Leading for tomorrow: Sundara Rajan
The greatest gift you can leave behind for your organisation and team is to prepare them well to continue without you
With the advent of the Internet, distances shrank and with the advent of social media, the clock has shrunk. Leaders are under more pressure to handle issues as they happen, manage teams across multiple geographies and do all these, more often under public glare and commentary. Add to this, the challenge of managing multiple generations of managers and staff. Today’s leader has to strike the right balance between letting go without losing control, build for size while remaining agile and flexible, and allowing the exuberance of youth to challenge without creating chaos. Leadership 24*7 may sound stretching it a bit, but for many a leader today, it is a reality. Here are a few ideas to shape your leadership style in today’s ever changing, chaotic environment:
The presence of a leader provides a huge boost to the team’s morale and their commitment to the common goal. A visible leader reinforces the leader’s messages. Visibility of a leader tends to positively impact the perceived approachability and helps ideas flow from people who are hands-on in business. More than in good times, a visible leader who is among people and sharing in action, makes a great impact during turbulent times. Using technology to be virtually present in every important event is critical. Visible leaders inspire their teams.
Leverage the power of praise
There is no greater a gift for any manager than a genuine praise from a leader. Talented leaders have always used this inexpensive form of motivation to charge up their teams. Despite knowing the power of praise, many a leader neglect to use it. When it comes to using this powerful morale booster, the rules are simple – be specific, be authentic, do it now and do it often, and see the magic.
Never be afraid to demand results
Most of us remember the tough teacher or coach more than the easy going ones, more so if they have been fair. Ever wondered why? They made us look good at the end of the term after all the hardships they put us through. As a leader, you have the responsibility to deliver the results, no matter what the environment is. While being popular is a nice feeling, be ready to demand results from your managers, despite the stress, it tends to bring along on both sides. It is better to be known as a leader who accomplished results, than a popular one who failed. After all, the buck stops with you.
Invest in future leaders
The greatest gift you can leave behind for your organization and team is to prepare them well to continue without you. Good leaders prepare their successors and train them enough to be self sufficient when the time comes. Some among today’s mid-level operational managers will be leading your organization tomorrow. Invest enough in training these executors of today to become strategic leaders of tomorrow, to gift a pipeline of leaders to your firm.