‘Growing Others’​ : Leadership at a Glance

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others” – Jack Welch

One of my mentors and an extraordinary leader himself Mr. Suresh Dadlani always quotes Mr. Jack Welch during our numerous discussions on topics ranging from business strategies, operations, leadership, etc. Based on his thoughts I started reading a few of Jack Welch’s quotes.

The one above stuck with me the most, “success is all about growing others”. This is a key factor in defining a leader or leadership qualities. Leadership positions are all about human resource management, if a leader is able to master that then the team’s success is for granted.

My ongoing metamorphosis from being a normal employee to a leader is filled with such learning from my bosses, mentors and seniors. Each experience teaches me a new lesson in leadership, so even though leadership as a concept is extremely fluid and has to change with every generation or industry that engage with your leadership; the base for any leader remains the same.

In this article, I wish to share some points which I, based on my on-ground experiences, feel is important base pointers for all leaders.

Don’t just Hear…“Listen!!”

  • One needs to understand the stark difference between “hearing” and “listening”.
  • Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear, it is involuntary, effortless. Listening however is something an individual consciously chooses to do, thus an effort is put in this action. This makes listening a focused and concentrated action.
  • So, for any leader listening to team-mates is very important, be it their work plans, grievances, appreciations, complaints, even gossip. This gives the leader a good perspective and reasoning on what is actionable and what is not.

Actions speak louder than words

  • A leader needs to take action on any actionable inputs from the team.
  • Actions might include taking hard decisions; however, these actions need to be impartial.

Give Chances…Take Chances

  • Identify raw talent in team members, be it freshers or experienced, and give chance for them to grow.
  • Leaders should be ready to give free hand to team members who show promise at the same time supervising to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
  • In case of mistakes ensure that you show them the right direction and encourage them to move forward instead of cutting them off in fear.
  • Taking these calculated risks can create wonders in terms of resource development & encouragement at the same time building your team’s trust in you.

What you Sow, so shall you Reap

  • However senior a leader, as long as he/she respects everyone straight to the junior-most team member, is when he/she gets the respect back from the team.
  • Trust and respect are two of the strongest pillars for any leader to lead his/her team to success and both these values are reciprocal in nature. Also, you cannot force any of these values onto your team, they need to be earned.
  • Every leader should be conscious of this and work on their actions accordingly.

Conflict Management

  • Effective conflict management is one of the most important tasks of a manager.
  • Leaders should not mistake conflict management as conflict resolution, conflicts can’t always be resolved.
  • So, the task for a leader is to ensure that conflicts are managed in a manner to not impact the business or working relations in the organization.

I am sure there are many more aspects to leadership, but as long as the above baseline remains, the rest can be tweaked and tuned as required.

Leadership is just like Excellence; it is a continuous process and a true Leader never ceases to learn.