Sunday, November 23, 2008

Leaders' TO DO list

Here are some to do for leaders' as I see it from communication and influence point of view, comments are welcome

a. Avoid using jargons when communicating with people, use of simple words and choice of words can make the difference. Simplicity becomes of paramount importance.
b. Create and articulate the vision to everyone around you. Bringing ones own Charisma into picture.
c. A good leader is someone who continuously seeks feedback for what he is doing from people who matter for his decision and action. He who has penchant for listening will become more aware of the situation around him.
d. Preparedness to face any adverse situations or hostility to ones action and anticipating the situation makes the leader effective.
e. A leader who responds to his followers or being there to his followers are respected and followed easily.
f. One of the biggest strength for leader, is having Passion, that unending energy, zeal that gives him ability to perform what he wishes to do.
g. A good leader is some one who can reinvent himself and his mission or goal posts with the changing scenarios.
h. Praise lavishly but genuinely
i. A little controversy if I may add, a leader should look like a leader in his appearance, since the THOERY of PRIMACY says, 90% of the time we make impression of an individual within the first 5-10 seconds , 70% of the time it comes true. Hence appearing as a leader is also important.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What is leadership?

Some of the good qualities of the leaders
a. Vision to what they believe
b. Articulation of their vision
c. Driving people to achieve the vision along with them
d. Enabling the vision to achievement
e. People Management
f. Belief in what he wants to do
g. Goal Clarity and Communication
h. Feedback seeking
i. Business Understanding
j. Market realization
k. Emotional Intelligence
l. Team Building
m. Picking right people
n. Creating right environment

In the current scenario of knowledge workforce where one understands all the above mentioned in detail, what then makes a leader distinct from them,
· May be the ability to apply them in practice.
· Consistently apply these principles in practice
· Not loosing the focus
· Courage to take charge of things
· Honesty in approach

With LMX model, Situational Leadership model, Servant Leadership model, Value based Leadership model, I still wonder there is some thing beyond all this and there is some thing inert to the meaning of the word “Leadership”.

At times I get to wonder whether the word “Leadership is not inborn but can be taught”, since I am starting to believe we will be teaching people How to react to certain situations, or anticipate situations, but it falls short of being called as leadership and tends to get moved to the realms of Management.

May be if I may add so, there is something of a “Charisma”, “Working with people” ability that makes some people leaders’ than managers. I want to quote some filmy names and some best known Indian sports people like “Munna Bhai from the movie Munna Bhai MBBS”, “Bhuvan from Lagaan”, “Andre Patch Adams from Patch Adams”. People like Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Dhanraj Pillay, Ramakant Achrekar, John Wright. If we dwell into these individuals what I find is that, they were not just some great names but had it in them always to take them where they wanted to go and they did it with hours and hours and some more hours of practice and then believing what they could do. Once the people around them got convinced, towing their line was not difficult.

Also I think there is certain degree of TIPPING POINT that triggered their innate quality to come out in public like Saurav’s reading of people and brining them to submission. Killing of Deer in front of Bhuvan to rebel to pay tax or Anil’s handling of Sydney test fiasco.These trigger moments shape the character of the leader and his belief systems. In other words trigger moments awaken the dormant but present talent.

I think I am as confused as my readers here and will be working on bringing certain sanity to this vague argument in some time. Any comments and suggestions are always appreciated.
So is it a combination of having the talent and harnessing it (management) for better

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thanks for the memories dada...

When I was young, my mother used to tell me and my younger sister a thing in Kannada (our native language) which loosely translates into some thing like this “one should be like a fruit hidden behind the leaves, no one should know you existed”, I am sure this is just not me, many of us who are in our late 20s and early 30s are imbibed in ourselves; to be modest and good. Unending supply of middle class values, as we grew older and older, saw the world with our dreamy eyes and all conquering confidence, we lacked what westerners called “Killer Instinct”, since we were reminded of our mothers’ word, we always fell that one last push short. Circa 1996 came a man who removed his shirt at the sacredest of place “LORDS” and announced that we are here to stay not only in Cricket but in all walks of life. He was Loved and hated; respected and scorned. A fighting strategist at times yet a simple tactician on many occasions. An open book to some yet a curious enigma to others, Sourav Ganguly will be remembered as the winningest Test Captain in Indian cricket as well as its great antihero. Thanks for the memories.

If one looks back at his career, one cannot help but say he was lucky to get into the Indian side (well Imran khan had a similar back door entry too) but boy how he took advantage of this... And how!!

One of the problems with Ganguly is that many of his gestures have been misunderstood because of cultural differences. At the core, he is fundamentally a gifted but lazy guy. And he is confident that his gifted ability will more than make up for his lack of discipline. The lethargy also means that he doesn’t bother to clear up the misunderstandings and lets it fester, even though he is extremely intelligent and articulate to do it. Of all the Fab Five, he is the best guy to play a part in any future administrative setup as he has the sharp political acumen required to survive and win, while having the credibility and intelligence to make a real difference.

