Tag Archives: Perennial

When were good leaders in good number?

If good things were to be in good number, that would go against the rule of nature! This could be surprising to most; but is real!

If we turn any page of history, we would discover that there were always calls for better leaders, as the ones present in societies or companies were not good enough or in good enough number. I can’t remember any time ever since I gained consciousness, when intelligentsia was not giving call for good leadership cadre to prevent crisis; but that hardly arrived, yet we have all survived.

Further, concerted efforts and coaching to create leaders have only multiplied over years, so is clamor and cry for better ones!

So, where are we missing the point?

Why good leaders are always in short supply!

  1. Illusion around definition of a good leader –
    Pick up any article or book, you would find that good leader is not supposed to be less than a god! Some would advocate 5 qualities and others may advance need of 19 attributes!!
    Why can’t there be an agreement on a simple and single sentence to define good leadership – may be this one:
    Inspiring Change in self and stakeholders to secure performance better than the rest”
  2. Euphoria around development programs –
    Take few leadership courses, learn competency matrix, get 360 degree feedback and pick leadership buzz words, and you would be stamped as leader – that seems to be a popular perception in most companies and societies!
    Leadership development programs are all about “What you are” and “What you should be”; but with most important link missing “What would take you there”! So, it is natural that people don’t get there!!
  3. Means have become Models
    Power, position, money, media, technology, tools….the “Means” have taken over “Morals” and have become popular “Models” today. Most have forgotten that leadership can’t be borrowed or bought from outside; but has to be built from inside.
  4. Mistaken identity –
    Most company or country bosses live in illusion that they are good leaders; they are actually not. Many managers of big companies with healthy bottom lines are mistaken as leaders and even visionaries (of universe), especially by media and masses!
    I know of couple of global companies with good product range and great dividend paying records. That has made their shareholders happy and general belief developed that their leadership is great. Is that something to do with quality of leadership or product range commanding a premium in market places? A closer look reveals that if leadership was to be good, these companies would have scaled unprecedented heights by now!
  5. Performance in pulses –
    This is the most perennial problem! It comes from the fact that majority of people in leadership position imbibe some qualities of a leader; but not the most. Some are say passionate about business strategy; but lack people skills. Many have good communication skills; but lack courage and fail to manage conflicts. It is precisely for this reason that a leader, who looks good today does not survive tomorrow; who fares well in one situation fail in another.
    Rise of most of leaders is prompted by performance in pulses! It is rare that people go on top due to performance as a whole!!
    There are 2 rules, which really rule over minds of people:
    1. When going is good, we take things as grated and that is when we start to go down!
    2. We fall prey to –ive tendencies or traits much faster than +ives!
  6. Aversion for certain but crucial areas –
    There are areas that are very critical to society, which deserving people just desist to join. Politics is one of such areas! Politics brings power and the two together becomes poison, which kills the goodness!!
    In these areas, there is always famine of fair leaders.

Is the scenario grim?

No; at least I for one don’t believe that. Good leaders in poor number seem to be a normal phenomenon.

There would always be demand for better leaders and bashing of current ones! In a way, it is healthy!! It keeps the bad ones under check!!!

Whistle blowing is an important part of our lives and that’s where authors and activists come from!

Reversing the trend and tendency

If we want to arrest natural trends and tendencies, we have to go off the track! Let us do at least following:

  • Make definition of a leader simple and put “sincerity” above all qualities.
  • Create focus and force behind “what would take you there”.
  • What should matter to all us are “Performance as a whole, not in part” and “Goodness as an obvious, not as an option”!

By just doing these three things, we would render one great service to self and society – keep wrong or bad ones under check. This may also unlock possibility for nature to redefine its rule to “Good ones do exist in good number”.

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Paradigm shift needed in Roles & Responsibilities of Bosses for better employee relationship

Bosses or supervisors are usually bête noire or disliked class in eyes of most employees. Everywhere you would come across phrases like – an employee does not leave a company; but leaves because of boss or supervisor! On the other hand, there is lot of material, training, coaching and development programs across world to improve quality of supervision (or bossism); yet it continues to be a perennial problem and poorly perceived.

