Essential Leadership Initiatives for riding the next wave of India’s Growth Story

The coming to power of the Modi government has stoked optimism of an investment-led turnaround in the coming quarters. Ninety-three percent of CEOs in a polled carried out by one of India’s industry chambers FICCI said they expect a substantial improvement in the near-term economic situation following the election of a strong government.

In the last few years, with the slowing down of the economy the learning and development budgets of most companies were the first to be reduced thereby leading to a stagnation of people development programs. This was not necessarily a bad thing since it gave the industry time and energy to focus on which specific areas needed working on. Adversity always does us this favour, enables us to see what are our challenges thereby refocussing us on what is important and helps us to reprioritise.

As the economy is starting to show signs of a recovery, employers may believe they will be able to revert back to tried-and-true practices to recruit, retain, and reward talent.

Hopefully we have learnt our lessons well. In my meetings with a large number of business heads over the last few months, some areas of development identified as necessary to ride the next growth story are collaboration, engagement and sustainable growth.

Collaborative working styles are now more of a necessity, especially with the need to think and do beyond the normal and thereby the need to tap into the collective experience and intelligence of the intellectual capital of all employees. Communication hence needs to be open, supportive and transparent, something which most organisations acknowledge that they are not good at.

Engagement of people within the organisation is a must, especially so with the war on talent gathering momentum. We need to connect at the emotional level with the workforce so as to enhance their engagements to creative excitement level. Leaders and managers hence need to be accepted by the employees not because of their designation but due to their moral authority, having grown through Maxwell Five Levels of Leadership.

Sustainable Growth is the new mantra. The past has seen a large number of companies having grown to majestic proportions and then fallen to unimaginable depth. Ego based decision making needs to be substituted with Ethics based decision making. This will enhance organisational reputation as measured by the employees as a good place to work in and increase stickiness to the organisation.

The above mentioned areas hence need a focused approach over a period of time rather than the shoot and scoot policy of the earlier training and development methodologies.

The latest research around the world provides us with a few learning which if employed is likely to support organisations in achieving collaboration, engagement and sustainable growth.

Recent research in neuroscience has focused on how to support people to transform through building of effective habits relevant to the organisation and role of the individual. This indicated that organisations must provide learning solutions which guides the employee through stages of focussed attention, connecting to the whole brain (non-analytical thinking) to achieve self- discoveries called insights, encouragement during the process of change and learning and implementation in small chunks through learning by doing.

Emotional Intelligence with its four stages of self- awareness, self -management, social awareness and relationship management are absolutely essential to build leaders and managers who focus on long term all-encompassing achievements instead of short term self-serving achievements. John Wright of Leadershape ,UK has through his research in the last eight years has combined research from neuroscience and Emotional Intelligence to create organisational initiatives that create a High Performance Culture. Leadership in the 21st Century needs Emotionally Intelligent Leaders with listening, empathy, coaching and developing others as their key attributes.

Leadership 2.0 a phrase coined by the renounced Leadership Guru, Robin Sharma is the leadership for the growth in an ever-changing world. The definition of Leadership 2.0 says it all:

“Leadership is less about the position you hold than the influence you have.

It’s about doing world-class work, playing at your peak, and leaving people better than you found them.

It’s about Leading Without a Title.

Leadership is no longer about position – but passion. It’s no longer about image but impact. “

The time is ripe for organisations to launch into these initiatives at the earliest if they are to be ready when the present wave of optimism converts to a tsunami of actual growth and opportunities in the next two years. The question is “Will your Organisation be ready???. The time to act is NOW since it is said time and tide waits for none.

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