Leadership at Work
K S Shivaraman (Advisor – Management)
Is a Manager a leader? Some are and some are not, but they should show themselves as leaders to their subordinates.
No form of social organisation ever existed without leaders. To have someone in charge to look up to is natural. The leader should be ambitious and ambition is a must in all humans. This force should be harnessed to the best interest of the people and the organization. The leader should not only be ambitious for him, but also for a cause or an objective that he shares with the people or his team.
Leading does not mean managing. By definition a leader’s mission is to make progress. Take the case of our own organization. What started as “Retirement Homes” progressed into “Retirement Communities” emphasizing on community life style giving full expression to gregariousness of the human nature. This further advanced into social well being of the community and society as a whole. Covai’s PolyCare was thus born. This progress is the result of leadership which visualized the need. So, leading does not mean just managing. Those who manage but do not lead are mired in status quo. The routine they are happy with may be the wrong routine. It may be outmoded or useless. But such leaders may use the routine to block the needed changes. They think of themselves first and not of the organization. However, even those who genuinely want to lead may find their schedule jammed with daily routines and troubleshooting the current crisis. Very little, in such condition will be left for leadership functions. So, how to go about it?
This calls for reordering of priorities to pay more attention to leadership. Time should be found with determination to plan to visualize and to introduce needed changes to take the company on a path of progress as well as to motivate the team and develop people’s potentialities to manage such situations.
There are ways of eliminating routine. The best way, perhaps, is to delegate authority and tasks. Delegation should be to the right or competent persons and this also often needs patience, when watching the work being done, to do it yourself because of errors and trials. When things go wrong with the delegated work, the leader should point out the mistake to see that it won’t happen next time. In a way, leaders themselves should prepare others to take over. Delegation is a method of just doing that. This appears to be the right approach in dealing with the future. With the rise of the new work force, leadership has become a matter of eliciting cooperation instead of commanding obedience. Cooperation means, “Willing effort on both sides to share the same objective”.
In the final analysis, leaders can expect decent treatment of others to be reciprocatic. It is the reciprocation that makes the difference between an outstanding and adequate job and inspire people to pitch in with the extra effort, when things are going wrong.
“Fail to honour people, they will fail to honour you”, but of a good leader, who takes little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say “We did this ourselves”