Thursday, July 2, 2009

Successful Behaviour!!!

Leadership behaviour is the most critical determinant of business success...
  • Leaders can control the outcome of an event by changing their response to it
  • Feedback forms a critical aspect of leadership reaction to events
  • The onus of seeking feedback lies with the leader

It is said nothing is impossible! Everything in this world is pretty much achievable if it is pursued with discipline, truthfulness and commitment. The possibility of controlling one’s destiny appears much more real!

Leadership too, in the context of organisational working, can create and control the outcome of its decisions, if executed with deliberation. Experts believe that a leader’s reaction to the events happening around him is critical to the outcome. Thus, the basic equation of leadership success--how the outcome of any action depends on the flavour of the event and the leadership response to the event--holds good in any given context.

The underlying principle of success is that any event— joyful, dismal, good or bad—evokes a certain reaction from those affected by it. It is this reaction to the event that determines the final outcome of the event. Effective and successful leaders understand this. They are known to have mastered the art of controlling their reactions, thereby controlling the outcome.

A matter of choice!

When leaders are confronted with situations that compel them to react in ways that may not necessarily be the best and most prudent, they tend to suffer the consequences of their own decisions. However, when leaders realise that the outcome, however compelling the situation may be, is a result of their reaction, and has less to do with the event itself, they begin to analyse the choices available to them. Every situation presents leaders with two choices:

  • The choice to blame the event and crib over the outcome
  • The choice to alter one’s reaction to the event till the desired outcome is achieved

Leaders who choose to blame the event for the outcome rarely succeed and are never considered to be effective leaders. While those who choose to change their reaction till they attain the desired outcome are the ones who succeed beyond their own capabilities and create history. Great leaders realise the power of controlling their thoughts and reactions. They manage to live their dreams with far greater ease than those who get bogged down by situational exigencies.

In addition to controlling one’s reactions to influence the outcome, leaders need to develop the habit of seeking feedback from people around them. Inviting feedback from people working in close quarters with the leader is also an example of effective leadership behaviour, as it would help leaders understand the reactions of people affected by their decisions. Seeking feedback forms a critical component of leadership behaviour. Leaders who do not seek feedback for fear of being criticised seldom grow, and therefore, fail to create the kind of impact that leaders with more tolerance and openness do.

Supportive leadership

Leadership support is critical for organisational success. Leadership support is determined by the level of confidence people have in their leader. Organisations, where employees are fearless and feel free to go and discuss their concerns with leaders, are more likely to have rewarding workplace relationships, as compared to those where protocol dominates.

Leaders, however, have to exercise caution while seeking feedback from people around them. The feedback should be within a prescribed framework, indicating the sanctity of the leadership position. This does not mean that people have to mince words. It only suggests use of non-offensive language, polite conversation and fact-based feedback. Employees should neither take undue advantage of the transparency in the system nor refrain from using it, in a bid to settle scores with people.

In addition, leaders should be specific when asking for feedback. A generalised approach seldom yields the desired output as both the leaders and the person from whom the feedback is sought give out vague statements. If leaders demonstrate frankness about receiving feedback by stating their concerns, the task becomes easier. For instance, if a leader is concerned about his behaviour in the boardroom, then he must address his concern clearly, without dilly-dallying. When the leader demonstrates a straightforward approach, others feel at ease and give the required input without much ado.

Effective leadership behaviour not only benefits leaders but also impacts the organisation as a whole. Supportive leadership generates work partnerships that are more productive, congenial and friendly, thereby making the workplace a better one.

The ManageMentor

1 comment:

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