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Leadership in Lockdown

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Neetubala Raina - Head of Talent Management and L&D | ACC, ICF Coach | Writer | Guest Blogger | Artist, Pune

22-Jul-2020

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Leadership demands one to stay emotionally resilient. Also, resilience comes when you understand your own emotions and demonstrate inclusive leadership style for unbiased decisions. Next time when you re-strategize the way forward, shift your focus to raise a toast to the spirit of humanity today over the competitive spirit. Set aside the competitive spirit for the competitive times. Growth, profits, expansion will eventually find its way out but be assured such adversities are best overcome through the human spirit.

Leadership is a very powerful word and gradually when you start to unravel its countless shades to comprehend the profound meaning of these well juxtaposed ten letters, it deepens your understanding of the other aspects of life by ten-fold. While this word may have appeared glamorous to you for the power attached to it, you realise gradually the massive responsibility it comes with to be able to lead people but you should be leading yourself well before leading others. This word simply loses its power if you havent yet learnt to enjoy giving away power to develop people. Eventually after leading people all through your super active years of life, it is ironic if you havent discovered where you want to take your life to!

Naturally there is no dearth of leadership lessons yet it is a subject for which enough content will never be enough. Each era leaves behind leadership lessons and each era faces leadership challenges. The perpetual underlying message remains there is no shortcut to the key lessons of life; experience is the best teacher! Sharing a few thoughts on the Leadership in Lockdown.

Listen to understand the words unsaid

It takes us decades to realise, we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. However even after realizing so, owing to our self-imposed fascination for the speed and the self-defined timelines, we are unable to practise the concepts learnt. Some realize and are benefited and some continue to struggle.

Next time when you listen to your team member, let them complete the sentence so you have the context and the intent to be able to respond justly. Our human mechanism as such is same, be it to listen or speak, what matters is how are we using our own mechanism?

Emotional Quotient to build resilience

Leadership demands one to stay emotionally resilient. Also, resilience comes when you understand your own emotions and demonstrate inclusive leadership style for unbiased decisions. Next time when you re-strategize the way forward, shift your focus to raise a toast to the spirit of humanity today over the competitive spirit. Set aside the competitive spirit for the competitive times. Growth, profits, expansion will eventually find its way out but be assured such adversities are best overcome through the human spirit.

Give time to your people to accept, absorb, re-adjust and re-tune to this Life to sail through with lesser chaos and confusion.

Authenticity for a connection

Authentic leadership means building honest relationships. How you nurture emotions determines if you are successfully able to establish a connection for a meaningful association. We know the fundamental difference between artificial intelligence (AI) and human intelligence remains emotional intelligence (EI). Well! Some leaders believe in AI and some EI to lead humans. Choice is yours based on the culture you wish to build!

Delegate to lead

You cannot lead unless you delegate and unless you delegate, you will not lead. Delegation skills are easy and yet difficult. When leaders have a clear vision, a clear direction to the team is a likely result. Sadly, when adhocism breeds in and the mindless rushing to manage a panic situation is resorted to, trust and credibility are impacted and the fallout is inability to delegate tasks objectively. An agile culture is healthy to build but an agile vision is not so healthy yet!

Next time ask your managers, are they delegating well? Do they know the destination they wish to fly their team to? Despite a smooth take off, if the passengers experience anxiety and discomfort during the journey, a rash landing does a lot of damage to the pilot and the entire crew. What else is there to lose if one loses credibility?

Embracing Vulnerability

A child perhaps is the most vulnerable of us and still receives the endless love, and you simply cant resist embracing. Yes! Vulnerability has its own charm in building trust. It is a powerful leadership trait as it authenticates the fact that one is humane and yet courageous and inspiring to lead people to fulfil their dreams; Yes! People can fulfil their dreams regardless of their imperfections and isnt it our imperfections that retain our uniqueness as an individual?

Next time when you speak to your team, ask yourself have you shared what makes you vulnerable as a leader? You will discover mutual compassion is a great outcome to cherish!

Relevance to Present for Sustenance

Relevance is lost if we do not understand the current state of affairs. Therefore, gathering the right context is principally important to be able to operate efficiently. Invariably the ecosystem we design for ourselves will keep evolving in view of the changing dynamics. Moreover, when there is a drastic change that pushes us to adapt to such unprecedented times, your current design may desire a disruption!

Next time when you address your people, ask them what would they re-design and re-prioritize? Copying trends without any deliberation may fail as all the organizations like people have different personalities. Too many actions without a logical end in mind is meaningless. It is like running on a treadmill for hours together and feeling disappointed to find yourself in the same place.

Safe environment for Psychological safety

Today, the aspect of safety in your environment is not merely limited to the physical safety. When leaders walk the talk, establishing credibility is effortless and people are comfortable speaking up as they trust the leader. In a culture that values trust, people feel psychologically safe to express themselves. Leaders give and receive without passing any judgements.

Next time when you seek feedback, do ask your team if they feel psychologically safe? Timekeeping is important but at times, keeping aside some minutes for a heart-to-heart connect can be soothing.

Humility for Healing

We must be like a bamboo, the higher we grow the deeper we must bow! When our internal system is adjusting to such a massive external change globally, demonstrating humility in every possible action leads to a win-win mind-set. There is an ongoing battle almost everyone is dealing with assurvivors of this Universe. Find a way to sail through this phase with the mutual understanding and compassion.

Integrity to Co-exist

Integrity is courage over comfort and the basic tenets of co-existence are love and honesty. We all become wired to operate in a certain way and during such times one has to break the conditioning to cleanse and detox our ambience for a healthy survival.

Covid-19 is the proof that nature has chosen courage over comfort! While there is chaos but this chaos is an intervention and hence a free live workshop for mankind to realise the value of co-existence.

Power of Pause

The power of pause lies in the fact that we sleep each night to pause our life for a lively tomorrow! Who would have thought a virus would make this Universe take a pause? Perhaps our actions have led to a fatigued Universe and so the Universe has slowed down today! People are re-discovering life and valuing small, basic offerings of this nature to humankind.

Next time when you meet your managers, ask them if you have slowed down to focus on your Inner-transformation to co-create a better tomorrow. Transformation is not about creating more work but shifting your focus and energies for attaining the right balance to evolve! And the good news is, the Inner-transformation starts with I.