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Eleven Cs of Engagement


Leaders Listen Passionately


Active Listening is the Greatest Learning Tool

Often we hear leaders chatter on endlessly about their “intent”, “visions” and how the teams should flower under their tutelage. They never tire of torturing an audience till the organisation tires out of the “How” that the leader explains with such disdain each time he gets an opportunity. This is accentuated if the employees only get to listen to the leader and are seldom allowed the latitude to articulate their own aspirations and visions about either the task at hand,  the organisation or the team.

When they listen, they “hear” with a view to out talk the led. Such leaders start the cycle of cynicism in an organisation, especially when the leaders are not able to Walk their Talks. Teams hang on to every word, motion or activity of the leader. While a blabbering leader may forget what he said yesterday – the team remembers – and thus starts the Chinese whisper in an organisation, disempowering the teams across verticals.

Good leaders listen and listen actively to absorb the aspirations and callings of each member of the team. This helps them find each team member’s true calling. There is nothing more motivating in an environment where a team member feels confident to explain his point of view succinctly and without parental oversights by the leader. This simple habit of the leader energises the team members and motivates them with an optimism that their views would be heard passionately towards the larger good of the organisation. They then push the envelope as active participants in the growth of the organisation.

It is true that leadership and mentoring are not a one-size-fits-all propositions. “Different strokes for different folks” is more like it. Some people need a lot of direction or hand-holding; others need autonomy and freedom to experiment and grow. Some team members may need different things at different times, depending on challenges that arise, the level of difficulty in job assignments, and the ebb and flow of motivation. Amongst all these variations, leaders can rarely afford to stop listening passionately- it helps keeping their ears to the ground and invert the pyramid in an environment of trust and mutual respect.

This passion is contagious across all levels of leaders and the led, where leaders automatically produce leaders and not mere followers. This creates an enabling environment where the “why” overrides the “how” and unleashes the true potential of each team member.

Active listening accentuates an organisation’s trajectory in geometric progression and provides the leader with the most vital component of organisational success – feedback.

As they say in the military, “passionate leaders lead by actions not words”.

Humility and Perseverance

Getting good at getting along with people is a great book. A learning resource for every leader who aspires to achieve his vision through collaborative participation of his team. Amongst  great visions of bottom lines and productivity, organisations take their eyes off the ball in leading their visions through the power of their people.

The ultimate character of an orgnisation and its leaders ,therefore, is in investing in its people through humility and perseverance. These two essential organizational qualities transcend known performance enhancement matrices and catapult the leaders to an all together different dimension of governance. These two allow you to balance your life needs with the organisational goals and enable organisations to excel.

Positively controlled and managed anger, at times, can yield results in the short term but somehow leave an unsavory taste in the mouth. They cause a disconnect deep within where trust is eroded and perseverance suffers.

Humility and perseverance are thus the hall marks of all good organisations. These organisations get good at getting along with people who celebrate life in a multidimensional approach.

Profits follow

Myths of Leadership Failure

Myths of Leadership

These are the myths of leadership failure. My apologies but then…

Due respect to the leadership coach but I strongly disagree to these myths which negate optimism and pro activity in leading. If anything these are managerial mental failures which when harnessed under the regime of collaborative leadership can all be easily brushed aside.

Inability to Organize Detail This is the last of the leadership functions after you have approached your issues with  systems approach. It is a managerial function of visualizing the innards of a problem which your technical  and domain knowledge will give you. Don’t begin with the details as a leader –  that is a low end managerial function. First get the bigger picture straight and spell out your intent unambiguously after due deliberation with your team.

Unwillingness to Do what you ask of others This is true but not very important in a trusting team which has mutual confidence in each other. Trying to prove you can do it better may result in complacency or antagonism from the team. “You think you can do it better” starts inter personal rivalries. Yes the leader must put his shoulder to the wheel and demonstrate the capability to dirty his hands, when required, but as a routine let your team flower.

Expectation of Pay Knowing and doing can only be harmonized in a collaborative leadership environment. The word “they” should principally be corrected with “us or we” – then you will automatically rise to your level of competence. It is the leaders role to empower the team to transcend issues such as pay in favor of performance – pay would follow. Sack the leader if he can not measure up.

Fear of Competition This is the most misunderstood concept in leadership. Your leadership and its dedication is dependent on only one factor and that is your own out put. Leaders who perform unmindful of the competition and develop blue ocean strategies for their teams stand apart and do not have to worry about any competition – even from arch rivals in businesses or life functions.

The rest are academic issues which can be labelled under poor leadership skills and styles. Selfless leaders rise highest – others also run.

Choice is yours whether you want to follow point by point manuals or harmonize your larger construct as a leader transcending trivia. The day you develop the third eye to look with in and understand your own power – these one minute myths will not matter any more.

Being is more important than Becoming