Tag Archives: management

Power of Letting Go & Leadership

Through second half of 2019 , I experienced lot of open ends around me. It was related to everything from not feeling well , to meeting deadlines & managing expectations. I had started to miss my runs and schedule. I was beginning to stress over all & how things were going to unfold.

Realization : It was time to retrospect!

I am still in early phases of this , but I wanted to share one of the dimensions that I am trying to put in place related to power in letting go ! I realized that balancing aspiration , controlling all tiny details and continuously structuring was leading to what I call over-indexing!  From what I have read and observed , continuity can only be maintained if we focus on what we are doing and when our part is done then shift it into background and / or move on to something else.

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Photo by Ankush Minda on Unsplash

As leaders you might be thinking about tomorrow or yesterday as it pertains to the topic at hand but as you do so , keep following things in mind:

Having a Clear Goal

Be clear of the goal you are trying to reach and differentiate between what “snaps-you” versus what is the actual “pain”. Having that in mind allows one to goo little deep in defining goals and objectives that are more sustainable and avoids us to slip in chaos. This way you may be able to iterate for longer duration.

If this is not the case it will lead to many starts & stops thus creating higher involvement towards delivering purpose.

Operating Boundaries

For you as a leader to operate with more bandwidth given multi-tasking is necessary evil , setting operating boundaries and see that the network effect takes care to connect you to the goals with others around you. We talk about connected world but then suffer to operate with our personal baselines in attempt to move faster. Establish accountability & coach people to exercise their judgement.

Do not benchmark everything centered around yourself as leader. You will never be able to let go if that remains the case. 

Informal & short-run feedback

Improve your ability to give feedback to your network so that it improves its efficiency to collaborate & deliver results. Over sustained period of time feedback loops activate creativity at problem solving and thus aid towards a broader balancing act in the system.

As a person , you need to trust the network or else you would not get into cadence of letting go.

Coach To Lead

If by any stretch one deems himself to be in leadership position , the onus to find and groom people to lead is very pertinent. This is not very easy and will not come fast. It is time taking & involving exercise. If the network around you has to respond to future then we need more from within to lead and carry the weight.

It is matter of time , when you as a leader will start feeling the pain of not having focused on this , thus creating a pull back effect – an impediment towards our desire to let go.

Hope this helps current and future leaders to create a healthy balance that helps to practice the power of letting go . I am personally trying to put these in action as I realize life is a marathon and not 100-meters dash!

Micromanage Self!

There is a Chinese proverb “Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still”.  We would never find a problem in employees that solve problems , are result oriented and are just good at there job , but this same attitude prevents one from being effective.

Steven Covey once summed it up that “We accomplish all what we do through delegation – either to time or to other people” . So yes one can do anything but not everything! It is important that one delegates to create space and opportunity both for self or individual. It helps find time for self and allows people around you to grow.

There are some approaches that can help one to get into the above mode. In general and at large hiring good talent is key to the process of delegation followed by a loose boundary of guard-rails with a let-it go attitude. Holding too tight to something is most severe damage one can to your own prospect or team morale.

Here are quick approach directions to think and dwell upon:

  1. Resource to work relationship is of that which has least friction. Find natural alignment of talent to type of work. Trying to over-train somebody into a role , can sometimes be self-defeating goal. Generally people do not speak up , but it is true , everybody is not meant to do everything !
  2. Set absolute performance benchmarks and guidelines but do not take away element of discretion in your management approach.  Be a minimalist who gives enough for people to deduce , operate and deliver.
  3. Play out your bets in conjunction to insight # 1. World is not a perfect place & therefore one has to try it out. Trying out people will allow you to either get better folks than you or may be they fail. If they fail , then one needs to take that as temporal set-back and focus on absolute performance.

Do not be a mechanical  about your choices and over-trying one option for delegation is not an option , that is termed more a fearful move to avoid failure ! In end , if you do not micromanage self , you will not identify streams that can be mapped out and get an understanding when to fan-in versus out!

The T.E.A.M

For last few years working across multiple organizations I have been involved and / or led many green field technology initiatives that are geared at bootstrapping new markets , re-platform in existing markets or unlock new business models. All these genres require teams to be formed or come together. Additionally in global set-ups you need to string teams across many locations to drive desired outcomes.

While we try to achieve set objectives, it becomes necessary to see what qualities should exist in  new or current teams so that they can stand up and deal with business pressure autonomously.

Here is my run-down [ you may through vast reading depth or previous references find some correlations in what I have hypothesized ]

TTenacity : The quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly; grip.
E : Energy : The strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.
A : Aspiration : A hope or ambition of achieving something.
M : Management : The process of dealing with or controlling things or people.

If as a team you can demonstrate Management & Aspiration with Energy & Tenacity then there is a greater chance that you would be able to put right level of effort to increase chances for success.

Write me back on what qualities you see could make a difference.

