All 9 entries tagged Leadership

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March 24, 2011

Leadership for me

A thought struck my mind while I was thinking about my entrepreneurial venture (dissertation topic) by which I mean a very small scale organization to begin with. The question that I asked to myself was, ‘What I want my role to be?’

In search for an answer, the first thing that came to my mind is me working around 12 hours a day, files and folders around me. Then this suddenly lead me to think, is this what I thought when I wanted to be an entrepreneur!?

NO! So then I realize, I cannot generally be a part of the daily activities, and running projects. This is too much of an underutilization of my potential. What I need to do is, look at things from a distance, which means, looking at where we’re heading, if at all we are, and where we wanted to head to in the first place. And this is from where the roots of continuous improvement will be laid in the organization. Even if it is a small scale organization, I cannot allow it to be static over the years, and to break this staticity, this is one thing I have to be sure of. I cannot let myself fall in the trap of solving the urgent and important only and forgetting about the not-urgent and important!

This is probably the essence of an MBE over any other standard business management masters course. Either of them would teach you to manage people and day to day activities. But this is something that most organizations wouldn’t even realize they are lacking without having lost a number of years!

Halfway through the course, I can now see a bit of clarity in my mind, how am I going to put the wisdom (it is worth being called that) that I gain from this course, to practice. The beauty is, I have something to begin with!


March 21, 2011

The first hand case study of Leadership:

I must admit, after the LE module, I think in any group I am going to be, I am going to look at it from the Leadership point of view. When there is no leader, I think ‘there should have been one’ and when there is one, thinking that what could be the areas of improvement..

Anyhow, from the RDM module, besides the lessons learned about decision making, an important lesson was learned about leadership. Being a part of the team of a majority of strong personalities, was indeed a great learning experience in itself. It is appreciable how ideas cross and add value to the thought process and give a new outlook.

On the other hand, in such a group there is a lot of critique and this is where I realized was a need of leadership more than anything else. Or rather, maybe there was a need of some ‘positional power’ to intervene and conclude or divide the work in such a way that it does not affect the holism or the integrated nature of the result.

We did divide work, but what this caused was everyone indulging in doing their own part, with little view of the problem as a whole, thus the result was a set of results isolated from each other, put together in the end.

In short, what I’ve learnt in business excellence until now is always, in Excellent organizations, 1+1=3. But in our case here, it was just 1+1=2. In my belief that extra bit which should have been in an output from a group of stars, was missing because there was a need of a binding force of leadership. So I am taking this lesson as a case study of ‘absence of leadership’, which I believe works for me..


March 07, 2011

'Leadership' steps forward..

I am reminded again of the definition of leadership as developed by us. In the discussion for the definition, we came across this conflict that whether or not, it is the job of the leader to envision. While on one side it was argued that yes, it is the job of the leader to envision. It was said that there is more to the 'goal' aspect of the definition of leadership, i.e. whether or not 'setting' goals is a part of leadership. On the other hand it was argued that 'setting' goals should come from the team. Nothing may be imposed.

While I agreed at that time, but again, it comes to my mind today, that if leadership is considered not from a specific team's perspective but from the perspective of  somebody initiating a motion towards something beyond the status quo, it is leadership!!

It may not be said that the job of the leader is to envision, but, someone can envision and dare to be the first mover only if he/she has leadership qualities.

This comes to my mind as i read the words 'lack of leadership in the industry' which were used in one of the journal articles in the context that there is a need for someone to take the first step in the industry, to move towards green initiatives.. It hence to me, is Leadership, that steps forward!


March 02, 2011

The leadership way of entrepreneurship

The budding entrepreneur in me rose again today, as I get back to my project (For those who dont know, my project is about establishing a business). But this time, from the view of a leader..

I realize here, that Leadership ofcourse is the key ingredient; but, there are added responsibilities and added benefits.For example:

a) I get the chance to choose my team; Or rather i'd say "to build my team"

b) I get the chance to set the culture; I dont have to change it or face the resistance to change.

(still reflecting on more.. Open to suggestions..)

More than these opportunities as I see from a business point of view, I have a greater opportunity to lead.. That is, introducing 'Green' to the building construction industry in India. Just hoping, its not too big a goal..

Fingers Crossed!


February 25, 2011

Re–engineered Awal..!

As I sit down to work today for my PEUSS PMA, I cant really concentrate, because my mind is still running through this wierd thing we call Leadership! (I think I'm gonna have to write 'LEADERSHIP' on a piece of paper and put it into my fridge!)

I call it wierd, because as I see it from this end of the week, I realize what all we learnt in this week, has so much more to it than managing organizations. Leadership is a way of life! Moving towards a goal, solving problems.. what else is it?

Reflecting upon the Coaching exercise, I realize, human beings have a natural  power to solve their problems within themselves! But this power is so supressed because there is a lack of people who could take it out! Absolutely amazed by the results, I am totally convinced now, that there is nothing in this world that is impossible. Every problem is solvable!

Now that we know what 'coaching' is, I figure, that I have been actualy doing this at times, its just that I didnt know there was an actual technical term to it. I remember doing something like this to help my younger brother figure his aim in life, when he was so confused. I used something of a similar kind to help a friend of mine decide, when he couldnt figure whether or not he should change his job. It is actually miraculous! This is like a seventh sense of humankind, the sense of problem solving!

After this week, I so understand there is so much a need to undo the engineer in me at times.. there is a need not to look for answers. We are so conditioned to answer and to seek answers. We are conditioned to be directed and to direct.. Yes, the direction may not be wrong, but does that mean it is correct?