There can be little doubt that the story of Sourav Ganguly is the story of blood, sweat and tears. However, all along his wonderful journey he has proved to be a man as hard as granite. He was a captain who always backed his trusted players to the hilt. As a captain, he revived the fortunes of Indian cricket, steering it clear of the mess that was created during the match-fixing controversy and instilling a new fighting spirit in the group. He was a born fighter and a great one at that. And he relished thriving on challenges. Indian captains were supposed to be polite, stoic, decent, not overly, demonstrably ambitious, middle class in sensibility if not lineage. Ganguly changed all that

As the career progressed, he found most of shots in the book: a delicate breeze through the covers, a soaring six over long on, delicate flicks, glances and a couple of late cuts too. In the end it was a virtuoso display, nearly reminiscent of the David Gower era.

Raise a toast Gavaskar’s, Ravi Sastri, Vengsarkar and Mr. More... Dada is much beyond what you thought of him... Don’t ever judge him with just another ordinary player or a human being... He was the king of offside... His long sixes delighted many many fans and inspiring cricketers. He is a true hero and has inspired many a managers in the corporate world... His determination and metal strength is out of a Robin Sharma book... Someone so strong that you cannot help but admire.

Dada... I am sure you have lots of cricket left in you... Surely we will miss you as a player... But knowing you... We know you have lots to contribute to Indian cricket....Hats of to you. Be proud of the fine innings you played ... You are a real roll model...keep walking... The sunset is still far away

Monday, November 03, 2008

And so he went with sagged and torn but very proud Indian cap in his hand ...

And so Anil Kumble, as per character, quietly turned in his badge and walked away from the Indian cricket stage, turning off yet another of the brightest lights of India’s greatest cricketing generation. As the history books will one day say, the Dhoni era was to begin or is it was not to be. Always something is left on the table. Cricket is like that, not exactly cruel but not sentimental either.

But now that he is gone and we can no longer take him as a “given”, maybe we will understand how important his grating accuracy and his relentlessness was to India’s performances. In the Delhi Test, when Anil was way below par, I think we already got a glimpse of the future—-that a Laxman double century or a sublime innings from Sachin count for little unless there is good old Jumbo to hammer in the nails on the coffin cover.

He will always be remembered for more than all those wickets, runs and matches won, he is a true gentleman and a warrior who is worth having as a role model for any youngster who aspire to play any game in India. Such was a stature of the man, not even the “GREAT BETTING GATE” which absolved some of the biggest names in Indian Cricket could touch him or even make a passing remark to him (people like Kapil had to cry on TV, Gavaskar’s locker room was opened, Azhar went out, Jadeja went out, some whispers were heard about some of the other great names). This single piece of evidence can get him role of “AMBASSODOR” for INDIA in any country he wishes to serve (not to forget the Sydney Fiasco earlier this year).

After playing this game competitively I know for sure, this is not a game for romantics, there are no happy endings in here, and it’s the biggest levelers one can hope for. For the good part of late 20th century and early part of 21st century, we have grown up with these 5 stalwarts of Indian cricket (perhaps add Vishwanathan Anand, Dhanraj Pillay, Baichung Bhutia and Leander Paes to the list). Have found joy in their success; have cried with them when they said “sorry”. Trains have stopped, schools and colleges have declared holiday, company board rooms have frozen when they were plying their trade for the badge they adored and we loved every bit of it. As one star after the other is turning off the lights on their illustrious career, I wonder will I be the same dedicated Cricket Fan ever after.

I can’t think of an Indian Team without Sachin and Anil for rest of my life. I think the future team sheets will be mere words put together for the sake of it. They will not carry any weight or scare to oppositions in the near future. We can forgive Dhoni to make mistake by putting Anil’s name in the team sheet next time when he pencils his 11, for all the captains for last 19 years its been a practice to put this quintessential team man’s name before any other names.
Nobody thought it would be so soon, so sudden; his exit, if nothing, signals the end of samurais from the world of cricket. Just like the fabled Japanese warriors, Anil too believed in total loyalty, putting his life on line each time he turned out for his country. He fought with the last ball too, for the last wicket, often surpassing himself when the odds were against him or the team.

It is said that people recognize the worth of their teeth after they are gone.

And so he went, leaving a Jumbo sized vacuum in our cricket and a sudden, surprising lump in our throats.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Remember the TITAN