More Than Entrepreneurship…

Entrepreneurship is buzz across the world , & everybody wants to take a plunge. I have observed various casual conversations as well other groups where everybody wants to do something but does not full acknowledge the entrepreneurship landscape. In warfare tactics , it is important to know your terrain before making a move and I firmly believe this is one thing which everybody should do to understand his or her current ecosystem before taking decisions. Bottom line understand it is game of patience and sustainability coupled with marketability of the idea.Realise the being an Entrepreneur is not a +1 notion but somebody who may have been able to sustain & show patience longer than you.

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Image via Creative Commons, thephotographymuse’s Flickr photostream. (Source) http://sumo.ly/l2Wz via @jwhite

I would not talk about why you should or should not take-up entrepreneurship but will try to pen down how to celebrate and acknowledge the world of being an employee.

  • S.W.O.T ( don’t go to b-school to just learn this. Any mature individual who is tad bit career minded should keep this always handy ). Knowing your strengths , weakness. Assessing your opportunities and acknowledging threats , helps one frame set of guard-rails of operating boundary. Being self-aware is the mantra. It can lead to be entrepreneurship if the idea matches up to your strengths and you don’t play to weakness as well remain away from threats or at least ebb them.
  • Follow Passion ( don’t confuse this with entrepreneurship , because it always does not mean that you have to be an entrepreneur to activate your passion ). One should always find time to do what you like from your innermost gut call. Don’t rely on organisations and individuals to do that. This allows one to focus better on work , as one finds peace in pursuit for passion
  • Define your operating landscape ( don’t be way-led on making your organisation a battlefield ! ). As an individual you should identify what type of people you did like to work , environment that makes you happy ( flexible hours / locations ) & what kind of management style suits you ( flat or hierarchical ) & above all what role you would like to be in. Don’t force yourself into role. Always have an image projection of where you are currently ( short term ) , where you want to be in next 2 years time ( medium term ) and how would you want your future role to look like ( long term )

At the end of the day inner happiness , credibility & respect can be achieved through many ways.

Make Process The Winner!

We encounter problems statements everyday and there are ‘n’ number of ways to solve them. In addition to this there is no good or bad way of solving them !

Over a period of time I have come to see that we generally get into conflict due to internal workings and although we do arrive at solution but the journey does become painful for individuals who might be pivoting to solve it.

One of the things that I tried to experiment and improve upon was trying to make ‘process’ the winner & keeping ‘problem’ in centre of the ‘solution’ . Most of the time we make mistake of putting people in centre of the solution and try to solve for them whilst , it should be other way round where we focus on problem and make ultimately process the winner so that people then are able to scale themselves using a solution which was designed to support process.

Looks simple in the way I put it .. but honestly it becomes difficult and requires one to really sieve out various layers to iterate on solution that makes process the winner !

Indecision Or Flexibility?

In my earlier post : Control & Freedom : Managing Relationships , I talked about how exercising control to maintain right hypothesis can cause undue tension and sometimes it is necessary to walk away with right attitude coupled with mindset. If we take a balcony view , we would also get to know that control usually allows for consistent decision making process. You would find a predictable pattern in every move made and the thought that drives it. When you create freedom , then it can lead to frequent changes in decision.. or in traditional world a sense of indecisive behaviour…

Well that paradigm might not hold true in current operating environment , where agile is name of the new game and Holacracy is helping fostering system of self-organisation. One would have to change to see changes as flexibility and be pragmatic about it.. but everything needs to make some sense & hence decision making would need to have a some guard rails that allow for +ve flexibility as opposed to u-turn twice a day !

Couple of guards rails suggestions:

  • Consider views from everybody: Adopt paradigm from software engineering of distributed software development , where people can have pull on decision making process.
  • Look at incremental hypothesis development: Seek some parallelism from the world of iterative software development and apply that to decision making process.
  • Balance against extreme autonomy: Ensure that some level of control is exercised , because remember decisions always have cascading effect so acting responsibly is very important.

Window To The World…Ideas On Communications….

So I am back again…although , I am still infrequent..but making improvements. Currently I am passing by quite a few cultures on my trip and it makes me super happy to learn new things beyond just the realms of my job. As I do this , it sounds funny but human communication is highly perceptive and has great self-context.

What is there for me in this , outcome , mode of reaching to that outcome…lot of things pop when you engage across boundaries , businesses and most importantly the people who make it. There is no defined prescription to manage communication and yes there might be great books around this but it all depends on the individual / team on how they approach it.

“Dank u”!! … “Danke”!!… all are about saying “thank you”.. but how you present it makes the difference. Getting people excited about your objective , listening to them and considering what is important all are important part of being effective and we should try to be as much as possible in that mode.

If the window has layers of dust , the world will not be the same place , when it does not…have dust. Dust comes from constant ignore of ability to clean it on regular basis…which means communicate and do that frequently in small bursts..Everybody prescribes to eat small meals several times a day ( I guess 8 … although I am not a dietician ).. I also recommend that we should communicate often to a point that people are not paralyzed with information but also don’t suffer from exclusion syndrome or feel anemic of not having information!!!