Sometime in the module, I said my fear was whether or not I would be trusted upon!?. I think I can say now, I'll make myself trusted upon...


February 22, 2011

Leadership Monday Outcomes..

Amazed by today's early morning discussion, it was exactly what I had been thinking about last night for the topic of the seminar (as in what I blogged yesterday), pleased to realize, I am thinking in the right lines, rather, I am developing the attitude of effective leadership! Not bad..!!

For today, a lot of learning in a short day! It began with something that I had been thinking, that is about starts and urban terrorists, and the group of stars being a resource, but, what I had been thinking was from the point of view of the leader. There is another point of view that I missed, that is that of the 'strong personality' or the person with the positive energy himself! This is a difficult task as well.

What I totally appreciate from the discussion is, that 'the organization's goal' or 'the shared goal' can work as the common language among all. Constancy of purpose.. Never thought this one point among the Deming's fourteen has so much to it! I think this as a common language of personnel at all levels within the organisation, is much powerful a problem solving mechanism. If not a tool in itself, it is somethig on which many problem solving tools could be based.

Another thing that I realised that we had missed today, in our affinity diagram, but was pointed by another group was Feedback. Though, not much stressed upon, it does come to my mind that, how important can feedbac from positive energy employees be. This is again, a very integral part of growing as a leader, learning from others, especially, from those who have a lot to them.

I must admit, the more I understand that there is so much to learn as a part of leadership, the more I fear being a leader. In a situation in which the time is limited, and there is a fear of failure, will I even remember a few of these concepts, so as to act effectively? Too much practice required!!


February 20, 2011

A group of stars makes a constellation!

'People with strong personalities', when I first interpetted these words from our tomorrow's seminar topic, it was not a very positive thought. Not very constructive, I must admit. But now as my chain of thought advances, I realize, what I am assuming to be 'Urban terrorists', may actually be the 'stars' that are into consideration..

Or rather, in a  nutshell, we are talking about people with 'positive energy'. But if you remember, we have already discussed about handling the urban terrorists in one of the seminars in the CBE module.. So mostly, this is about 'stars'..

Eureka! This is probably the foremost mistake that a leader may make! A person in the team, who has high energy, assuming him to be an urban terrorist, or the trouble maker, may be a reason in spoiling the relationship between the leader and the team (the person in particular), from the very beginning!

So begin with, a positive attitude!

Now, it is the leader's job, to make the best use of the resources. This guy/girl is a 'resource', make the best use of it. Understand, communicate, befriend (consider at par), and the most important in this process is, always keep track of the goal.. It must be emphasised time and again, that the team (leader and the guy/girl too) are heading towards a common goal.. so it is in the best interest of the team that the best of ideas are practiced.. I think, a push or initiation is what is required time and again, in order to generate newer ideas. In addition, for such personalities, in many times is an issue that their opinion is valued or not. Make sure the opinion is valued, but if it cannot be, give a clear reason why not, this will not only result in generation of newer ideas, but also aid towards reaching a consensus..

The case of 'multiple people with strong personalities':

In such cases, I think it is time consuming, but the results of discussions, from varying and sometimes clashing ideas, are many times absolutely great.. The complexity in handling the situation though may increase to a certain extent.It requires a lot of reasoning and consensus building to arrive to a decision.. But in such a case,the 'influence' part of leadership comes into picture. Maybe it is not the case of black or white, maybe there is a grey that you think suits best. If there is no grey, then reason, why is it white and not black? and make it understood within the team, so that it only emerges as a mutual decision... Understand and make it understood!


February 13, 2011

Gandhian Engineering and Convex Lens Leadership..!

Guys,

Today I wish to share with you, this video that I found.. It is from this video, that I came across these wierd looking terms that I put as the title of this blog..

http://www.ted.com/talks/r_a_mashelkar_breakthrough_designs_for_ultra_low_cost_products.html

At first, half way through this video, I was still in doubt, is this true, could he be joking!?

Does something like Gandhian Engineering truly exist? I must say, it does make me think, does the world really have the potential, which can be convexed together, just with the inputs of right leadership, to one goal which may sound absolutely ridiculous in the beginning? 

If such can be possible, this makes me think about the previous African Education System video even more.. We must get to it now.. It really bothers me, that only because of lack of effective leadership, we are not using our technological potential to the fullest, and that to without even realizing it!

What do you guys think!?


February 09, 2011

Leadership through Learning..

Heyy Guys

Here is a perception of leadership, on which I eagerly wish to get your views..

I perceive, leadership to be the ability to learn and implement. As it can be said from most of our blog entries that we all agree upon the fact that there is no one definition of Leadership, neither can it be said to be a prescriptive formula.

Hence, looking at it from the point of view a leader, who has say just been assigned to his/her post, I perceive leadership lies in his/her ability to understand what the current scenario looks like, and then assess what qualities will he/she have to adopt, what role will he/she have to assume so as to drive the team effectively.

To me, the leader has the the task to drive the enablers (people, strategy, partnerships and resources, products and services, simply interpretted from the EFQM framework), and the enablers are by far, not constant in various scenarios (organizations) and same is with the results. Therefore, how can leadership be the same in different cases? And hence, in order to deliver effective leadership, is'nt it important to understand the enablers and the results aimed, so as to be able to deliver them? Is'nt it hence important to add learning ability to the definition of Leadership?


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