The sun shines brightly, the sky is blue, the wind blows gently on your face and November – March is the best time to have several dates with nature. I enjoy hiking and being up, close and personal with nature.
I went on a hike on Sunday and it was up one of the shortest but steepest peaks in Hong Kong. The path was gravelly with the downhill more challenging than the uphill.
With each of these hikes along a gravelly downhill path, I can’t help but think about life and the challenging moments she throws at us.
I tread the path downhill with care, caution yet overcoming the fear that I will go tumbling down. That is where focus, mindfulness and believing in myself helps a lot. How similar is this to life in the down and out moments?
I have also observed that people whom I meet in these hikes are friendly, smiling, willing to help and appear more relaxed and filled with eagerness to reach the top of the hill and explore their own fitness or new routes or adventures. You’ll most likely have an exactly opposite experience in the hum drum of the city if you were to bump into the same person on a week day near the office.
How can we bring this human touch to a manic day ?
How do we live life and enjoy the moments that she blesses us with ?
What has each reconnection with nature taught me ?
- Saying “please”, “thank you”, “sorry” honestly, sincerely and spontaneously. Smile because you don’t need a reason.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation to people whom you work with and to your near and dear ones.
- Replying to emails or returning phone calls because you care and you can show you care.
- Walking away when a negative emotion arises and not falling prey to that vulnerable moment.
- Forgive even when someone has hurt you not for them but for you to heal.
- Challenge yourself, step out of your comfort zone, grow and develop but learn to be compassionate with yourself.
- When you are alone watch your thoughts and when you are with others watch your words.
- Being committed to your word to others because you care for your character.
- Recognizing your ideal self and invoking essence of hope and compassion.
- Doing a random act of kindness to another human being or creature.
- Reading a good book as a regular habit.
- Spending time with Nature in the form of hikes, treks, swimming, rafting, sky diving and various other outdoor activities.
- Spending quality time with family and friends and doing it often.
- Lighting aromatic candles in your home and decorating your home with bright colors.
- Listening to understand and not to respond.
Each downturn or challenging moment in work or life although similar to the gravelly narrow path downhill seems to be more stressful. Whilst what life throws at us is not entirely within our control the attitude we take is entirely within our control.
I remind myself of some of the 15 points that I have mentioned, in my down and vulnerable moments.
→Resonant leaders are those who are emotionally self-aware, socially intelligent and have the cognitive intelligence.
→What do you do to not fall a victim to your moment of stress ?
→How are you becoming resonant leaders?
Last week on Wednesday, I was attending a meeting and one of the conversations was about organizing events where we could bring out the best in Women and show diversity of women by getting those who practice it to share their experiences. Along with this, some of us were of the view that we should combine this talk with some fun, food and frolic. While this conversation was going on, I suggested that maybe we should consider a theme party and before I could finish my statement, I heard a woman who was dominating the meeting till then, cut me off by laughing and saying “oh God, no, I hate fancy dress parties”.
For a second or two I was upset but decided to smile. I smiled, because at that moment I had a flash of this particular extract from Pema Chodron’s quotes that I had read the day before.
“It’s not life that causes suffering, says Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön, it’s our story about life—our interpretation—that causes so much distress. When we practice interrupting the story we’re telling ourselves, and learn to ride the wave of emotions that inevitably come up in life, we can find a new freedom and flexibility in the face of uncertainty and change.”
I shy away from networking meetings, especially those over drinks or lunch without a talk or event. One of the main reasons I’m uncomfortable with these type of networking events is that I find most people not wanting to have a proper conversation. Most, whom I encounter at such events are those who give you a fleeting glance whilst making an effort to talk to you. They are either too busy with their smart phones or scouting the room whilst pretending to talk to you or anyone else they meet in the room.
