Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Make leaders

A person having required authority, power and more importantly ability to direct a group is viewed as a leader by people. A leader, in addition to having skills and talents, possesses uniqueness in his style of working, behaviour, etc. Every group is led by such a selected person. It is also important that the folk follows him and gets directed by his instructions because all in the group walk on their own will is not a healthy situation which ultimately produces failure for the group.

There are many qualities a leader should have. A true leader is able to identify the real needs of his group / association, and according to the actual needs, he lays down plans and strategies for the cohesive assignment of a group. Sometimes a group, growing as an organization, involves more than one leader who looks after different functions of the firm individually. They head over different departments and get the works done by their subordinates. In the corporate terminology they are called managers.

In any organization, whether big or small, nationally acclaimed or internationally renowned, the supervisory staff and workforce are governed by a managerial staff. These people supervise and direct the folk to perform their responsibilities to customers’ satisfaction. They frame out systematic plans for everything starting from staff management to logistics and to a cash flow arrangement. They are usually viewed to be efficient and good managers, but a question always arises is, whether they are good leaders too. Sometimes, good managers may not be good leaders. Good managers may lack leadership skills if they overlook or compromise on qualities of a good leader. A manager having good governance skills may enjoy limited or short term success; but an efficient leader gifted with the governance skill can pocket boundless success. So, the need of the time for a good manager is to hone the leadership skills. 

A major characteristic that differentiates good leaders is the magnetism they have to attract and retain the people with them for a longer period. People trust the leaders for their ability, honesty, integrity, confidence, enthusiasm, tolerance, their analytic nature, calmness and desire for excellence. These qualities of good leaders are either inherent or developed by him, which pull the mass towards them. Leader’s responsibility is not only to get the jobs done by the people working under them, but they have to also roll up their sleeves and stretch their hands for the common responsibilities along with the people. They can thus win the respectful authority over the people working under them. Further, leaders should be able to keep the group united for the common cause, encourage harmony and respect among them for one another and more importantly, they needs to be seen as a source of inspiration. Leaders should be confident in the uncertain and unfamiliar situations and be proactive when people look at them for assurance and security. Leader should also be enthusiastic towards the collective work or cause, and the smaller or bigger ideas put forward by the team members should be welcomed by them. Never give up approach is the basic quality a leader is desired of.

Trustworthiness – A rare commodity

As far as corporate world is concerned, the management measures trustworthiness of a manager from the honesty and integrity he practices in his day to day work. It also considers the graph of his success and abilities to resolve the criticalities arising out of routine job. Trust is an imbibed quality of any towering personality, and by influencing others, good leaders win people’s confidence. People follow the path their leaders set before them and put trust in them. As per eminent writer Mr. Green, the trust quotient comprises of creditability, reliability, intimacy and self-orientation. Creditability is about how much a leader is to be believed. Reliability is how dependable the leader is. The intimacy is how far the people become intimate with the leader. Self-orientation is how much the leader focuses on himself as compared to his focus on others.

In any organization, people tend to evaluate the manager’s trustworthiness with in-depth analysis of his performance, competence and attitudinal behaviour towards them; more importantly his openness of sharing information.

The following qualities are taken for granted for trustworthiness:-

a)      Promise keeping
b)      Public appreciation
c)      Self responsibility for own mistakes
d)      Maximum contribution for the growth of a team
e)      Honest sharing of information with others.
f)       Ability of self development for guiding the people
g)      Trusting people and their abilities
h)      Accepting people as they are
i)        Sacrifice of self interests for the interest of the mass
j)        Walk the talk of the people

One thing to remember is that the trust is an element that takes years together to build, but takes a minute for breaking. So for any great leader, the main ‘mantra’ is to develop trustworthiness.

HR department is to ensure that the managers of the organization put thrust on this activity of making leaders for their respective operations.

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