A leader's vision needs to touch every mind to the point of a possible belief and unimaginable passion
The vision of a leader and his team members is more like a cricket game. For that matter, any sport that revolves around team games.
In one of the ODI series just prior to the World Cup, I remember instances that made headlines in every major newspaper. They alleged that the captain, vice-captain and top batsmen/bowlers were busy improving their individual scores and keeping their strike rate high. To mere onlookers like me, who do not understand the nuances of the game, it was just a piece of news not affecting my routine. For cricket enthusiasts, it was a disaster and horror at its best - The Indian cricket team falling apart right before the World Cup. Thousands of speculations catapulted from the performances each individual made. As for me, it later percolated to being dismayed of the fact that the team would not do that well in the World Cup.
When I think of teams within organizations, where each individual has an altogether different manifesto that would shine their individual profile, it is the job of the leader to keep the team intact and make everyone work on a shared purpose. However, not to forget, each one out there is just pampering one’s ego and inflating their pride with each task they accomplish. It is like a checklist being prepared to hit on the next opportunity.
I wonder at times, what difference can the leader make? They say, “People who decide they want to leave, will, at any cost. No amount of retaining tactics, compensation, benefits can do the wonder; as it is all in the mind.” There are some people who have plans laid out for the next 10 years, some for the next 5 (a usual question asked during interviews), some for the coming year and still others who believe in the spontaneity of the situation. No doubt, each has a distinct style of working as long as they are being able to convert their goals. However, when it is about team work, it is not exactly about achieving the goal. It is about how able the leader was in transferring his ambitions down the team, how capable was he/she in showing the big picture that has been imagined, how good he/she has been in inspiring his team. A leader’s vision needs to touch every mind to the point of a possible belief and unimaginable passion. A game of cricket is not just won and forgotten; instead we have commentators scrutinizing every over and every catch, a misfield, sixer or the umpire’s decision!
They say, “if the boss is good, the methodologies are workable and attitude positive, it percolates down the team; whereas if the boss is lazy, driven by cheap tactics and does not appreciate work that others perform, it too percolates down the team.” Some leaders have a vision to create an impact stronger than basic hygiene factors, which bring about remarkable creativity and innovation within a span of influence. While there are some, who force upon themselves a vision that makes their work the talk of the town and helps them build a market/brand value.
Now who among them sounds more convincing to a team member – somebody who plans to steadily improve the performance, places the batsmen in appropriate order keeping the middle order strong, works on a stable run rate, takes advantage of the power play overs and does not allow strike rate impacted, since he wanted to be under every ball, or somebody who is newly appointed and is playing to just look better than the predecessor or desires his batsmen to play and make two centuries without reading the context of the game just because the other team did so or is short sighted on the capabilities of his bowlers?
Akanksha Yadav has 3 years of HR experience and is passionate about competency mapping, behavioral training and organizational development. She is currently working with Infogain India, where she handles the Career Development Program initiative of the organization.