Last Thursday, I made a conscious effort to go to one of the Alumni networking events and whilst I was almost on my way out, I met a person with whom I had a long and meaningful conversation. This person appealed to me because he did not flash his ego or titles or business cards or his position in his company. We spoke about values, state of the world, differences and similarities in culture and how important it is to get fulfillment on a daily basis and how we can explore this path on a daily basis. When I suddenly looked at the watch, I realized that it was well past the time I had planned to leave. We started and ended on a high note.
I smiled and at that moment realized how important it is to be present. I remembered a quote From Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödrön, page 116, that made perfect sense to me, because I had experienced this whilst I was conversing with this person. “If we really want to communicate, we have to give up knowing what to do. When we come in with our agendas, they only block us from seeing the person in front of us. It’s best to drop our five-year plans and accept the awkward sinking feeling that we are entering a situation naked. We don’t know what will happen or what we’ll do.”
How many times do we enter a room and feel uncomfortable ?
What is the reason for this discomfort?
Yes, there are many times when many of us come into a conversation with pre conceived notions or agendas.
Some of these situations, where I am aware, yet find it difficult to go with a completely open mind is
- business development meetings
- networking drink or lunch meetings with no event attached
- a meeting where negotiation is part of the agenda
- meeting someone for the first time as a potential client
- meeting people ahead or after a workshop, training or presentation.
Over the years, I have become less conscious in some of the above situations because I have consciously told myself and re-engineered my brain to go with an open mind. I have also realized that the more I go with a preset notion or the more apprehensive I have been, the less effective the conversation has been.
Communication happens best when there are no agendas and you allow the space to be filled with the flow. The flow can be silence, laughter, conversation, emotions, body language, facial expressions and everything that allows you to be who you are. A space that allows your soul to shine and where you are not interrupted, judged, criticized or expected to act in a particular way.
Whilst not every conversation in our day-to-day life may quite meet the above, why don’t we create that flow in every opportunity that we communicate in?
How do leaders communicate in the know?
by being flexible and adaptable
by facilitating empowering and engaging conversations
by listening to understand and not to respond
listening without bias or prejudice
listen to connect emotionally and intellectually and with empathy
give undivided attention to the person with whom you are having a conversation with.
a conversation is never one way though many behave in that fashion as was the lady in the meeting I attended on Wednesday. If you are a good communicator, you will initiate the conversation by taking genuine interest in others and what they have to say.
you reinforce and clarify. You are concise and you encourage others to talk not only by the words you use but also by your body language and facial expressions.
When have you experienced communication at its best?
How are you creating the space for being a great communicator?
“That we close down is not a problem. In fact, to become aware of when we so is an important part of the training. The first step in cultivating loving-kindness is to see when we are erecting barriers between ourselves and others. Unless we understand-in a non-judgmental way-that we are hardening our hearts, there is no possibility of dissolving that armor. Without dissolving the armor, the loving-kindness of bodhisattva is always held back. We are always obstructing our innate capacity to love without an agenda.” ~Pema Chodron
How are you ready to play?
What has inspired you in those you consider good communicators and leaders?
- Doesn’t life present us with many situations similar to this ?
- What makes the difference in that moment of choice and decision?
- What can we do as leaders in daily life and in our organizations ?
- Do we buy into our negative thoughts, feelings and emotions? OR
- Do we run away from them and avoid them like a barge pole ? OR
- Do we recognize those emotions and make a conscious decision to overcome them?
What can you do as a leader?
- Structure - an essential discipline in every leader. You need to believe in yourself. Remember, your team draws on your confidence, ability and strength to lead the organization to its vision. Structure gives you the boundaries within which you know you have to operate but not necessarily restrict to.
- Independent – you need to think independently as to what will work for you, your team and your organization in that moment of choice. Of course you can’t be in the know about everything. Drawing the synergy of the necessary resources is something that should come naturally to you as a leader. Reflect and introspect so that you have your moments of insight to enable you to make sound decisions and judgments.
- Collaboration – as a leader you are not expected to know everything. Brainstorming ideas and collaborating with your team, will engage and enable them to use their strengths and talents to work towards the vision.
