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How do I fasttrack myself as a leader?

As an invited speaker, I was addressing a group of young engineers and budding leaders in Chennai recently. This team was in an offsite meeting with their CEO. My session started just after they completed a group meditation session with the help of a professional. All those brains were so refreshed and I got an incessant rain of interesting questions as soon as I finished my introduction. Some of those questions that inspired me (because people were sharply thinking in the right direction) and my answers are as below.

The Talent Economy Dynamics

This blog post is a very simple abstraction of some basic concepts that shape the economy. It is not meant to be a detailed and accurate walk of history of economic development.

The point I would like to put across is simple. We have people with talent driving a major part of economy of today and this is significantly different from the past.

Is there a blueprint to becoming an inspiring leader

Following the earlier blog post - Two Ways of Getting Followership, there have been a number of questions on the subject.

Video: 
A discussion on recipe to build inspiring leadership capability

Two Ways of Getting Followership

A human can be made to follow another human in one of two ways.

  1. When followership is not a long term requirement, using strategies to engineer such followership are effective. Usually such followership never lasts beyond a short period of time. 
  2. Leaders who get automatic followership do not really spend much time thinking about obtaining it. However, they do need followers for their mission to be effective in large scale. Usually they stick to their mission and inspire using their thoughts, actions and results they are able to demonstrate. Followership is automatic.

Listen, Learn .... then Lead

This inspiring talk highlights the key aspects of winning attitudes required for being a successful leader for people across multiple generations. I liked the part where the speaker talks about how young people were using new ways and new technology to collaborate and he had to increase his transparency and openness to learn new ways of working from those being led. What made you successful upto this point is not probably going to be sufficient for your future. This video gels well with Employee First principles.

Leadership Self Awareness

There are a few pitfalls that trap most humans involuntarily. A leader should constantly evaluate if s/he is in such a trap.

The first pitfall is about shifting the blame outside of oneself for undesirable results. This stumps learning and the strategy should be avoided like poison. Facing the past bravely and learning from it is a golden strategy that constantly sharpens the saw.

My way of breaking through emotional upswings

As a leader, one cannot avoid being consumed by emotions. It is human nature to be emotional. Although popular writing states that your state of mind is your choice, in real life, it is quite hard to keep control at the rational mind at all times. However, only leaders who exhibit cool headed, confident and assertive posture are seen as effective by their followers and people who are effected by the leaders actions.

What should drive results - the heart or brain?

Team BuildingLast week I participated in a team building session with a set of very successful leaders/ managers. Roughly about 50 people participated in this session. The group was split into 4 teams. All four teams had to do just one assignment. Each team had to sing a song of their making for three minutes in chorus. They could copy from any popular song. However, music instruments need to be mimicked with human voice during the performance. Acting the song out during performance was an expectation. Each team had fifteen minutes to prepare and three minutes to deliver. Teams were to be ranked on performance. More points for better creativity. All four teams delivered well.



There were many interesting observations from this exercise.

Video: 
CODC Leadership - Yes We Can :)

It is belief that matters

BeliefToday morning as we were doing our usual weekend morning walk at the beach, I saw a young girl learning to ride a bicycle. I guess it was her father who was with her. He was holding the bicycle as she rode and was running along with her. He was constantly reassuring her that she can balance on her own. That struck a chord in me.


Riding a bicycle needs skills. More than those skills it is the belief in you that matters. The dad was actually focusing on nurturing the girls belief system.