Leadership has been described as the
process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.(Chemers MM 2002)
Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.
Ken SKC Ogbonnia:
Effective leadership is the ability to successfully integrate and maximize available resources within the internal and external environment for the attainment of organizational or societal goals.
Ann Marie E. McSwain:
Leadership is about capacity: the capacity of leaders to listen and observe, to use their expertise as a starting point to encourage dialogue between all levels of decision-making, to establish processes and transparency in decision-making, to articulate their own values and visions clearly but not impose them. Leadership is about setting and not just reacting to agendas, identifying problems, and initiating change that makes for substantial improvement rather than managing change.
These three definitions talk about certain common things. They are resources, utilization of resources, managing constraints and getting extraordinary results. These definitions also talk about motivating people to work in unison to create results.
Concepts of Leadership
Stephen R Covey: The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People
- Be Proactive: Proactive people think beforehand and are ready to face a situation. Reactive people react as per the situation and react on whims and emotions. A proactive person can plan beforehand for an eventuality. If you are well prepared then you can face a situation or solve a problem more efficiently.
- Begin with the end in mind: “If you don’t know where to go then you will reach nowhere” goes an old saying. Start a task with set goals. Goals are important as they tell you where to go. They help in focusing your approach as well. Remember the famous incident from Mahabharata where Guru Dronacharya asks his disciple about what they could see during target practice. Arjuna gives the most perfect answer as he was focusing on the target. Because of his focused approach Arjuna became one of the best archers of his time.
- Put first things first: Because of multitude of tasks and assignments one needs to prioritize. This helps in giving more attention to more important things at hand.
- Think win-win: Think about mutual benefits rather than your own benefit alone. Everybody wants to have an upper hand in life and in business dealings. But this is practically not possible. So best way is to find is the middle of the road.
- Seek first to understand then to be understood: First give other people ample time to express themselves. This will help on many fronts. The other person gets enough opportunity to say what he wants to say. You get an opportunity to understand other’s perspective. You get enough time to strategize accordingly.
- Synergy: The best example of team work can be learnt from a pleasant orchestra or ‘jugalbandi’ in Indian classical music. Especially in Indian classical music you will observe how maestros bury their egos and come out with astounding performances.
- Sharpen the saw: Skill building or practice is very important. Nobody is perfect and perfection is a thing which can never be achieved in one’s lifetime. Moreover, it always pays to practice as much as you can.
Role of Senior Management
- Management by wandering around: Recently there was an article in The Times of India about how Mr. Kishore Biyani, the founder of Future group roams around in the market to interact with customers to learn exact consumer needs. Although he has every resource at his command, he can hire the best personnel, or the best marketing research agencies, but still he comes out from the comfort of his air-conditioned office to feel the pulse of the market. Even when the senior management has to deal with internal customers, it should go out and meet people. This will help build the personal relationship which in turn will help achieve better productivity.
- Delegate authority and responsibility: No matter how talented someone is, one person cannot do all the work which is needed. Additionally, by delegating authority you give a sense of importance to people involved. Authority and responsibility help in fulfilling the social recognition and self-actualization needs of people. At the end you get a more motivated team of your colleagues.
- Train the employee: Training is important from two perspectives. First issue is of imparting the basic skill to carry out a task. Another point is training to cope with change. Let us take example of the Sales force. The person involved in making sales pitch should be well versed with features and benefits of the concerned product. Apart from that he should be having sufficient people’s skills so that he can make pleased customers.
- Celebrate the success: Success should always be celebrated, no matter how big or small it is. Celebration is a way of recognizing the efforts and outcomes of people. Most of our festivals are a way to celebrate some achievements.
- Be visible and accessible:
- Facilitate two way communication
- Manage change
Quality council should be made up of the CEO and heads of the relevant functional departments.
Duties of Quality Council
- Develop core values, vision statement, mission statement and quality policy statement.
- Develop long term and short term quality plan and objective
- Create total education and training plan
- Determine and monitor the cost of poor quality
- Determine performance measures
- Identify processes that improve quality
- Establish cross-functional projects and work groups and monitor their progress
- Chalk out new reward and recognition system