Are bosses getting well prepared before taking up responsibilities?

Most organizations and their HR departments claim to have good learning and development programs to prepare future leaders (in real terms, future bosses); but these programs are more aimed at imparting information rather than bringing a change in character or behavior of potential candidates! Organizations do not have any process in place to evaluate the change, which such programs are able to bring about in the concerned candidate to make him/her a better supervisor. Usual refrain is once one undergoes the program/s, he/she is deemed to be qualified. This is a myth; but most organizations have been living with it!

Another issue is that selection process for supervisors is not sound. Very often selection criteria or compulsions are:

  • Length of experience.
  • Seniority by age.
  • Vacant slot has to be filled.
  • Desire to retain a resigning employee and hence, under constraint he/she is promoted.
  • Employee is a blue eyed boy of management, regardless of merit.

Above criteria don’t bear merit, so would be the class of boss or supervisor in these cases, considered for promotion.

If such bosses/supervisors perform badly, there is no point blaming them. It is actually a failure of higher management and systems.

It is imperative that organizations institute an effective program to prepare employees and promote desired changes in their behavior, before they take-up position of a supervisor/boss.

Need of paradigm shift!

Roles and responsibilities of bosses are oriented towards functions (physical) and figures in most companies. Focus really needs to shift to people and performance! When this is done, a radical shift can come in performance of bosses and perceptions, which employees carry about them.

Here below are 7x “Must-to-Do” points for bosses and top management to implement:

  1. Knowing correct definition of Empowerment
    To state that “this is one area, very poorly understood” is an understatement. It is not about assigning work or responsibilities to sub-ordinates. It is that + authorizing them to take decisions, giving guidance and direction how to do that, laying down expectations of end results, allowing them to make mistakes and help them to learn from same, rather than holding them guilty.
  2. Be of Help; not Hurt
    It is common for bosses to shout, sulk and issue sermons to sub-ordinates, when they are not meeting their expectations, despite good efforts! That never helps anyone – neither boss nor employees.
    Worst thing that many bosses do is to pick prejudices against employee/s and resort to reprisal openly or subtly. Nothing can justify such actions!
    Bosses must don “Can I help you?” attitude towards employees. It would make wonders!
  3. Replace Ego by Empathy
    When employee goes up to become a boss, what is most likely to go up is his/her Ego! This happens due to lack of proper learning or mentoring.
    Ego would not allow bosses to align with employees; instead alienate!!
    Empathy does not come overnight! It has to be harnessed.
  4. Be a role Model!
    For employees, Boss is a role model. But, when Boss is not able to play role of a model, employees would react and rebel – may not be vocally but at least in their mind and behavior. That’s when a boss becomes their bête noire!
    It is amazing to know how bosses impact behavior of their employees! I have witnessed in several companies that if a boss is reasonable, employees tend to be congenial and co-operative. Reverse happens, if boss is toxic. It is incredible to see how employees, who work closely with their boss, follow his/her style to say Hello or greet people!
    As role model, a boss really needs to shun all negativities.
  5. Keeping a close Eye on those holding promise and potential; but don’t make them blue Eyed
    A boss can do irreparable damage to his/her relationship with employees, if differentiation and discrimination is done based upon his/her liking or disliking.
  6. Hold hands of weaker
    Bosses normally resort to bashing employees having weaker performance. Once an employee is hired through a conscious decision, companies must consider it obligatory to do all what it should to make that employee perform, before writing him/her off! The only way it can happen is when bosses would encourage holding hands of the weaker and work out a program to make them stronger.
    Those, who are already strong, would swim in any case and don’t require kind of support, weaker ones need!
  7. “Taking decisions on career” are like “shaping destiny” of employees!
    It is very crucial for a boss to reckon that when he/she sits on annual appraisal/consideration or taking decision on career path of employees, he/she is actually shaping their destiny, carving hopes and happiness or despair and disappointment of their families. I am not advocating pacifist approach; but “pure prudency and no partiality”!

