In today’s world, the executive’s job is no longer to command and control but to cultivate and coordinate the actions of others at all levels of organization. Only when leaders come to see themselves as incomplete – as having both strengths and weakness will they be able to make up for their missing skills by relying on others.
Organizations have been becoming less hierarchical and more collaborative. No one person can possibly stay on top of everything. If any executive thinks he is a complete leader, he will exhaust himself and damage his organization in the process. The incomplete leader, by contrast, knows when to let go: when to let those who know the local market do the advertising plan or when to let the medical team run with its idea of what the patients need. The incomplete leader also knows that leadership exists throughout the organizational hierarchy-wherever expertise, vision, new ideas, and commitment are found.
Sometimes, leaders need to further develop the capabilities, they are weakest in. It’s more important for leaders to find and work with others to compensate for their weakness. Leaders constantly try to understand the contexts they are operating in. How will new technologies reshape the industry? How will changing cultural expectations shift the role of business in society?. Therefore leader should keep analysing;
Get data from multiple sources: customers, suppliers, employees, competitors, other departments,
Involve others in data interpretation.
Look for new ways to articulate alternatives and better ways to understand multiple options.
Do not simply apply existing frameworks but instead be open to new possibilities.
Leaders make clear to others how they reached their conclusions. Good leaders distinguish their observations from their opinions and judgments and explain their reasoning without aggression or defensiveness. Incomplete leaders
Spend time trying to understand other’s perspectives, listening with an open mind and without judgment.
Encourage others to voice their opinions.
Before expressing their ideas, try to anticipate how others will react to them.
Balancing, inquiring and advocating is ultimately about showing respect, challenging opinions, asking tough questions, and taking a stand. A good leader cultivates a network of confidants who can help him accomplish a wide range of goals. Highly rated leaders encourage other managers and employees of their teams to recognize subordinates who do a great job.
The other important quality of visionary leader is creating compelling images of the future. Fundamentally, visioning gives people a sense of meaning in their work. Visioning means:
Develop a vision about something that inspires employees.
Expect that not all people will share your passion. If people don’t get it, don’t just turn up the volume. Try to construct a shared vision.
Leaders with positive visions take the necessary actions to make the department even more productive and the environment an even better place to do the work. Only a positive vision can inspire. If the leader spells a negative vision “today is bad, just wait for tomorrow” things do get worse.
One of the greatesr visionaries in history was a man whose first seven businesses failed. Twice bankrupt, twice put in a mental asylum, fired by a newspaper editor for lack of creativity. He wanted to open Disneyland in 1955 and even a second park after 9 years. His name was WALT DISNEY. He did not live long enough to see Orlando’s Disney World becoming a reality. Once a tourist asked the tour guide “wouldn’t it have been great if Walt Disney saw the park when construction was complete. “Guide replied “Disney saw the completion before anyone did. He spent his whole life sharing his vision with others.” You can be the Disney by involving others in creating, clarifying and crystallizing your organization’s vision.
Leaders who excel in visioning talk the walk; they work to embody the care, values and ideas contained in the vision. To realize a new vision, people usually can’t keep doing the same things they’ve been doing. They need to conceive, design, and put into practice new ways of interacting and organizing. To sum up, leaders must be able to succeed at inventing, and this requires both attention to detail and creativity. Leader should be a role model with a “can do” positive attitude.
Employees do not follow the manager or leader, they do not trust. Trust builds a relationship where employees feel confident about following their lead. Leader must clarify, communicate core values, involve employees in decision making and trust employees. Create an environment where people love to come to work and customers love to do business. It may not be rocket science, but it surely works.
Relating, visioning, and inventing are inter related parameters. Without relating, people work in isolation or, worse, strive toward different aims. Without visioning, there’s no shared direction. And without inventing, a vision remains illusory. No one leader, however, will excel at all these capabilities in equal measure. Apple CEO Steve Jobs was a visionary whose ambitious dreams and persuasiveness catalyzed remarkable successes for Apple.
Leaders must identify their unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Even the most talented leaders require the input and leadership of others, constructively solicited and creatively applied. It’s time to celebrate the incomplete – that is, the human – leader and the team leader.
Dr. A.K. Dewan
Director – Surgical Oncology