The Leadership Edge!

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Daniel Coleman writes,’Emotional competence is particularly central to leadership, a role whose essence is getting others to do their jobs more effectively. Interpersonal ineptitude in leaders lowers everyone’s performance.It wastes time, creates acrimony, corrodes motivation and commitment’.

Organizations that are progressive know well …that a leader can serve to be a leverage in helping others to perform well. And a leader identifies an opportunity in each problem…

Business plan can be worked and implemented..

Eminence India, a start up company based in Chennai ( India), needed a leadership edge to set the ball rolling and revenue from business coming in. All that was required – to think effectively and arrive at business option that was workable.

I had to coordinate with the HR agency to get marketing force in place after looking for company office premises. Develop certain daily reporting formats, sign a distributorship agreement with the Korean Multi national Suprema for biometric devices’ sales. We already had the distributorship with American manufacturer Zebra smart card printers. Channel marketing initiative was formulated for the first time.

Within three months, the business was up and running!!

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‘The Leader in Me’ – School transformation process by FranklinCovey!

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‘The Leader in Me’ is FranklinCovey’s whole school transformation process. It teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader.

The basic concept being that schools should not merely focus on improving test scores, but should provide opportunities for students to develop their full potential – through following attributes:

– Leadership
– Responsibility
– Accountability
– Problem Solving
– Adaptability
– Communication
– Initiative and Self-Direction
– Creativity
– Cross-Cultural Skills
– Teamwork

‘The Leader in Me’ is aligned with best-in-class content and concepts practiced by global education thought leaders. It provides a logical, sequential and balanced process to help schools proactively design the culture that reflects their vision of the ideal school.

Content from ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ is a key component of the overall ‘The Leader in Me’ process. The 7 Habits is a synthesis of universal, timeless principles of personal and interpersonal effectiveness, such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration and renewal, which are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures.

‘The Leader in Me’ is also aligned to many national and state academic standards. The process teaches students the skills needed for academic success in any setting. These skills include critical thinking, goal setting, listening and speaking, self-directed learning, presentation-making and the ability to work in groups.

Instead of seeing children through the lens of a normal distribution curve—some kids are naturally smart and others are not—The Leader in Me paradigm sees that every child is capable, every child is a leader.

What would be possible if your school were filled with students who were responsible, who showed initiative, who were creative, who knew how to set goals and meet them, who got along with people of various backgrounds and cultures, and who could resolve conflicts and solve problems?

– theleaderinme.org

My comments – ‘After having watched the related videos, I am particularly impressed by this educational initiative taken by FranklinCovey and wish to write about the same under my blog’s category on leadership training. If you realize well, most learning is imbibed by learners during the formative years which are the schooling years without any doubt. Keeping this fact in mind, such educational efforts like ‘The Leader in Me’ will necessarily give great results to the learner as well as to the teacher.’

‘8th Habit – From Effectiveness to Greatness’ – Dr Stephen R Covey – Book review!

8th habit

“The world has changed dramatically since the classic, internationally bestselling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was published, influencing tens of millions. The challenges and complexity we all face in our relationships, families, professional lives and communities are of an entirely new order of magnitude. In order to thrive, innovate, excel and lead in what Covey calls the new Knowledge Worker Age, we must build on and move beyond effectiveness…to greatness. Accessing the higher levels of human genius and motivation in today’s new reality requires a sea change of new thinking — a new mind-set, a new skill-set, a new tool-set — in short, a whole new habit.” ( Source: Amazon.com)

The crucial challenge is finding your voice in the surroundings you are placed in. Leadership is about finding your voice to motivate others to find their voice. Intriguing? How do we get there? That’s what ‘8th Habit’ of Dr Stephen Covey is all about. We spoke about ‘Quiet Leadership’ (by David Rock) in the last post I wrote. Quiet leadership is about helping others to think effectively. Wherein the leader brings out the best performance from the team he leads.

8th Habit is about a ‘win-win situation’ and Dr Covey says, its about suspending your interests long enough so as to understand what the other person wants in order to arrive at a collaborative solution. This is quite similar to the ‘Indian Talking Stick model’ he talks about through the famed videos on his training.

