Archive for March, 2010
After the first rush of adrenalin post the last post.. i seemed to have run into a block.. kept scouring for ideas, ducking my asst Surakshas remonstrations that i wasted her time in setting up an internal blog, guilty over quite a few emails saying good blog when is the next.. I chanced upon a mail that provided me material for this blog. My muse for this blog is Manpreet Ahluwalia. He is a Unit Manager in service desk, his claim to fame is he received amongst the highest VOE scores 112(wow!!) We had sent congratulatory notes to the top 10 managers with the best VOE scores and Krishnan in his inimitable style invited Manpreet to present best practises to his leadership team. I wasn’t on the call but Manpreet(I understand why he is so good) sent out a summary to all of us, and that is my inspiration for this blog!
Firstly his communication – he managed to condense why he believes he received a high score into four lines! i wish i met more leaders with that brevity.. here are his four lines to leadership effectiveness.. i am quoting him verbatim, comments in italics mine.
1. Leadership style
- Determine what is the kind of situation & choose the leadership style that would help resolve the situation (key word here is to understand that we are resolving a situation) (and not a person)
2. Develop & Discuss
- Team should have the feel that they are important and should be involved to increase employee engagement
- Employees should feel responsible rather than being accountable ( I love this!)
3. Effective time management
- Prioritize tasks in order to check the performance of the team
- Have some time at hand to listen to the team and feel the pulse
4. Ability to read between the lines(positively please)
- Key is to listen to what an employee is saying. Often they are not able to express in words, understanding the same helps build confidence with the employee
Simple yet effective first is about situational leadership and a call for avoiding one size fits all style, second is about just talking and respecting that employees are adults, third we discussed in my last blog <Busy…activity trap > and finally the ability and willingness to listen.
What simple, crisp and useful tips. As is my wont let me close with a few questions for all of us
1. Do i vary the way I deal with my different directs? Or do i deal with them all in the same way?
2. Do i discuss targets and problems with my team.. when did i do this last?
3. How much time in a day do i spend coaching my team, recognizing them?
4. Do i listen or do i direct?
Good luck.. and as always do send in your feedback, add your two bits as comments.. i love to hear from each one of you.. even if you think what i wrote is stupid please tell me J
BTW you will notice this time, the blog is available internally on MIKE at https://mike.mphasis.com /sites/HR/Elangoblog/default.aspx and on word press at agastyaelango.wordpress.com
Till the next note.. and before i forget thank you Manpreet , rare is a person who knows why he is successful – you seem to be one
i was lunching with three senior managers last week.. i don’t do this often so much curiosity on why what etc.. once we got that out-of-the-way, we had a lively and interesting conversation.. it went from being busy, challenging status quo, managing teams and to communication. Thanks to these gents authentic conversation and candor over a meal, i walked away with many learnings. I am sharing with all of us one which i found tremendously useful.
In a reflective mode all of us were lamenting at the pace of growth, the number of initiatives and how busy we all are every day that we don’t have time to think or do some of the good stuff we want to do. That each day we walk back feeling we could have done more or just wished there were more hours in a day. Before I could say anything, one of my lunch mates said “you know, i wonder if we are really busy with the right things” one lead to the other.. and we concluded the following:-
- We all get into an activity trap – of keeping ourselves busy
- We deal with immediate reactionary things that exist in the here and now
- Most of us continue to do the same things we have always done in our earlier roles
- We still do activities our teams can do or spend too much time over activities that our directs can do
- That they (not we as I think I do) don’t have a strong second line who they can rely on!
i know it doesn’t sound like rocket science, but i guess that is how most common sensical things are! We did close saying we will starting that moment check our schedules and ask our selves the following questions.
- What is keeping us busy..
- Are there activities that are better off done by our team members
- How much of our time is spent on reacting to today and how much of our time we took out from our schedule for tom and day after?
- Do we have professionals in our team who are better than us, professionals who can take on the load and run with little or no supervision?
- If we are people managers how much time are we spending with our team members, talking to them, coaching them, setting goals or just telling them they are doing a good job?
Simple yet useful and i am sure will go a long way in making us successful in the long run. Most importantly to get out of the activity trap!
We of course discussed many more interesting subjects, making the transition, communicating with the teams, breaking the status quo etc.. i will try to follow these threads through in my next note or lunch conversations
Based on the feedback many of you provided that the mail is too one way and doesn’t promote dialogue , I have created this blog where you can comment, bash ideas, add your stories…
Cheers till the next note