Tag Archive: Change

Jan 19 2018



Major TRANSFORMATIONS can be brought about by CHANGING little things.

Exactly two years back, I took up the most challenging job in my career – so far.
It was a distress call as one of the very critical functions had suddenly lost the top guy – with immediate effect. The management, including my boss, showed immense trust and confidence in me asking me to take up the role. Being the enterprising guy that I am, I took up the challenge immediately.

Though people around me were little skeptical as I didn’t have any background of the new job whatsoever – neither academic nor work experience wise.
However, I went for it as I have always lived by the rule –

When an opportunity comes up, say YES first – learn HOW to do it later!

– as said by Richard Branson

Anyway, this isn’t about me. It’s about the team I get to manage in the new role.

I had just about a few hours of hand-over from my predecessor – which eventually went by talking about PEOPLE in the team. I was given a brief about the strengths & shortcomings of each person and what all they have been doing in the organization. Along with general feedback, some biased inputs also came up about certain people.
I took all the information as it is – filtered it and stacked it in various compartments in my head (yes, you can do that – will write about the method sometime in future).

As always, I started on a fresh note – addressed the team the next day I took over, gave them the assurance that I was there to help them bring out their best, which would, in turn, benefit the organization.

Time passed by and we delivered excellent results, one after another – brought the team to one of the valued teams in the organization. Everyone in the team contributed to the success all this while – bringing up overall CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) score for the team.

Incidentally, the person, whom I had received the strong feedback about, and was told that he wouldn’t be with us for more than a few weeks – came out to be the most valuable member of the team.

Eventually, he spearheaded few of the most critical deliveries – front faced internal customers to their satisfaction.

Result – was one place from the TOP performance rating in the first Year and went on to bag the TOP rating in the year after.

Read: How to have RIGHT people at the RIGHT jobs?

If I have to point out what made this impressive turn-around in an individual – two things come to my mind, distinctly. It was because we both TRUSTED each other and he was EMPOWERED completely to perform his job.

There were instances where he felt stuck, impatient and restless. I intervened on all those occasions to talk him out of the situation, and the bond grew with time. 

Recently, we had a heart to heart chat over coffee where he shared that he feels that he evolved as a person over these years. He was filled with gratitude for the opportunities and went on to claim that he understands Leadership in a much better way now, which is helping him being a good one himself. 

He always had a feeling that someone is around to take care of him (his words, not mine), which gave him the confidence to take risks.


I was reflecting on the past years while preparing next year’s plan for the team when these thoughts came to my mind, and I felt it’s a story worth sharing with the world.

These subtle but powerful instances in real life help us in realizing the POWER of TRUST & EMPOWERMENT. These are not the things to be confined to theory but to be brought into application in real life.

Ever felt the same? Want to share the story? Comment or write to me at manav@manavlalotra.com



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Dec 10 2017

How LEADERS impact the organisations?

A discussion with one of my friend about how leaders shape organizations and careers led me to think deeply about this issue. Why I call this a problem is because I realized that somehow not all who reach the TOP are LEADERS. Of course, I do not have to define LEADERSHIP again for you. Right?

I believe that leaders are expected to give directions to thought-streams and motivate people to bring out the best in them. However, these days these qualities are hard to be found in many of the incumbents in top offices in organizations. Today Leaders are somehow taking employees as well as their motivation for granted.

I am sharing a research note from Scott Blanchard on similar lines, which clarifies that why should leaders not manipulate Employee Motivation.

Have a read: 


Why Trying To Manipulate Employee Motivation Always Backfires:

CEOs have two levers they pull on a regular basis to influence their organizations. The first lever adds to or takes away from strategic intentions. The second one controls the hiring of key talent to ensure that the right people are in the right seats.

Levers work well for many of the factors that impact business success; but one area–employee engagement & motivation–resists “leveraging.” Even after a decade of trying, organizations as a whole have made little progress on improving employee engagement.

Why the struggle with improving this particular area? In short, it’s because you can’t control motivation. While traditional carrot-and-stick levers can influence behavior in the short term, they do not create the intentions to apply discretionary effort and work collaboratively that are required in today’s more sophisticated work environments.


It’s time for a change

It has been known in social science circles for decades: Carrot-and-stick thinking is, at its core, a control method–and people always resist being controlled. Even if they don’t openly resist, people resent being coerced into certain behaviors.

People have their own beliefs and attitudes about their work environment. They make decisions about what is in their best interests based on individual perceptions of what is adding to–or taking away from–their sense of well-being. Building on the pioneering work of Edward Deci and Richard Ryan at the University of Rochester, our recent research into motivation and employee work passion is finding that perceptions of autonomy, relatedness, and competence are the factors that lead to positive employee intentions to stay with organizations, apply discretionary effort, and be good corporate citizens.

We are finding that giving people a chance to succeed in their job and setting them free to a certain degree is the key to motivation, as opposed to trying to direct and control people’s energy. It’s really about letting go and connecting people to their work–and each other–rather than channeling, organizing, orchestrating, and focusing behavior.


Read more about “HOW TO” manage CHANGE effectively in the organisation?


The role of senior leaders

Senior leaders have an important role to play in creating this type of environment. Top leadership sets the tone for this attitude in a company. But many organizations are still set up–explicitly or implicitly–in ways that work against these three motivators.

For example, a woman recently told us her CEO believed that a little bit of fear was good and that moderate to high levels of competition between people and business units were beneficial and kept the company sharp. This attitude of friendly competition inside the company permeated the culture, flowing out from the boardroom and cascading throughout the organization.

This approach had worked for this technology company in the past but began to become a liability as customers asked for more cross-platform compatibility. Because customers were asking for everything to work well together, these internal divisions needed to cooperate more effectively. This required the different business units to think beyond self-interest to the whole customer experience. It proved difficult to change the mindset of this historically competitive culture.

Without a shift in thinking at the top of an organization, it is almost impossible to change an organization’s culture. A study conducted years ago shed some light on the role of senior leaders in changing organizational culture and behavior. The study concluded that the CEO’s disposition and personality had everything to do with the company’s service orientation and collaborative mindset.

CEOs whose personalities and dispositions were more competitive had a direct influence on the degree of competitiveness and fear experienced by members of their senior leadership teams. This resulted in a greater degree of siloed behavior within the organization and less cooperation among sub-units. The net results were less integration across the business, less efficiency, poorer service, and ultimately lower economic performance. On the other hand, CEOs who were more cooperative generated less competitiveness—and less fear-based anxiety generated better results.

Leaders as environmentalists

It’s important for today’s leaders to be environmentalists. Whatever level of leadership you have, challenge yourself and others to use less directing and controlling behaviors and instead look to create a focused and inspired workplace. Customers are requiring that organizations move toward an environment of internal cooperation to create truly innovative new products and services.

Today we realize that control doesn’t work. Find a way to connect your people with the big picture. Create an environment free of fear and anxiety. Leaders don’t need a new lever–they need a new approach to bringing out the best in people. Give a little bit. You’ll be surprised at what can be accomplished when people are free of fear and find their motivation within, instead of being controlled by external carrots and sticks.


Scott Blanchard is the co-founder of Blanchard Certified, a new cloud-based leadership development resource, and experience. Ken Blanchard is the best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and 50 other books on leadership. You can follow Ken Blanchard on Twitter @KenBlanchardor @LeaderChat and also via the HowWeLead and LeaderChat blogs.


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