If you really want to grow, make sure you train your subordinates in a way that they are ready to take your position. And you take your senior’s place!
This is what I learnt many years ago from Mr. Arun Kapoor, when he was the Sr. Vice President, Luxor Parker writing Instruments, and I was a part of the induction program. That distinction remained with me and became the core of my working style, whether I was working as the Marketing Manager at Luxor Parker, or was leading my own Communication Agency, or dealing with the large teams of my consulting client organizations.
As an outcome, the core values that emerged in my Leadership style are COLLABORATE – CREATE – CELEBRATE. The 3Cs that define, who I am.
And I very strongly believe that, the only goal that a Leader should have, is to “Create more Leaders”
Only when we choose to create more leaders, we will have a positive flywheel impact towards growth and attainment of success for all.
And that is what I have observed in my way of being, at leadership positions. I have ensured that there is a continuous and consistent learning process available to the teams, at all levels. As a Leader, I have always focused on identifying the training needs, enrolling them to choose learning and be coachable for new ideas, new subjects and the new ways of working.
This makes them take responsibility for their own growth and they take ownership of what they are doing professionally and in their personal lives.Only when the teams choose to learn and take ownership, does it create a realm of possibilities for COLLABORATION. The first pillar of Leadership.
I take pride in stating that almost all those, who have worked with me in 31years of my professional career, are now either self-employed, or are entrepreneurs or working in much larger organizations.
What becomes very evident in the Collaborative Leadership Style is the importance of three very important distinctions, and I explain them here.
Although Leadership is a position of authority, what makes it work is the process of enrollment. As a leader, it is important that everyone in the team is on the same page and are completely convinced about the idea. What we call as ‘buy-in’.
Just to explain it further, every time a company takes the Sales targets for next year, the Managers sit down with their respective teams and take them through the what, why and how towards the achievement of goals.
I remember, a couple of years ago, one of my client organizations wanted to take a huge leap in business through technological breakthroughs and innovative product launches. We organized a large-scale, residential meeting in a 5star hotel and shared the plans, the new ideas, products and advancements. It also included training workshops, motivation sessions, announcements of incentive schemes and engagement activities, so that the team is completely convinced, prepared and enrolled in the Organization’s vision and mission for the future.
Today, the company is exactly where it planned to be. That is the power of enrollment and that is what the Leaders have to do.
A very important partner to the process of enrolment is the distinction of declaration, that means to announce and to taking a public pledge (of whateverone has taken up to achieve)
So, when the large-scale Sales Meeting was organized (taking the previous case example forward) for my client organization, The head of Sales Team, took the mike and declared “I take it on myself, that I will ensure that the big jump our company has planned, will surely be achieved. As the leader of the Sales Team, I take complete responsibility for all the targets to be achieved by all the team members.”
That is what a Leader does, takes ownership, be accountable and get ready to be questioned in case the targets are not achieved.
Declaration makes Enrollment possible.
It is important forleaders to share what they know, the life skills, the experiences, both achievements and failures. This opens up the space for learning and the channel of communication between the Leader and the team remains available for idea exchange.
As a norm, I have always ensured that I have a monthly semi-formal interaction with my team. And also recommend the same to the leaders in my client organizations.
Treading on the path with the distinctions of Enrolment, Declaration and Sharing, Leaders, together with their teams, CREATE. The second value at the core of my leadership style.
Collaborative Creation equals Results, that lead to Success.
Mutual respect for respective skills and experience is at the foundation of creation.
As a leader, it is our responsibility to create the space for ideas to co-exist, get nurtured and evolve.
And to make this happen, the leaders have to learn:
· To Listen
· To Delegate
· To Train &Upskill
· To provide Feedback
· To Motivate
It is not easy to be a Leader, because one has to let go of self, of the ego that we have of being at a Leadership position.
I have learnt it over time, and successfully implemented the process of delegation, with complete responsibility and accountability. However, as a Leader I needed to ensure that the structures and systems were available for support.
Delegation has to be supported by training, providing timely feedback and motivation for results to happen.
And when results happen, what do we do – we CELEBRATE. And when the results don’t happen, what do we do – we celebrate!
That is what a team working with a collaborative leader does – celebrate both successes and failures. When we succeed, we party together and when we fail, we learn together.
Through celebrations, the flywheel of leadership continues as we keep collaborating for the next project in hand.
The process of creating Leaders continues and that is what Leadership is all about. Creating more Leaders.
Mr. Rajeev Narang will be writing a monthly column for us. Write to us, in case you have any questions for him and he will address them through his columns.