How do we increase our influence? –

(In his video on 8th Habit, He talks about the role of Body (to live), Mind (to learn), Heart (to love) and Spirit (to leave a legacy) in leadership style, that’s very inspiring to watch. He also talks about the role of light-house principles and the laws of nature. Most effective leaders have these qualities or they are working on the right path to acquire them)

He says, ‘find out how to work on three dimensions of yourself’ – they are

1. Ethos – your ethical nature, personal credibility and trust – that others have in your integrity and competence
2. Pathos – your empathy – knowing how others feel and how they see things
3. Logos – the power and persuasion of your presentation and thinking

‘The very top leaders in truly great organizations are ‘servant leaders’ – for example, Mahatma Gandhi was a truly servant leader – ego less, constant learner, compassionate, physically well-disciplined, truly committed to his work, and a visionary.

8th Habit is about finding your voice and help others find their voice. 8th Habit leader has a mind set and skill set to constantly look for potential in others to help them succeed. His style of leadership is to communicate to others the true sense of their potential or self-worth.

Leadership means ‘Succeeding to Convince Others’ !

There are many leaders who fail to convince others and as a result – reduce the momentum, interest, capacity and willingness to change in their followers. Typically, such a leader is using only his position in the corporate hierarchy to generate loyalty from his followers or those who report to him. This is not a long-standing solution ! A leader should lead by motivating others, and through the faith placed on him by his followers.

People who, despite their good intentions, fail to connect emotionally with their followers fall at the bottom of the ‘influence competence’ hierarchy. They may mean well but they lack the means to get their message across. In many board room presentations, the leaders/ speakers who rely largely on visual aids such as elaborate overhead projections or elegant statistical analysis of data (decorated in Excel sheets) can miss the boat and get stranded. It is mainly the question of connecting with the audience. I feel, the audience must emotionally get engaged, but mediocre speakers rarely go beyond the same Excel formatted data presented in each presentation. They feel ‘loaded’ if they have the data that is often flashily displayed in different font sizes and colors. This does not connect well with an audience which is prepared to listen to the speaker, with their existing or limiting capabilities.

Let me cite an example – lately, I was delivering a lecture/ talk on ‘Communication and Soft Skills’ in a MBA classroom filled with more of vernacular medium educated students, who did not understand English so well as those who pass out from English medium educated high schools understood. I observed this limitation in the first 15 minutes of my 2 hour presentation and I quickly changed to language ‘Hindi coupled with English’. I sought interaction from the students at every instance required, to add momentum in their speed of learning what I taught. And, I became persuasive to ensure I am getting across. Without an accurate reading of how a listener is taking in an idea, that idea or tutorial is in danger of falling on deaf, indifferent, or even hostile ears. How can I convince if they do not listen or understand what I say ? Yes, it is indeed a challenge and earlier the speaker or trainer faces this challenge effectively, faster he will succeed to convince others.

No matter how intellectually brilliant we may be, that brilliance will fail to shine if we are not persuasive. The signs of weakness in the ability to persuade include :

1. Failure to build a partnership with the audience during presentations.
2. Too much dependence on past successful techniques, not realizing what will work in the present times.
3. Being too bull-headed in presenting our point of view without acknowledging feedback from listeners.
4. Unable to inspire the followers.
5. Building Hostility among audience through high handed approach.

It is essential to get connected or getting the listeners to ‘buy-in’ what we are presenting. In most cases, Leadership is the ability to convince others. Why would anyone follow the leader if they do not get convinced by him or her ? If they do not believe in the Leader, why would the followers trust him or her ? At Rambuna Consultants, Leadership development is an interactive training module besides definite follow-up after the completion of training program to ensure success among its participants. Presentation Skills and building effective communication ability among the audience is given its due importance in each session.

The Road Map to Leadership Development !

‘Leadership development refers to any activity that enhances the quality of leadership within an individual or organization. These activities have ranged from MBA style programs offered at University business schools to action learning, high-ropes courses and executive retreats’

Why is a Leadership Training Program required today? Some of the reasons I can figure out are listed below –
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Succession Planning necessitates Leadership Development !

sucession planning

Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the company. Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable employees who are prepared to assume these roles as they become available.

Lately, Succession planning has gained more importance in Indian Corporate sector due to polarization of business opportunities in promising and emerging markets. Executive coaching is one of the ways to encourage or boost succession planning – in order to build talent and leadership within the organization. More often and in most Indian organizations, the effort is to develop leadership internally and not look for leaders from outside through external hire.
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