alike. It takes us online, gives us advice on how to dress for success, and reiterates how to present our ideas effectively.

I see leadership as a craft; something personal. We all want our team to think we are a good boss, right? We all also want to get perfect results and please our own boss, right? Why does it seem so hard to do one, not at the expense of the other?

Growing up we all had interactions with one leader or another. The way leaders lead in the past is different than how we have to lead today. Our teams are a hybrid of physical and virtual and figuring out how to effectively lead is a challenge all while maintaining our own “style”. For example, growing up my old leaders were not tech savvy – facebook, twitter and instagram didn’t mean much or were not invented. But in today’s world social media is everywhere. From Generation X to the new Millennial generation, we need to understand the importance of how each generation thinks, plans, and finally leads in their professional life – goal setting, preparation and finding ones strengths in the fields that one will become leaders in.

However, often we are in dilemma I bet many other like me face…

There is a generational difference in attitude and expectations and this will inevitably affect leadership style. The old ways are certainly dated and the old school values of individual responsibility and self-reliance are not as ingrained in a connected generation more focused on cooperation and group work. This is not inherently a good or bad thing, but a change that is best acknowledged and accommodated for.

For some reason, when a capable employee who seems to get along with fellow employees becomes “the boss”, something usually happens with how they interact with those same employees; and that “something” usually isn’t good. Welcome to corporate world, where a good two-thirds of its employees don’t like their jobs, primarily because they don’t like their bosses. In the business world, however, everyone agrees that having a “good boss” is highly preferable to having a “bad boss.”

I am not capable to talk about the leadership theory, but I believe that I can balance it with pragmatic lens on the real world. This is a fundamentally optimistic point of view: it is saying that we can all improve, that we are all working prototypes capable of learning and getting better.

However defined, a “boss” by nature is given or somehow obtains at least some degree of control of and – yes – responsibility for others, for better or worse “when performing essential chores like taking charge, making wise decisions, and turning talk into action. They are pounding themselves and their people so hard for short term results of any kind that they have forgotten how to get the best out of them. They have never needed peak levels of creativity, engagement, and risk-taking by their very best people.

A mark of being a good boss is that people don’t notice what you are doing, but are merely aware of that things are going well. And for bad boss, people tend to notice only where they are spectacularly bad and miss most of the components and contributing factors. I believe that they should understand human nature and knows what you should do, shouldn’t do and not be foolish enough to do just because, for a moment in time Mr Boss, you have got the power to get away with a temporary cover up.

Whose resonance not only made you laugh but also made you wonder what you were thinking by getting into organizational life in the first place? In reality, bosses are rarely good all around or bad all around, but instead some kind of a mix.

Well, I’m getting close to my word limit (self imposed) or I could go on and on. Hopefully I have succeeded in whetting your appetite.

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Categories: Muddled Thoughts, Relationship, Work/ Career | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

To-Do List

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Doesn’t this cartoon strip remind us of our everyday? Hell no!! I am not going to bore you to death with my story of the day. But, this cartoon surely urges me to help Mr. Rat create a To-Do list to prioritize his work. ‘Cos I am a to-do list kinda-girl.

I usually have a to do list which is never in any priority order of importance as I often receive so many directives from middle management, I feel more like a gopher than a manager, and it can get the best of you when your list defines you! Because having a To-Do list is something that allows you to clear the clutter and focus on what the true value at stake is.

But, I think we all know that daily to-do lists are self-defeating, AND it’s hard to give up the practice, ain’t it? 🙂 I trust that we keep a kind of mental compass which always points towards our goals and not just the tasks. However, this is easier said than done and separates the leaders from the managers.

And then I started to observe my senior manager – how he was able to cope in similar or rather more complex situations like mine. He remembers who his constituents are, eliminates the unnecessary, prioritize, delegates, and communicates a clear purpose. All things even experienced leaders need to revisit periodically (I know I do).

And then it dawned upon me – I find it difficult to delegate anything off my own list as I consider them as MY TASKS. It’s always good to get some thought provoking ideas. Breaking it up in this fashion would really help prioritize things and help you delegate as a leader.

To-do-listIt’s easy to quickly get lost in the trees if you don’t have the vision and discipline to look beyond the forest. This applies to everyone in a leadership. Without clear and concise direction, everyone is left running around with their heads cutoff. The task of leadership must by necessity include a lot of delegation. Letting go and letting others do the jobs they can do takes a lot of the stress off, and enables clearer thinking for the leaders, which in turn benefits all.

Separating our goals from our to-do list is a great concept, not always easy to do given time restraints which we all face but we cannot afford not to do it!  Sometimes our goals can get lost amongst the never ending to-do list. Achieving our goals and being recognized for our focus and “delivery” is great motivation for us. I love the idea of a “line of sight” as when we can see where we fit in the chain and how our contribution makes a different it encourages commitment and a winning attitude.

Leading–defining priorities, setting goals, and empowering our team to get it done–is why we have leaders. We need to group To Do into Employees, Shareholders, or Customers. I constantly ask how am I able to do other initiatives apart from regular work. My view is pretty similar…List, Prioritize, Delegate What can be done by others, Focus on Must Have in the list which needs to be done by me and last but not least, I ensure we all agreed to closure… 🙂

And often the most effective approach is the simplest like focusing on just 3 things…for escaping the tyranny of the “to-do” list!

Keep the right perspective…dump the peripheral clutter, energize yourself and others around you to maintain momentum and above all…keep it simple, one task at a time, if possible.  To-Do Lists are merely guidelines, not rules….reminders, not LAW.

Now go enjoy that gorgeous (chilly) day outside!

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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