Leadership - Dust away that Aura of Useless leadership!

Rabia Dhody | May 16,2011 11:13 am IST

I am unhappy at work! My Leader seems to get work done by pressurizing me!! –

Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” — Peter F.


Many of us may recall failing to accomplish a task as a youngster and being admonished with the adage, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. So what is it that makes us either excel or lose our cool and interest and start looking out. What are our drivers of engagement?

We’ve all heard the phrase “Employees leave their managers and leaders and not the organizations”, but how many of us have given it a fair chance to change the system and culture in the manner we feel most comfortable in? You at all levels may not have the power to change the way an organization works, or your team works, but can definitely tread your leaders Footsteps , the one your idolize!

We now all know why companies want engaged employees – engaged employees are those who work longer hours, try harder, accomplish more and speak positively about their organizations. Engagement is an amalgamation of commitment, loyalty, productivity and ownership. It’s also a critical element of competitive advantage for most organizations. We all know employee engagement is important, but where should you start? According to most experts, the most influential factor is leadership. That’s right – it starts at the top! Leaders are the lens through which employees view your organization. In fact, how they feel about their direct manager is directly correlated to how they feel about their jobs and the organization as a whole. So what can Leader’s do to drive employee engagement?

It is said that all true leaders have the ability to translate intention into reality and to sustain it with action and behavior. It turns out that people are motivated by interesting work, challenge, and increasing responsibility--intrinsic factors. People have a deep-seated need for growth and achievement and recognition for the work they do. So what is it that you need to do as a leader?


Whether you are a first time Leader or a Leader who has been there since ages, Do a little bit of soul searching! It doesn’t harm us to be mindful of our acts:


1. Are you a control freak? - It is true that one of the basic characteristics of top leadership is their need to control things. It is also equally true that great leaders remain leaders by being able to delegate responsibilities and inspiring trust among the employees.


Look into yourself and Answer this question :- Are you able to inspire your Team? Are you able to lead by example? Support them ,guide them and mentor them to get the best out of them? Or control them and let them look bad in front of your Leaders/superiors to earn a petty brownie point? If you answered a yes to all above, trust me, sooner or later you will become unemployable and your team would leave you, what could’ve been your strength is going to come back full circle in your inability ot foster comfort, trust and growth in your Team! One good performer, chances are the person is self-motivated, 2 good performers, chances are they are self-driven, 3- Coincidence, All – you’ve done your job! Your Team is a reflection of what you do to them! MAKE THEM LOOK GOOD! Stay at the backstage, you’d emerge as the main lead actor yourself!!!!


2. First time Leader? : If you are a first time leader, Look around you, have you grown too fast?Are you able to lead?be a people manager or do you just have the hunger to lead teams? Can you do justice to their careers or put them at stake? Can you guide, mentor, share and pass on knowledge? If not- do not lead! Wait for the time when you are fully equipped to be respected as one!


3. Are you a bad listener? It’s a common perception that leaders are impatient and rarely listen to others. They are projected as bullheaded people who just do what they perceive as the right thing to do. Or are you the opposite? True leaders understand and appreciate that great things cannot be achieved single-handed – it needs a team to achieve success. One of the traits of a truly great leader is their commitment to build a team of like-minded people. They have the innate ability to foster good relationships among team members and have exceptional communication skills that inspire total commitment from their co-workers. Leaders succeed by helping people they work with - their employees, partners, investors and suppliers, become successful themselves. Remember -you become the target and benchmark for every other competitor in your Field and organization.


4. Do you practice what you preach? Look inside of you - do you expect others to do things that you yourselves would not do. Good Leaders always lead by setting an example to their community and followers – Remember but not by force, your followers should tread your path by choice! They should respect you for who you are and not the profile you hold in the organization!


5. Absolute trustworthiness: This probably one of the most essential traits of a leader. People should be able to rely on you to keep promises made. The one thing that will keep most people from accepting someone as a leader is if they can’t be sure that he will actually take them where he says he will. Never backstab your own team, never make them look bad! ITS YOUR JOB TO MAKE THEM ACHIEVE SUCCESS! By supporting them with the knowledge base you have, and if you climbed that ladder of success not by virtue of knowledge but by virtue of cheating! Be rest assured to see a downfall sooner or later!


6. Develop talent – employees want opportunities to grow and develop. You must ensure that you understand what each of your employees want and help them to achieve their goals and aspirations. Engagement research results are clear on this issue: 45 percent of employees cite limited opportunities for growth as the reason they left their company.


7. Celebrate and reward – Leaders who create highly engaged and committed employees celebrate and reward employees who consistently contribute to the organization. Be one amongst those! Not the one’s who crib and Keep complaining about things not happening totheir superiors! Remember your success is your Team’s Effort.


Only 37% of employees actually trust senior management. Let’s change that and make it 90% of employees trusting in their Leadership!!!!! Don’t do what you don’t like to be done to yourself!








Rabia Dhody is an MBA from University of Pune, and is currently working as Vice President in Jabong.com for the last 2 years. Prior to Jabong she has worked as Motricity- HR Head South Asia, HR Business Partner with Dell India and as manager with Reliance Capital - Life Insurance Division....