Saturday 28 March 2015

When Should A Leader Train Himself?

When a team is self sufficient, each member know their responsibilities and there is a predictability as far as their outputs are concerned - consistent and timely - that is the first hint at need for training to prepare for the next level.

There is no deviation in procedures and policies, no attrition, no crisis and no new learning as the project is stable and doing well. In such a scenario is there anything in particular a leader is expected to do, except represent the team in Management meetings? Well, the truth is - that is quite unnecessary.

Direction: When a project is performing well without a leader's intervention, the leader can engage in new learning and leverage his skills in initiatives to support organization's agenda to achieve the next mile stone. If there is scope for improvement in the way a project is handled, regardless of how well it is performing under his leadership - increase productivity, turn around time, cost cut or quality measure, an ideal leader would work in that direction and up-skill his team accordingly

New Capability: There is a huge difference between managerial and leadership traits. It is not just that usual identity - a manager manages and a leader leads. Leadership is a state of mind and so a leader is not supposed to be limited to team and project management alone. He ideally will never lose any opportunity he gets, to tap his own potential, access his own strengths and if required acquire new capability to meet organization goals. His own agenda of resource utilization, starting with self, is always at optimum level.

Being coached: When things are routine, a leader seems surplus. Only when a crisis occurs the team feels blessed to have him around provided he has that ability to decide, own consequences of his decisions, trust his team enough and not to engage in blame culture for project failures. He has the required experience to suggest course correction and over come the catastrophe. If not, he is the one who needs coaching

Go To Person: When a team is doing well, and is capable of taking decisions, carrying them out effectively and owning it end to end - a leader can do two things as his knowledge and experience counts a lot for the company. Firstly he can build repository of knowledge for easy access and future reference to reduce people dependency, share his knowledge in social media channels that hints to prospects regarding the level of expertise available in the company. He can enhance his own scope of learning by attending seminars, webinars, market trends, competitive intelligence. His knowledge base can be a good reference point for the strategic team to plan forward.

Nurturing Talent: If there is a second man in the team, who has been doing a great job in his absence, a good leader with integrity will develop that person and nurture his talent to lead the project so that his personal bandwidth is available for bigger challenges. He will not pause a moment to get out of his comfort zone and try something new and in the exercise, his own talent and potential is significantly exploited.

Is the leader in you ready to be trained?

This is an edited version of what was originally published by Triond

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