What differentiates good leaders from great managers ? I believe good leaders nurture & foster talent & complete the task at hand by motivating & empowering their team to deliver. An efficient manager on the other hand is focused more on delivery & execution.
One of the key turning points in my career was realising that as you move up the corporate ladder, your managerial skills need to be complemented with strong leadership skills . Business results flow from imbibing teams with shared values & a common purpose & then energising & motivating them to raise the bar.
One of the first things that I was quick to understand was that relationship development was as important as rule & process definition. How you said something was as important as what you said. This learning has stayed with me & it has undoubtedly been a tremendous asset in my current role.
Much of my leadership style can be characterised using the concept of 4Es +1. The 4Es stand for Energise, Envision, Execute, Edge & the all encompassing one ‘E’ of Ethics. It’s imperative to energise oneself with self motivation & then allow this to permeate through the team. A second important criterion for success is envisioning it by thinking out-of-the-box & also mapping a route that takes you towards a desired outcome. Of course, that’s only half the job & executing time & again to the point of predictability is a definite formula to garner the team’s trust in your ability.
And, one must have the edge to constantly seek perfection & not allow oneself to be satisfied with mediocrity. Last but not the least, ethics & integrity should encompass all these & be the very bedrock of one’s leadership style.
Two principles that have stood me in good stead has been my willingness to “expect the unexpected” & “not to take anything for granted”. I quickly realised that in the USA[as majority of my customers are from USA], you had to deal with the fact that you need to manage time effectively & stretch the existing bandwidth to accommodate your objectives.
I also realised that several of the things we take for granted in India in our day to day lives were necessities you need to follow through on your own in the US.
Growing up in the hustle & bustle of Vadodara was another great learning experience. It was here that I learnt the meaning of being resourceful & this has been a learning ground in dealing with unexpected situations in different cultures effectively.
Turning points in an individual’s career should be looked on as stepping stones to even greater things. Furthermore, every individual should aspire to not only be an effective manager but also a motivating charismatic leader too.
The words of Dwight D Eisenhower echo true when he says: “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”