- Creativity – you test your limits in challenging situations. As a leader you need to go out of your comfort zone to grow, develop, welcome changes and face bumps on the road.
- Emotional self-awareness and emotional self-control – you need to be mentally strong to manage your thoughts, feelings, emotions and words. Being achievement oriented, having a positive outlook and a strong EI will enable you to reach your vision. As a leader, seek to look at the big picture but at the same time do not forget the short-term steps required to achieve your long-term vision. Have the mental agility and toughness to face uncertainties and learn from your mistakes,
“She is quiet; she has probably nothing interesting to say”
“Investment bankers are all extroverts and make a lot of money”
“Oh you are Indian; you must have grown up in a caste system.”
“She is successful and has come up the ranks on the fast path. She must have achieved this because she is a flirt and has used her influence”
“A leader is one who manages team and is part of senior management”
→What do these statements sound like to you?←
Asian/American, Male/Female, Extroverts/introverts, rich/poor, aggressive/meek is the common single story we hear or are categorized into.
You are categorized, stereotyped and generalized and not seen for your uniqueness, for your passions, your interests. Nor do you see others.
Bias creeps in our day-to-day life, and communication. This comes from our culture, our exposure or non-exposure, and our experiences.
♣But the real question is do we get so taken in by others beliefs and by our limited experience that we fail to see the uniqueness of the person in front of us♣
♣Do we fail to see that one person or a group of people don’t represent an entire country or gender?♣
Can Bias be fixed?
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~Mother Teresa
There are people around you, in history, famous and not so quite famous who are changing bias and proving it by way of their actions. Some examples of people who fought bias…
Gender Bias – one of the most common biases that exists even in this day and age.
After graduation, Sudha Murthy became the first female engineer hired at India’s largest auto manufacturer TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company or TELCO. Murthy had written a postcard to the company’s Chairman complaining of the “men only” gender bias at TELCO. As a result, she was granted a special interview and hired immediately.
Disability bias – Man who lost his legs as a child scales 19,000ft-high Kilimanjaro by crawling on his HANDS for seven days.
There are many other stories of women and men who have not taken bias in their stride because they chose not to.
Eight Ways as Leaders to Overcome bias
- Is the issue with the person and how they behave or someone they remind you of?
- Does that person remind you of your fears or insecurities which triggers a bias ?
- Does this person behave or act in a manner that resembles that of a group that you know?
- Does any of the above impact you, your team or their work ?
-> Whenever you are in a moment when you think you will give in to generalizations, pause and reflect
- Have I been a victim of bias? What was the experience like?
- Would I like to be stereotyped?
- What if my creativity and who I am is not given recognition to?
- For every wrongful act done by someone from my gender or my country, or my industry would I like to be blamed?
- Your mental models frame your thoughts and your thoughts in turn dictate your words. By reframing you create the environment and EI to respond to realities and communicate effectively.
- Make a choice to step back and not allow spontaneity and your closed mind to create your bias.
- Take responsibility to look around you, to observe the difference and to recognize that each individual is different in their own way.
As leaders, discover, become aware and deactivate your inappropriate biases. Isn’t leadership about your ability to connect, empathize, communicate and influence those around you by your words and actions ?
Reflective Questions for the Road to Identify and Introspect
As leaders, are you showing the character, the courage and the ability to do the right thing?
Are you happy to maintain your status quo and not challenge the accepted practices and stereotyping?
How are you growing and inculcating the change that you wish to see?
♦What would you like to add to this discussion?♦
I was at the gym yesterday and two women were exchanging a rather loud conversation in the ladies changing room. I could not help pay attention to one of the remarks made by one woman to her friend. One of the ladies asks her friend, so how was your week-end to which her friend replies ” I spent a lot of my weekend living in the moment”. I turned around and had a smile on my face when I heard that remark. I smiled because it is not often that I hear that response. The lady who had asked her friend the question, of course was confused and started asking a lot of questions at which point in time I was well on my way out of the ladies changing room and was rushing for my class.