The curtain is ready to fall on one of the most colourful chapters in the history of Indian - nay - world cricket. Saurav Ganguly was an often mis-understood man and so it was ironically befitting that his departure from the international cricket scene was also tinged with some controversy.
Did he retire on his own terms? Was he forced by the BCCI? And disgusting as it may sound, did a threat to kidnap his daughter have anything to do with his announcement? Nobody knows... and it's possible nobody will ever know. But what we can say for sure it that Indian cricket will never quite be the same without the mysterious, aristocratic Ganguly.
Nobody, and just nobody in the history of Indian cricket has evoked the kind of bipolar emotions that he has consistently done throughout his career. For every glorious extra-cover drive he played to every short ball he awkwardly fended; for every time he danced assuredly down the track to the spinners to every time he misfielded, for every silken boundary he hit to every single or two he refused - people either loved him or loathed him. But there was something more.
Saurav Ganguly fed the Indian teams he led with a potion, an elixir which captains before him had not dared to touch. It was called aggression. And happily for us, team India has since then not stopped consuming it. Who can forget his adrenaline-fuelled shirt twirling on the Lords balcony, when he mocked not just the English cricketers but Lord's tradition itself? Or India's amazing run to the World Cup final in 2003? Or his captain's innings of coruscating brilliance at the Gabba?
No chronicle of his legacy would be complete without a reference to his captaincy and his ability to get the best out of his players, particularly the younger ones. Whether it was the inspired decision to convert Sehwag to an opener, or the rather painful decision to make Dravid keep wicket, or the decision to bring Harbhajan back from relative obscurity for the 2001 Australia series, or the decision to promote Laxman to no.3 in THAT match at the Eden - most of his decisions were taken by putting his players directly in the cauldron - and almost all of them came off.
Saurav Ganguly will be remembered as, statistically and otherwise, India's greatest ever left-handed batsman, an exceptionally good Test match player who never allowed his average to dip below 40 and one of the all-time greats of the one-day game. But most of all, he will be remembered for his brand of captaincy that quite simply changed the face of Indian cricket. The curtain is ready to fall ... but there is one act of the play still left to witness. As Shah Rukh Khan would have said, "Abhi thoda picture baaki hai mere dost". Farewell Saurav. And thank you for the entertainment.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mapping Internal Business as Accounts from L&D perspective

Was wondering how it would be to map a Business as an account (internally) and what are the various parameters one should keep in mind while doing that. May be you can add some more value to this.
I wanted to come out with a model which should help all the Learning Solutions Providers at large... :)
I think the following parameters make sense to have it as a part of L&D Account mapping...
Your inputs to these things are much appreciated.
a. Understand the Client-

  • Create Client Profile - Client Facts, Business Imperatives, Performance, Environment, and SWOT Analysis
  • Create Value Analysis (SVA) Model - Enables the team to understand client performance, identify value creation opportunities and related value drivers, and determine how L&D Team can deliver tangible business value
  • ASK THE CLIENT! Elicit and validate information on their needs and imperatives, key executives, culture
    Gain insight from third parties and external sources (alliance partners, research industry analyst information, media, etc.)
  • Related industry High Performance Business research.

b. Create the Account Plan-

  • Position/Perception: How do we want to be perceived by the client in terms of our capabilities and services? What can we do to improve our position relative to the competition?
  • Relationships: How can we strengthen current relationships? Where do we need to penetrate the organization further? What are the relationships we need to build for future work, and how do we do that?
  • Competitors: Who are the biggest threats at this client and what are their strengths and weaknesses? Who are their supporters and advocates, how do we neutralize them? What is our plan to beat or unseat them?
  • Opportunities: How do we want to drive value for this company? What are the opportunities that we want to focus on now – and build for the future?

c. Live the Plan-

  • Drive the momentum: meet regularly and often
  • Carry out action plans: hold team members accountable for what they “signed up for” in the account plan
  • Review team accomplishments and sales metrics
  • Focus on improving relationships and converting ideas into opportunities
  • Revisit and refine strategies
  • Keep the leadership engaged
  • Conduct regular Client Value Reviews (value we have delivered through our work with the client) with the client
  • Post the Account Plan on the available in the repository
  • Schedule regular Account Plan Reviews with leadership.

How to measure the training efficiency

This is just a thought that I was having on informal and formal learning,.
You might decide that having the learners "informally" learn a task is more efficient than "formal" training, but according to Carnevale, Gainer, & Villet's , "Training in America: The Organization and Strategic Role of Training," formal learning is about three times more efficient than informal learning. Now they don't break down the numbers, but consider this -- Allen Tough, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, who was one of the thought leaders on informal learning, discovered that within each informal learning episode (where the primary motivation is to gain and retain certain knowledge and skills on a task), the average learner interacts with an average of 10 people.Thus rather than informal learning being a solitary act, these learners are interrupting the daily activities of their coworkers as they seek advice and coaching. So now you might think it is more efficient to actually create the training program, rather than have them learn it informally.But consider this -- a large piece of research on informal learning was produced by the Education Development Center (EDC) in 1997. This was a comprehensive two-year study funded by the US Department of Labor and the Charitable Trusts. It included companies such as Boeing, Siemens, Data Instruments, Ford and Motorola. When observing operations at the Motorola Company the researchers calculated that each hour of formal learning spills over to four-hours of informal learning or a 1:4 ratio. It seems informal and formal learning is implicitly tied together.So now depending on how many "episodes" of informal learning are in your formal training program, you have now potentially exaggerated the savings you were hoping to achieve as the spill-over to informal learning could erase it all with its inefficacy and disruptions to the rest of the workforce!Yep -- calculating "efficiency" is a piece of a cake