Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A true contributor!

One often wonders what or who a true contributor is!

In the professional world that I have spent donkeys years in, value add and contribution have assumed different meanings at different times.

In my own career these have been everything from operational customer centric transactions to creation of high end consulting solutions and transformation approaches.

In effect who is a true contributor that deserves respect and love(?), admiration and adulation from the team and peers as well as subordinates and superiors at the same time?

I may not be 100% accurate here, but from my observations over the last few years, I have come to believe that a true contributor possesses certain attributes that stand out in the crowd.

One would NEVER ever miss those!

  • ROI is unquestionable – Always gives more than what he takes!
  • Results may not always be guaranteed, but the effort, commitment can never be questioned!
  • Quick learner and extremely flexible when it comes to aligning with the larger objectives!
  • Dependable to the core…Trustworthy!
  • Loyal to the cause (of the team), Puts the team before self…always!

Last but not the least, a true contributor always draws some bits from the past experiences of his predecessors, his seniors, makes the best use of his current capabilities and competencies and prepares for the future success of the team and self by planning ahead.

No wonder that a true contributor need not have a certain kind of experience, need not possess a certain management degree, need not also be of a certain age and grade/role/position. One just merely needs to display the frugal qualities of a good team player and a true CONTRIBUTOR!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Leadership in recessionary times

All of us irrespective of the industry, role, experience and age are faced with a multitude of challenges emerging from the current spate of changes due to the existing environment.

Recession or depression or slow down whatever name we may suit the situation, it definitely needs each and every one of us to think differently.

How must a leader behave in these times?

Tough question for a tougher situation, well yes!

A leaders body language and handle on the situation, point of view and grasp of the subject play a significant role in shaping the outlook and engagement of the team towards a host of new things that the team would want to take up as a counter to the times.

Can doing the same thing over and over again give a different result? NO…NO…NO. It does not and it cannot.

A leader therefore is required to push his team to think different, take up seemingly impossible tasks and direct, guide them towards achieving these in a relatively short time frame.

Difference between bravery and foolishness

There is a thin line, when something comes off its seen as a great successful strategy, when it does not it seems like a foolish thing to do…hindsight.

A leader ensures there are enough backups for a strategy in terms of risk mitigation, contingency etc. This helps since you do not want the team to see grand failures when the times themselves present a grave picture because of the impending gloom.

Can everyone on the team align to the objectives, tough targets.

A leader has to ensure everyone on the team understands the new objectives, targets well and truly in the spirit and book. He must ensure everyone aligns to the objectives by reinforcing these during discussions, team meetings and also making them part of the performance evaluation. A positive reinforcement typically comes with the rewarding of a behavior or work that is in alignment with the expectations. Eventually people who do not align have to be dealt with a firm hand and it must be made very clear to them that there cannot be tolerance for poor, sub standard performance emanating from a lack of understanding or alignment with the objectives.

Soldier “Sir, we are surrounded”

Captain “Good, We can attack in all the directions”

A leader has to be optimistic and has to ensure the team though aware of the crisis and the tough times is able to carry the optimism with them as they go about doing their work.

Finally people who are committed and happy deliver better results, Look for committed individuals, trust them and you will see the results, as desired.