Becoming the leader you loveBY HAZIK MOHAMED
In today’s sometimes chaotic business reality, leaders in Singapore are consistently caught in a squeeze. They are responsible for creating and driving performance and at the same time they are measured on just how lean an organization they can run.
A great majority of leaders and managers are well-intentioned, smart and accomplished, but fail to live up to their potential. This could be because they stop working on themselves. For some, they stop making progress because they simply do not think that they need it in the first place.
It is often underestimated how much time and effort it takes to keep growing and developing. Everybody agrees it is important, but like exercise, not everyone makes time for it.
Leadership is using yourself as an instrument to get things done through others. So, it is critical that you know how to exert influence on those around you. You must make a difference in what others do but also in the thoughts and feelings that drive actions.
Managing your Team: It is easy to think you can just manage each person on your team individually, but the value is in creating a team that works together well. When individuals learn how members are expected to communicate and work together, they hold each other accountable and hence reach a new level of performance.
i. Value Your Employees
Feeling valued by your supervisor is the key to high employee morale and productivity.
As a leader, you can focus your attention on making a profound impact on the employee’s life at work. This sets the tone for the rest of the day.
ii. Give People Authority to Accomplish their Work
It is important that you develop a workforce that can function with or without you. Leaders of high performing companies channel the attention away from themselves and into the goal of building a great company.
Likewise, employees will not grow and develop unless they are challenged. Delegation is the key to challenging your people. Once employees understand the overall vision and mission of the organization, the next step is to help them learn. Specific steps and communication can make delegation easier.
Managing your network: This means proactively engaging the people in your organization to create conditions for success. This can often negatively be labelled "having to play politics." Conflicts and competition among people are inevitable. Leaders who have influence tend to get them solved in their favour.
Encourage input from employees at all levels. Being receptive to visits and calls from all who report to you underscores a proactive effort to listen to their feedback and ideas. Your genuine interest in and respect for everyone’s expertise can, not only gain diverse insightful perspectives, but also help eliminate any “us” vs. “them” feelings.
Managing yourself : People have to trust you as a leader, that is, trust your competence and your character. Trust is the foundation of all good forms of influence and you need to conduct yourself with others in ways that foster it.
i. Decision making
Making sound decisions sounds simple on the surface, but not everyone is skilled in this area. Sometimes managers slow down the workflow through indecisiveness. At the other
extreme, they may make snap decisions and develop a reputation for being impulsive.
ii. Improve your own skills
Finally, do not overlook any gaps in your own abilities or knowledge. Often what we view as a professional strength—your attention to every detail, for instance—can be perceived as a weakness by those who desire greater autonomy.
You want to be great, not just average. Working on these 3 areas of leadership will help you develop these consciousness and stay on the road to excellence.
Hazik Mohamed, Managing Director, Stellar Consulting Group Pte Ltd