Sunday, April 11, 2021

My three leadership lessons in 2020

HRTales asked me my top three leadership lessons during 2020 and I responded as follows. 

Year 2020 was a learning year for everybody. VUCA was the most abused and used jargon in the corporate world.  However, we all learnt the actual meaning of VUCA in 2020. In fact, it was a great leadership lesson.

My first lesson is 

In a crisis situation, leaders are in the line of fire from various key people in the ecosystem, customers, government, employees, stakeholders, society and political leaders. These all people may have unrealistic expectations from the leaders. This brings tremendous stress and possibly the leader may make mistakes. In such a situation, leaders need to be courageous and confident. When your employees and customers are watching you, you need to demonstrate the behaviour where they should feel comfortable working with you. By demonstrating courage and confidence, you drive the right behaviours in your team too. This includes taking a calculated risk, saying no at appropriate time, taking care of employees and simultaneously focusing on the business continuity.

Second Learning is

Leaders too have their weaknesses and blind spots. The maturity is when we recognise those weaknesses and blind spots and be vulnerable. During the pandemic we all were struggling to find the solutions to different aspects like, converting the office into home offices, motivating employees, handling infections and health issues of family and teams, customers not honouring the contracts, loss of revenue and poor cash flows. The situation was so unique that there was not one fit all solutions. In this process, i learnt that as a leader, we also have vulnerability and it is okay to admit our blind spots and lack of knowledge in certain areas.

My third leadership lesson is

Purpose, values and creating the trust capital is crucial. We understood the value of relations, human interactions, social life and also understood that we have very little needs, if we manage it properly as we did during the pandemic. Such feeling takes you to the purpose in life. As a leader, one of the imperative is to give the larger “purpose” to the team, work on the values essential for survival in business or in personal life and create the trust capital in the organization. Build the trust during good times, so that you are not alone during a crisis situation. As a leader continuously invest in building meaningful relations with employees, customers and other stakeholders in the ecosystem. You can use this trust capital to set the directions, get the alignment and commitment from employees and other stakeholders. 

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Prabodh Sirur said...

Good one Vinod. Keep it up

Sunil Gaikwad said...

Hi Sir. Rightly summarised. Third lesson appeals more for me, since it's trust reservoir. Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Well said Sir.

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