The moment that is now and every moment that is yet to arrive will be history by the time you finish reading this statement. Be in this moment, live and enjoy this moment.
These are statements that you read in blogs, quotes , hear from your friends and read in various self-help books and possibly remind yourself at various points in your day.
Have you wondered ever so often what does living in the moment mean?
How do you practice it in your busy days filled with tasks and different roles to play ?
Don’t we spend most of our lives thinking about something else other than what we are doing right now?
”Human beings have this unique ability to focus on things that aren’t happening right now. That allows them to reflect on the past and learn from it; it allows them to anticipate and plan for the future; and it allows them to imagine things that might never occur,” said Matthew Killingsworth, a doctoral student in psychology and lead author of the study.
Whilst I was catching up on reading over the weekend, this video caught my attention. This Polar Bear Cub Has A Lot To Teach Us About Making the most of the moment and enjoying it while we can.
After I watched this video I got to thinking which are those moments when I know I am in the now and fully present. Thinking about this lead me to writing this blog post ….
When I :
- Am with nature either hiking, rafting, or on a boat.
- Am in a garden filled with beautiful flowers
- See a butterfly perched on a flower
- Am on a roller coaster
- In a coaching session when I know I have to be mindful and present and cannot allow my mind to wander.
- Walking with a dog or the time I spend with my friends dog.
- Taking a test or writing an exam
- Physical Painful moment which consumes my entire energy at that moment or when I see someone else in pain.
- Am at the gym and yoga.
- Reading an interesting book or watching a nail-biting movie.
- Listening to a story that is emotional.
- Cooking a new recipe
- Am taking on a new challenge
- Exploring new places whilst on travel.
- Am Laughing or crying.
Just connecting to some of these moments helps me to tide over times when my mind starts to wander. There are possibly many other moments when I am in the now but they typically range around one of the things that I have mentioned above.
How often have you been in situations when you realize that the person whom you are speaking to, is not there with you. One of the best ways to be empathetic is to practice connective listening. We live in a complex world today and yet there are many times you feel that there is not an empathetic ear to listen to you. What you need most is a special heart that listens in mind, body and soul to you. Practicing connective listening, in my view is possible only if you are in the moment.
Mindfulness is being fully involved in the moment of being or doing no matter what the task is even if that means nothing. Meditation helps you to be more mindful in each moment of choice, to be focused and fully aware.
When are the moments in your life when you have connected in the now?
How do you treat yourself to more of these live in the moment?
Two weeks back, I conducted a workshop on Tips and Tricks To Engage Employees. The focus of this workshop was employee engagement using a neuroscience perspective.
While discussing the neuroscience aspects, one of the points I highlighted was the importance of leaders and managers recognizing the strengths of the people who work with them in their teams or organizations. Strength is the key binding factor in providing certainty, feeling that we have the power of choice in what we do and also being recognized for our talents because we operate from our area of strength. It provides the endorphin to help our brain move towards an engaged and reward state.
One of the participants had a view that in some industries only command and control works and there is no time, especially given the deadlines, for recognizing strengths or working on creating an environment of Certainty, Recognition, Choices or Connection. An interesting discussion ensued in the workshop once this comment was made.
One of my coaching clients during one of her earlier sessions was sharing her challenges at her work place. She has been with her organization for eight years and she was describing how the head of the business was a very tough person, difficult to approach and someone who was curt. She finds her relationship with him much better currently, though there are times she still feels overwhelmed when she is in a meeting with him. Although he is not her boss, she has to have regular meetings with him since she is the CFO. She also narrated another story to me about how she had to contact some experienced people in the field of psychology for one of her assignments on a diploma course she was doing. She shared with me her experience of how she went about doing this. Listening to her, I shared with her some of her strengths that I had observed. She was amazed at seeing herself from this perspective that I had mentioned to her. She had never seen herself nor had anyone mentioned to her that she was persistent, determined and was always ready to face a challenge. Here was a lady who has faced life with open arms no matter the challenge but was not confident and was not aware about her strength. She is much more confident today with herself having learnt to recognize her strengths and work around her strengths.