A boss can bet for the best from employees, if he/she bats for the paradigm shifts!

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Truth of the Moment – what Masses follow is mostly a Mistake!

This could come as a surprise to you; but research reveals that caption statement is not a mistake! This is not a rule, which applies 100% of time; but does apply most of the time. Action of masses being on wrong side is a high tendency and perennial probability.

Look at the examples, which prove the Truth of the Moment.

What masses tend to do

  1. Triangular love n hate
    1. If you are not happy with your boss, you would start loving his bête noire.
    2. If you get hurt by someone (even when you are at fault), you lean towards one who gives you healing, even if he/she fakes or falsifies.
    3. If you see flaw, right or wrong does not matter, in the party in power, you would flirt with another sitting in opposition.
  2. Masses getting swayed by superstitions.
  3. Person with power, position, popularity and/or prosperity gains prominence among public and press, even if his persona is poor!
  4. Fiery and flamboyant communicators are always construed by companies and communities as leaders!
  5. Everyone loves those companies giving handsome salary hikes, shops giving hefty discounts, governments giving tax exemptions, even if it means these establishments going bankrupt and everyone paying a higher and heavier price later!
  6. Majority does not like to prevent or pre-empt, since it wants to experience pain before it could recognize problems!
  7. Facing a setback; find a scapegoat first.
  8. In grip of surprise and suspense? Hold the breath to become breathless!
    Why not exhale the breath to enjoy much more?
  9. Hopes and happiness are matters of external forces. So, hopes of most are on God and happiness on spouse or bosses!
  10. One, who could touch your pain point/s and suppressed sentiments, becomes your role model, even when he has no model solution or charismatic character.
  11. One (gentle) man from a crowd start throwing stone or bottles at public property, rest would follow suit, with no clue or qualm why they should do that!
  12. “Number of tweets admiring a Beauty” can only be outnumbered by “a wave of tweets unleashed by complains of a twitter friendly netizen (net citizen) on defects in a (beauty) product”.

There are many more examples on what masses do across the globe!

Why mind of masses tends to go wrong?

Mind is not always right, especially when it comes to collective effect of minds of masses. The paradox is it is the masses, at the same time, which has power to make or break countries, communities and companies.

  • In 90% of cases, first reaction of mind is never right, since it just a reaction, without rationale, to an action, which mind experiences. It is analogous to Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion! Masses tend to act of 1st i.e. spontaneous reaction of mind!!
  • Majority of individuals has insecure feeling, as it lacks inherent strength of character and intellect. This makes most individuals to look at neighborhood i.e. they are overwhelmed by Neighbor’s Syndrome.
  • When emotions get evoked, it is very easy for our mind to get engaged and polarization of opinion happens at fast pace.
    These emotions + polarization of opinion thereby lead to what is known as “Mass Mentality”. It also, now, makes it clear that what masses follow is not based upon any logic or rationale!

How to keep your mind on right course?

  • Watch out for mass hype, hysteria or heroism. Most of these would be hypocrisies and lure you, because of illusion; these are able to create in your mind. Wise thing would be to shun these.
  • Roads most traveled look tempting; but these would not be free from rough patches and erosion! Your fear that you would miss something by not following those roads is false.
    So, be bold to follow routes, less traveled. You would discover new experience and confidence.
  • The world that you see starts from you and would end with you. So, why should others drive and impact you and your world? You need to drive them. You must observe, listen or hear and learn from others; but develop your own conscience and consciousness.
  • There is one aspect, which you need to tread carefully –
    The faith you follow would always have elements of masses and mythology, dogmas and doctrines. But at the core, all faiths favor “Help everyone; but hurt no one!” Disregard its adulterated version, if you come across. If you keep this simple principle at the apex level of all of your responses, you would do very well.

With above, you can master the Mind and Masses; not the other way round!!

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