All entries for February 2011
February 25, 2011
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 23, 2011
After the simulation of the Hotel Business, must say, experiencing so many ups and downs, right and wrong decisions, success and failure (of both the business and leadership), there's so much food for thought..
The most important thought, that is again reinforced in my mind through this simulation, is the importance of understanding the diversity within the team. This was a team of my friends, whom I had known for a while, if entering in a new team of unknown people, which would be the case for most of us after the course, would it be easier or more difficult? An instance of this comes from my previous module (an elective) in which I was in a team of absolutely unknown people, though we did not have a leader, but leaders did emerge. At first it was difficult to trust anyone in terms of their capabilities, but eventually, we realized each of our potentials and areas of interest and worked accordingly..
Another important thought that comes to my mind is Stress Handling. I still have to admit that though I have learnt alot about leadership, experienced it too, and rather I have gained a new insight about the topic, and have now been able to understand it from its two ends, i.e. the leader's and the followers'; But, one thing that I have not yet been able to control is the stress! As I learnt from the feedback from my team, and from retrospection, I realise, when I am the leader, I have this stress taking over my mind, which causes some panic, which eventually decreases my efficiency to some extent. We realised (from the team) that I did not manage information very well in the beginning. This too, as I see it was a result of the stress, and a bit chaos prevailing in my mind; in the beginning, we even thought we fell short of time, and we had to rush to conclusions in order to meet deadlines! This stress, sometimes even hinders my thought, and I find it difficult to arrive to decisions.
It really bothers me now.. Need to do something about it! suggest guys!
February 22, 2011
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
'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 14, 2011
Sharing an experience of attending a Non-MBE module today..
I must say, over these four months, I am so used to the MBE culture, I realized the difference today. I am now used to getting answers to questions raised in class only with counter questions.. resulting in a discussion.
It surprises me too, to see the change, but I am now no more used to prescriptions! I hated it, when I got a straightforward answer to a doubt raised in class. I now have a habit of looking for my own answers and reaching to my own solutions while struggling through a chain of thoughts and ideas...!!
It is how we are lead or 'allowed to take the lead', that is making all the difference..
February 13, 2011
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..
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
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?