- How many of us have been in organizations where the manager or boss harp on our weakness?
- How many of you focus on developing your weakness instead of growing and working on your strengths?
- How many job interviews seek to understand what motivates you and determine whether that matches the requirement of a job and vision of the company?
Each of us exhibit a number of characteristics including empathy, communication with clarity, a sense of humor, negotiation skills, analyzer, ability to delegate.
- How many of you have been hired to a job that matched your talents?
- How many organizations can pride themselves in getting the right talent
Refer my post on Marcus Buckingham Alert: Hiring For Talent
Each of us has our unique strengths, that, if seeded and nurtured well, has an amazing power to develop and grow. If you promote an environment where each of your team members are empowered and encouraged to grow by using their strengths and talents, you will see your team and the organization grow towards its vision.
Yes, command and control may work well in some situations, but have you given thought to what would be the result if in this kind of environment, the leaders and managers took time to recognize the strengths of their team members and utilized them in achieving the overall vision of the company.
How do you recognize strengths of those who works with you and build on that?
- Identify your natural talents (recurring patterns of thought, behavior or feeling)
- Refine your talents with knowledge and skill
- Apply it in your work and daily life.
What are the most common strengths ? The following is an extract from the book Now, Discover your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham
He has identified 34 strengths which are Achiever, Activator, Adaptability, Analytical, Arranger, Belief (living out your values), Command, Communication, Competition, Connectedness (bridge builder), Consistency, Context (understanding the blueprints), Deliberative, Developer, Discipline, Empathy, Focus, Futuristic, Harmony, Ideation, Includer, Individualization (appreciate the uniqueness n each and don’t like generalizations), Input (inquisitive), Intellection (like to think and introspect), learner, Maximizer, Positivity, Relator (seek genuine relationships), Responsibility, Restorative, Self-assurance, Significance (want to be significant in the eyes of other people), Strategic, and Woo (Winning Over Others).
Leaders in their organizations can start to build a culture which recognizes and promotes strengths and have the recruitment process match the strengths of the individuals to what is required in a job. The job search should start off with describing the dominant talents that is required of a role be it a programmer or an accountant or marketer or a business head. Once these dominant talents in the role is identified, the advertisement or the interview process should challenge the potential candidates to claim these talents. As an ongoing process it is important for leaders to identify what are each individual’s strongest themes or strengths that they display? How do these relate to the job that needs to be performed and are they getting enough knowledge and skill for further development? How does this relate to how they are managed?
Other questions you can ask:
What is the vision of your company? Why do you what you do?
What are the career aspirations of your team ?
What are their hobbies outside of work ?
When you make it a priority to sow the seeds for collaborative and collective success, you create and nurture an environment for each of the individuals to thrive and flourish.
How are you helping people become resonant leaders?
Have you ever thought like a customer when you are talking to a potential client?
Do you really care to understand what the customer wants ?
I was in Mumbai last week visiting my family for 4 days. My dad and mom are not keeping too well and I thought I must take some time out to be with them.
While I was there, I decided to complete some formalities that was pending with a bank account that I had opened. The relationship manager stated that he wanted copies of my passport, other identification documents and photographs. I was taken aback because I had submitted all of this in as many copies as was required by this bank, four months back. The relationship manager started giving me several reasons why he wanted those again, none of which sounded convincing to me. One of the reasons he gave me was that this was a compliance requirement. This is one of the top favorite reasons given by many a customer contact of most banks. The relationship manager did not take time to understand my requirements, figure out how much time I had and how to reduce the inefficiency for me.
