Tuesday 16 September 2014

Key aspects of being a leader in people/team management – An interesting learning.

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As a part of exploring the fundamentals of people management in depth, first of all let’s first understand what is the necessity of operating as a team as why is it so powerful and successful whenever achieved. Now imagine any task or probably a mammoth task, like trying to build a massive pyramid with a random group of skilled people. They would certainly be able to achieve the task in a specific time frame. And now imagine, the same task given to a “Team” of skilled people, each individual knows what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, most importantly how their individual contribution fits into the big picture. Working as a team, they are aware of where their strong and weak links are. Every person is willing to raise to the occasion as per their individual skill sets, simultaneously understanding others strengths and their capabilities of contribution. I am positive that such a team would complete the same task in a shorter time frame and also in an efficient manner. There are two important factors that make this possible – one that they are operating as a team, as against operating in a random group, the other is that they have been explained beforehand that how their contribution is critical to complete the task and who could help them within their pool of expertise, at situations that they are not so good at.

Essentially, any leader who aspires to take up challenging tasks and consistently achieve success at them needs to understand the complexity  of the above mentioned factors. A leader should know that his/her key task is - to convert the “group of random skilled people” to “an enthusiastic team of skilled individuals” and keep them that way always. It goes without saying that the leader should have exceptional skill, domain expertise on the task at hand, so as to come out as a single point of contact for the team. The team may like you and appreciate you for possessing the knowledge, skill and your willingness to share, but they will love you for your intention, that you are constantly trying to help them through situations, up skill them whenever possible and eventually train them transform, to future leaders. Now that when communicated to them and when they able to understand will do wonders. The attitude that you possess and your abilities to deliver will be reinforced in their mind for a very long time.

Once again, I would not want to sound repetitive from my previous articles, that the entire exercise should be done with a genuine intention, the key word being “genuine”. I am not discussing key attributes: as being a good listener, putting yourself in their shoes, empathy and willingness to help, in depth here, as their explanation varies with different situations. These are actually qualities/tools to help you work with your team. However, without having a strong understanding of the above qualities, one should not even attempt what I am recommending as obviously it won’t be fruitful. 

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