Swift the Drift

June 23, 2010


Leadership which is defined in simple words as an ability to motivate a group of people towards a common goal. As we can see from the definition that leadership is much to do with the capability to influence others in the group.  The connection of leadership with mind and body is such that we reflect our personality and behavior everywhere we go and interact whether it is at work or home. Mind is about knowing whereas body is about action.

With the ability to influence others in the group.  The connection of leadership with mind and body is such that we reflect our personality and behavior everywhere we go and interact whether it is at work or home. Mind is about knowing whereas body is about action. As we succeed in connecting these two and balance than there is a creation of a being that will have the ability to lead and to influence others around him/her. In today’s context, leadership is about willingness to learn, sensitiveness to people around, encourage team work, and somebody who disregards hierarchical system at workplace.  There was a short story on thief who always used to go in search of stealing but he would always come back home empty hand and one day there was a stranger who came to stay at thief’s house and stayed there for few days. He noticed the same pattern where thief would go everyday with the expectation to steal something but again he would come back home without anything. So the stranger looked at this thief and learned that no matter how much he failed, he kept trying and showed the enthusiasm to try everyday, similarly dog who was very scared of people and did not know how to respond and dog was very scared of humans but once it jumped into his own fear and barked and realized that what he had fear so far was not real and the last one was about child where the adult ask the child that why doesn’t burning candle go off on its own so the child blows off and says now its off and this made the adult sense the innocence of childhood that sometimes it is better not to know . In all of these three examples, thief represented perseverance, dog represented fearless and child represented innocence and humanity and this attributes serve as an important tool to leadership.

In order for one to serve as a leader, one will need to incorporate various behavioral attributes along with acquired knowledge. We are comfortable only in our own comfort zone and the moment it is different, we sense discomfort but again team building and leadership is all about flexibility to bend oneself according to the circumstances around. To be exposed to discomfort means there is always a challenge and a learning to be explored. Emphasize was much on the behavioral aspect as the essence to growth and eventually to leadership.We get back into our familiar patterns (personas) because there is a short term pay-off. A quick- fix like not taking responsibility and blaming. The adventure of living totally involves our willingness to feel all our feelings especially the unpleasant ones (fear, anger sadness). Then they pass away like thunderstorms. And we can be back in flow working joyfully.The only way for us to experience joy is to experience what is non-joy (pain/unpleasant feelings). Because then there is a reference

The role play where three candidates’ leader, follower and the observer. The role was provided with the object and the leader had to explain to the follower who is blind folded about the object with a shape description and not the word itself. It was interesting to see how leader and follower had put much effort to the goal and to see different listening aspect. It showed that the leader cannot lead if he/she has no follower and follower will not be able to lead without the proper guidance and tools. This concluded that there is no existence of leaders without followers and it is team effort that brings the best out of everybody. Paraphrasing means that whatever speaker has mentioned to rephrase the statement and to be able to connect with his feeling and to see the intention of the other person. As part of the communication, silence was marked as an effective tool as part of the communication tool. If to summarize in one sentence – “The richness is to learn to listen, to speak from the heart, to wonder, to pause.”

Managerial PersonaOn the third day of our training, we learnt about different ratings on managerial work and where each one of us falls. It was about the relationship that a manger is capable of building with other employees.

The concept of servant leadership was stressed where its about the service that the leader provides to the other rather than the other way of thinking that others are there for the leader. Talking about evolution, we have been through the agricultural revolution where it was local based and communication was in small groups and institutions were customized. As we move to Industrial revolution, from local we changed to regional and the communication was one to many and the institutions focused on mass production. Now that we have moved from industrial revolution to Information age; where it is going global and the communication is highly emphasized and the institutions have even more increase mass production. As we see the shift from one revolution to another, it is important to see that today we live in an information age where we have to be updated with the information around to be able to compete or sustain. The concept of co-creation was something new that we learned where it is about two people coming together to complete a single goal. Profound change was felt after the two revolutions and that was the start of the present age as information and networking age.Much of emphasis was put to relationship in context to influence as there was short role play given to each group of three and it was challenge for one as a leader, follower and observer where leader had to influence the follower and convince him/her to do the task. It surely is challenge to make somebody do something without knowing much about the person and without any context so it was a difficult task but to our surprise, it was a simple learning but yet a powerful one where each one of us realized it is not an easy task to influence that easily. In short, many key elements were taken into consideration which plays significant role in influence like before anything to be able to listen to the follower and understand what he/she meant and to see the intention or objective behind the conversation. Most of us jump into our own conclusion before allowing the speaker to finish their sentence and this can be taken as negativity. Similarly there are also different situations and communication accordingly but one will not be able to influence until and unless we try to get out of our comfort zone and try to relate and connect to the situation and flexibility is the term that may be applicable in order for one to be capable of influencing. Flexibility not only brings maturity in us but also allows us to adapt to different environment. It is just like Darwinism theory which is the strongest survives, similarly in today’s context as much as we are not too rigid with our own social norms and behavior, it will be easier for the person to adapt and survive in different situations.