Yes you read it right it is contact and not contacts!
In leadership positions management often demands too much of our time. Managing processes, tools and possibilities is a tedious, thankless and time consuming work if not understood and delegated efficiently. We can manage every thing but people,which we lead and for that we normally run out of time.
When it comes to people the mantra is leading by example. Unfortunately in bureaucratic public sector enterprises where jobs are secure and accountability is low the system revolves around managing the environment to survive at the cost of organisational efficiency. The challenge of leadership in such environment is far too intense as compared to businesses with quantifiable bottom lines.
In both however, the operative word in leadership styles is contact. Remember the “Jadu Ki Japhhi in Munnabhai” – that contact meant a world to the lowly janitor. But the contact we are referring to here is not as much about getting physical as about physically understanding the aspirations, hopes and fears of our team mates by keeping in touch. It breaks barriers if we get to know their names and the names of their children and spouses. If we take an extra step to interact personally, the team members understand us better and are more responsive to the needs of the leadership challenges we face. It is also the best means for getting first hand feedback.
However there is a catch here. The team is always smarter than the leader in identifying phoneys putting up a facade of contact. So it is best to have genuine contact, if you consider it vital to your leadership function, or let it be.
There are plenty of smart tools available today to help you manage the team data. One must use them to remember names but keep it simple by genuine concern – as differentiated from courting cheap popularity.
- Should All Employees Feel Like Owners? (blogs.hbr.org)
- Why HCL Technologies puts employees ahead of customers (tech.fortune.cnn.com)
- Constant Contact Creates Event Marketing Business Unit; Appoints Christopher M. Litster General Manager (eon.businesswire.com)
- Marshall Goldsmith: What Is the Truth About Leadership? (Part 2 of 2) (huffingtonpost.com)