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Can leaders change lives?


Imagine receiving an inappropriate behaviour on ringing up a customer support. With you rightly pressing on finding a resolution to your concern(s). And for instance, you end up saying “I did not call you in particular, I called the company”. Of course, the interaction left you with holding not so good vibes for the company. The disappointment may necessarily not happen only in case of a customer service or, only with the customer. It may happen within the staff or may even happen to the external customer(s) from an employee anywhere in the hierarchy of the organisation.


Leadership is the answer and the solution as well. Shape of company’s attitude is well written by the vision and the thoughts of the leader(s). Any dissatisfaction that prevails long reaps less fruitful for the business. Customer’s confidence, market share and business development are external factors that gets negatively impacted with shrinking employee’s morale, attrition and staff conflicts as some internal impacts of a poor leadership. Leadership problem or a leader problem can curtail the harmony within and for the organization.

Approach and attitude of the leader sets forth the road map of success. Transparency, communication failure, poor execution, lack of clear vision and accountability are largely seen as attributes of poor leadership. Is there more to this? The vision a leader holds for himself and his followers makes a huge difference. The way a leader perceives his/her role in the organization is the beginning of his/her journey as a leader. Mentoring of followers by a leader is directly proportionate to the way they (leaders) mentor themselves in the organization.

Competition has kept the modern-day business and its owners on toes keeping them more passionate about what they own over anybody else. This burdens them with taking the right decisions, framing accurate strategies and in the end dwindling between time and deliverables. Smart and intellects gets hired to take up the business to the level next. Now is the time that writes the success story of any business. An appropriate ideology towards people stands forth in writing the competitiveness of the business.

For a majority of the organization customer has been the king and the investor being framed as a god with the employees just left to execute the decisions taken by the management. This eludes a meaningful contribution by the employees for the company, leaving their thoughts unutilized and their involvement being limited for what they get paid.

The global aggregate from Gallup data collected in 2014, 2015 and 2016 across 155 countries indicates that just 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their job. Two-thirds are not engaged, and 18% are actively disengaged. The two Western- hemisphere regions — U.S./Canada and Latin America — lead the world in the percentage of employees who are engaged at work. However, at 31% and 27%, respectively, plenty of opportunity remains in each region to increase productivity through higher engagement levels.

Successful business today resounds with a “people first” strategy. Or as rightly quoted by Richard Branson “Take care of your people they will take care of your clients”.


Let’s make the understanding simple. When anyone works for self or for others, they invest their time, energy and efforts for the growth of self and the organisation both. As leader / founder we need this understanding imbibed within us before we take it forward. Everyone gets paid for their efforts, what about the returns on their investment? How do we value the time and the energy behind their act? Well reiterating, this is achieved by “people first” strategy.

Investing in people is considered as investing in the brand itself. More than “how you make them feel” its, “how you shape them”. Feel of family has absenteeism of dominance and insecurity, the “sense of belonging” keeps us bonded. We speak our heart out to each other, we care, we correct and moreover we want our generation to grow. We want them to have achievements. Replicating the thoughts that we perceive for the family to the business seems challenging but achievable. Over the traditional style where employee-involvement was limited merely to the book, we need to bring it in practice.

At large we need to envisage four major parameters that would not just shape up the business but moreover better the thought process and the vision of any employee.

Involvement

Collective and collaborative thought process has a better edge over ideas generated by a single mind. When we express, we only talk what we have observed / researched / thought. When you let others express their ideas, we invite variety in thinking. Brainstorming invites a 360 view and makes the decision a worth with the execution of the same requiring minimum interference. It reduces the burden on the decision maker and invites ideas too. Involvement as well induces the sense of ownership and accountability. Goal setting comes as an outcome to such an activity. Benchmarking becomes a passion. Just ensure all are aligned towards achieving something in common and all the decisions are made post a collaborative research and understanding of underlying facts and figures.

Freedom to work

Giving directions at work is a traditional way. When the individual knows what he/she is supposed to do or execute, then let them set the way forward. Interference would put the morale down. Too much of dashboard management would be like an act to be done for the sake of it. Set the right frequency of tracking. Ensure the entire execution is ethical and does not invite conflicts or outcomes no self-inflicted behavior. Getting to the bottom of this, this is the 80:20 rule which if implemented efficiently would result in an atmosphere so termed as autopilot.

Invest in their growth

A shift is needed from the self-contented gains to everyone in the process of contribution having an achievement. Every employee is a face of the company. Their overall act and behavior would reflect company’s core values and culture. Investing in employees professional as well as social well-being would produce higher employee engagement. Mentor them to live a balanced life. Invest in building / enhancing their knowledge. Encourage them to get acquainted to the generation next technology or change for the matter. Skill development targets not just higher productivity but as well boosts the confidence. Increased productivity reduces the physical stress too.

Encouraging Teamwork.

If an individual burden himself / herself to execute everything than finishing anything on time would be a mere challenge. A team is a family of professionals spending at least one-fourth of the day working together. Encourage them to understand and respect other’s decisions and viewpoints. Encourage everyone to express themselves. Time-management, learnability and productivity are positives of constructing a good team. A great team would foster creativity, promote ownership, build trust and improve conflict resolution skills.


High performing work culture needs engaged employees. And employee engagement starts with employee himself / herself. The business today needs everyone aligned to the vision of the business. Making everyone read and follow the vision is like creating the environment of a school. A willful induction of any individual towards the business would have a better yield than them being asked to do the same.

Employees largely look at purpose, opportunities to engage with each other and to develop their strength. Building the enthusiasm plays a key role in driving the right culture at work. There has been a paradigm shift from employees being a mere responsibility of HR to be now a part of business strategy. Engaged employees perform better and gives you an edge over your competitors. At large we need to envisage four major parameters that would not just shape up the business but moreover better the thought process and the vision of any employee.


"Influencing the overall life of an employee would encourage ownership to outcome involvement towards the business as a whole. Customer satisfaction, product development and enhancement, innovation, departmental coordination, efficiency and business-as-usual are at large the benefit of developing such a culture".


-Hiral Shah

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