Many customer contacts ever so often don’t represent their company well because they engage in the blame game. They stop caring about the relationship evident from their actions that it is all about a sale, a transaction or an account to be opened.
Not for a moment people like this relationship manager, that I met at this bank, stop to reflect and ask
-> Would I as a customer like to receive the same treatment?
-> How can I make it seamless and efficient for a client who deals with my organization?
-> How can I as a contact point for the client stop the client from getting hassled through the procedural hoops within my organization ?
-> What can I do or not do to make this relationship valuable for each client?
THE CUSTOMER IS THE REAL BOSS – “All Associates work for the customers who buy our merchandise. In fact, the customer can fire everybody in our Company. And they can do it by simply spending their money somewhere else. The greatest measure of our success is how well we please the customer, ‘Our Boss’. Let’s all support Aggressive Hospitality and have our customers leave 100% satisfied every day.”—Sam Walton, The Founder of Wal-Mart
Do you as CEO, sales contact, sales head, Chairman or Business owner, leader ask What are the central issues, changes or challenges that your client is currently dealing with ?
How can I help resolve some of those issues with respect to the services that are provided by my organization?
Do you start with the client in mind or a sale approach in mind ?
A sale is not just about an account being opened or a transaction being made but it is about establishing a relationship of trust, rapport and caring for the customer’s needs. A sale can take place only if the customer feels that the relationship is worth it. No deal can be struck overnight and this is something that is over looked in today’s culture of immediacy,
What are the keys to turning transaction sales attitude to a long-standing relationship?
I think the key ingredient is Empathy. Because when you are empathetic
1. You think and act from the customer’s perspective. This creates Trust and Builds Rapport.
2. You listen to understand the customer and not serve, just to make a sale or a transaction. You are able to explain what services you can offer to meet those needs. It also allows you to be candid in instances where you think your products or services will not match what the customer is looking for. And in understanding the customer and in describing what you can offer, you indicate not only your empathy but competence
3. You show that you care for the customer and the relationship. Why do we often hear stories or have had experiences where the visual image you have of a sales person is someone who will be pushy? Because they only care for their sale rather than understanding what the customers need?
4. You are engaged.
Let me share a personal story of mine which I experienced whilst in Mumbai.
I had got myself a Samsung S4 earlier this year. I have always been an iPhone fan but have been disappointed with their products ever since Steve Jobs passed away. Though I had got myself an S4, I was using it only for clicking pictures because the picture quality is outstanding and beats iPhone 5 hands down. I decided I’ll use my S4 whilst in Mumbai. My sister uses Samsung and has been a fan of the same. The S4 I have is 16GB memory which is against my normal practice of getting 64GB. So I decided to go to the Samsung shop with my sister and get myself a Micro SD card of 64GB capacity. The person who was servicing me was someone whom my sister has been dealing with. I was pleased with my experience of dealing with him. But the WOW experience was when I, by mistake, deleted the photos on my Micro SD card when I was fiddling with moving and copying things from my phone to the SD Card. I was upset that I had lost all my good pictures. So I did a search on Google and found a method to retrieve deleted photos from the Micro SD card. I called up this person at the shop and told him about the mishap and the possible route of recovery. He said he had never done this before but he can help me because he has a card reader. He told me he will test out this method and call me back within an hour or two. This person went out of his way to help me. He deleted some photos from his own device and checked if this route that I had suggested would work. I recovered my photos and but for the empathy that this salesperson at that shop showed, I would never have been able to do so without any additional expenditure and in such a short time. His act of empathy has now made me a Samsung fan and I am curious to explore the phone and check it out. I also bought two other accessories from that shop. His empathetic behavior has turned me into a satisfied customer. He was a classic example of a super engaged employee and I observed that there were many other return customers, just like my sister, to that shop.
5. You build your brand without concerted efforts in making that happen. The above example fits this point well.
6. You enrich the experience for the customer and get their buy in which holds stead to a long-term relationship.
7. You communicate with clarity and help your and your Company’s growth.
Have you ever considered that if we don’t like something forced down on us why would someone else want that ?
