Tag Archive: Leaders

Dec 18 2017

Yes, LEADERS can be MADE!



 As a leader, I have been an ardent practitioner of situational leadership. It is interesting to have a topic, so complex theorized in such simple words by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson in their book ‘One Minute Manager.’ If you take a look around, everybody is practicing some style of leadership depending on the environment and their characteristics. We usually fail to exercise what is desired, instead, we behave the way our mind stimulates us.

The model makes you drill down your leadership style. Eventually, we find all our behaviors guided by gut feeling or the way we have been treated or coached by superiors. If we think of the best Leader we have ever worked with, isn’t his/ her style similar to ‘One Minute Manager’?

Didn’t s/he always analyze the need for the situation before passing on a verdict?

A ‘situation’ can be determined either by the competence level of an individual, experience or the complexity of the task.

It is imperative for a Leader to understand that all variety of horses cannot run with the same speed and in all types of racing. Even in a similar setup, the same horse cannot score the same every time. Depending on the situation and the variety of horses, they get identified for particular types of races, and they are treated and coached in a manner most appropriate to their breed and race.

Our leadership style indicates two points of view. One is our perception of leadership, and the other is your team’s perception of your leadership style. We often consider our judgment to be accurate and stick on to that form if we are convinced about it being the ideal one. It is the most prominent mistake a Leader makes resulting in a de-motivated and unproductive team. It is of utmost importance for every Leader to know the perception of her team and then alter her leadership style accordingly.

If there was no mirror, could we ever know how we look like? We could have lived imagining our appearances and be okay with it. Understanding the needs of the team help us win their confidence and is supportive in creating an environment of mutual respect.


There is another debate in the management fraternity- ‘Can leadership be acquired?’

There is no right or wrong answer to it. Instead, it comes with the various school of thoughts. Some might believe you are born with it and as a child, if you have always led the group of friends while playing and at school, you emerge as a great leader in the corporate world later and Vice Versa.

Going by my experience and whatever little studies I have done on the topic, I do not support this logic. I had seen great leaders at school not doing great for themselves later in life when they had to take higher responsibilities and leadership roles.

Similarly, I have also seen naïve and so-called ‘backbenchers’ taking up leadership roles later and succeeding enormously in their careers. It is all about how you adapt yourself to the situation and learn as per the need of the hour. Situational leadership provides a perfect illustration of how leaders emerge. It talks about how Leadership is a learnable quality if you are ready to invest time and efforts into it.


It is no rocket science but just a matter of practicing the right style and being a “Situational Leader.“

Another interesting fact which came out from the theory is that it doesn’t confine to one particular culture or the type of people instead applies to all cultures across the world. Think of any team situation around any region across the globe and see it working perfectly fine for all.

I can safely conclude this by saying there is no perfect Leader unless s/he is adaptive to the situation and has a good understanding of people, their perceptions and complexity of the given task.


Rinku is a management professional and has about 15 years of experience in a variety of leadership roles. Her experience spans across all aspects of HR, Organisation Development, Business-critical initiatives, Global Operations, IT, Infrastructure, Enterprise Applications etc. She is a Symbiosis, Pune & INSEAD, Fontainebleau alumnus. 

Apart from work, she is an artist and loves to paint. She writes about topics related to social issues & lifestyle, with Women Upliftment being the core area where she is working to make an impact.

You may reach her on Linkedin & Twitter 



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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