Do you as leaders build an organization that cares and your representatives are empathetic?
Do you treat your customers as the boss in your words, action and behavior?
The dog’s action in this video speaks volumes
To me it spoke about
→Be A Friend First To Have One
→Never Give Up
→Believe In Yourself
→Congruence of body language and facial expression, an important element of communication.
What does it tell you ? I would love to hear your thoughts.
What does this teach us about life?
What does this teach us about relationships
The CEO of the Company was having his monthly meeting with his direct reports to discuss achievements, strengths, opportunities missed or well used and way forward.
Jack, the CFO of the company had attended several of these meetings and felt the quality of these meetings had deteriorated. In the moments of silence, whenever he was an observer, he felt these meetings had become agreeable in nature and no brainstorming was encouraged.
Just in the last meeting he had raised an objection to the way the revenues were being earned and the way the company was going about increasing its market share and how in the medium to long-term the company may not be able to hold its market share. He also had concerns on the franchise value which he thought he will bring it up later. Despite presenting solutions he was left with the feeling that by raising a different perspective, he was considered possibly a rebel. The room didn’t celebrate his passion for the business nor appreciate his concern.
Don’t trouble trouble till trouble troubles you because if you trouble trouble, trouble will trouble you. As a kid I used to play this tongue twister with my friends.
Today in many organizations and in many societies, many individuals as so-called leaders and many others in their daily walk of life seem to be applying this tongue twister in every sense of the word.
As Dr. King said: “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
People hesitate to speak up about injustices, poor practices, processes that don’t make sense. Many times these procedures and archaic practices creates a significant amount of unnecessary complexity and fosters a passive acceptance of the status quo.
The real test of your leadership comes not only when you identify a problem but also after you identify the problem. You then bring it to the forefront and take action to rectify it. Problems are signposts that you can’t and must not ignore and it is essential to see, speak up against, and address them in order to move forward.
Think back of those moments when you were considered a rebel because you didn’t go with the flow, challenged the methods and raised your concerns.
Do you as a true leader ignore the dissenting inner voice ?
Do you give up challenging a situation just because you are going to meet resistance?
Do you stop advocating an idea because it is not met with eyes of approval?
Do you have the courage to do what is right even if it is not the most popular?
Do you surround yourself with a team of people who can challenge your thinking and whose strengths make up for your deficits?
If you look at leaders like Steve Jobs or Martin Luther King they and their ideology or ways were not accepted easily. They were considered as dissenters or dogmatic when they started off.
To stand out from a crowd despite working in the interest of the vision of the organization could be overwhelming and for sure not comfortable. Your character as a leader is on a test in such situations. Yes and for many people who choose to stand out for what is right, their careers may have suffered and some called as not fitting in.
As leaders how do you point others to the new horizons or to the vision of the organization and yet show that the current practices aren’t going to achieve the same or what others are missing out ?
1. Leaders lead from their heart and are guided by their within.
2. Leaders by pointing out what others don’t see do not intend to be antagonistic but take responsibility, show accountability and a sense of ownership.
3. Leaders do not allow their values and the organization values to be overridden by keeping silent.
4. Leaders lead by their life and foster an environment and culture of being committed and not allow others perspectives or views to deter them.
5. Leaders must develop a lower threshold for alibis and become better communicators and enforcers of what they want done. If you are more interested in being liked and popular than holding people accountable for results, you have a serious leadership weakness. It is not your job to make people happy. Your job is to get them better. Holding people accountable to high standards and results is nothing to apologize for. Failing to stretch them to their potential is.” -Dave Anderson
Education and experience is not only for acquisition of technical skills and knowledge but to develop that bent of mind and an attitude of responsibility, courage and above all be human.
What problems have you overcome today?
How well are you serving as a leader that only you can serve ?
Are you leading to your organization’s vision with humility, courage, and empathy?