RRGwrites

On life…and learning

Posts Tagged ‘Organisation and Change

5 Questions You Need to Answer If You’re Being Promoted

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The Leader In Me

Were you promoted recently or are you being promoted? And will you now be a manager to those who were your peers till yesterday?

What are your feelings? Happy? Apprehensive? Both…?

I recently got a chance to interact with a bunch of such promoted senior managers; people who grew from within ranks, sales folks with tons of experience and hard-earned credibility. Upon hearing the news of their elevation, they were initially ecstatic! Then, as the conversation proceeded, I observed myriad emotions emerge – happiness, apprehension, thoughtfulness, even over-conficence – ‘I will deliver to all expectations types’… some also asked about improvement areas…

Having worked with leadership talent all across the spectrum, I wanted them to succeed in their new roles and not fall prey to a leadership nemesis several go down to – THE I know it all!

I asked them these five questions… it left them thinking!

  1. Why are you being promoted? Because of the old good phrase – ‘I am THE best performer’ OR, there is more to it that your boss and company saw in you and which you need to be more self-aware of?

  2. What are the top five expectations your boss and company have from you in your new, enlarged role?

  3. What are the top three or five things that you will start doing from tomorrow; things you weren’t either aware of or focussing upon till now?

  4. More importantly, can you list down top three or five things you will stop doing, as you take charge of your new role?

  5. Why should till-yesterday-your-peers agree to be led by you? What is your leadership quotient with such people? Remember, these are as bright, as seasoned, as performing as you were! Even bigger question… why should anyone be led by you?

A found the group staring at me… some mustered answers to few of these questions; other few went into a deep thought. A couple of rather over-confident ones also put up a brave exterior – that of ‘I have figured it out all!’ Incidentally, almost everyone had said in earlier conversations that they will deliver upon all expectations and yet, when they drew up the list to answer the second question, as mentioned above, I could observe a lot of mismatches!

And the boss of these recent promoted ones? He too went thinking!

Your thoughts? Do you think I asked right questions? Do you want to add any questions?

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Image-credit: sheroes.in

HR and it’s Customers & Products…

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Seth GodinI came across this image online today and couldn’t help drawing a parallel and thinking about us HR folks. Do we innovate and create useful & beneficial products and/or solutions for our customers – the business fellas – as a part of our work-life, helping business do better….

OR,

we simply try and offer the same old, tried and tested HR agenda to them in a fancy, customized manner, helping our KRAs get completed?

Think about it…

Capability and Career-Growth Go Hand-In-Hand

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RRGwritesSharing something that a young HR professional recently said. Thought-provoking words that have stayed with me…

This one’s a bright and promising junior of mine from college, with whom I was exchanging a few emails a while ago. He works for a large Indian IT multinational and had been associated with the company for over seven years now; he joined them right after MBA school. He performed well and consequently, has climbed up the ladder at a speedy and consistent pace.

During the conversation, I remarked on his consistent growth within the organization and as his proud senior, expressed my admiration. He responded in measured words. Words of wisdom, I would say; something that young managers don’t speak too often, at least whilst referring to the pivotal cross-linkage that depth of learning has with career-growth.

I am quoting him:

“…My career priority is to build depth. Growth has been incidental…”

Sharing this with all budding professionals; these are words their worth in gold.

As someone who interacts with young professionals and management students extensively, I often observe a disturbing mismatch between the aspirations of management professionals vis-a-vis their quest & hunger for knowledge – the real mastery… In fact, I wrote a blog on this a while ago – (MBA की ‘मास्टरी’)

Let me know what you think. If you are a young professional entering the corporate world or a management student; I would love to know your thoughts…

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Image-credit: venuscablejoints.com

My Deputy Is Doing Well. And I Am NOT Threatened!

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BossExamples of quality leadership in our daily lives are almost a rarity. It is even uncommon to see a supervisor allowing & appreciating the growth of his second-in-command. In fact, the world knows so-called-leaders who rather feel unduly threatened if the deputy performs brilliantly and is ready to take on higher roles!

So, today it felt food quite good to read what Mahendra Singh Dhoni had to say about his deputy – Virat Kohli. The most successful-ever Indian Cricket team captain was not only all praises for the vice-captain’s coming of age and successful captaincy stint during the series at Zimbabwe, he was more than pleased to see the youngster easing into the leadership role.

Appreciating the evolution of Virat from a consistently performing star batsman into a mature player and leader, Dhoni said, “The best thing about him is that he is very expressive, and that helps a captain… He now has all the ingredients to lead a side…”

Now, that’s a true leader talking. Mind you, he isn’t only praising; he is rather making a strong case for Virat as a captain. And yet, one can note that Dhoni is least bit insecure to do so, while he knows there can be only one captain of Team India – and right now, he himself occupies that role! Some self-belief, team-spirit and personal integrity, this is…

Not only such examples of leadership magnify high self-assurance and self-confidence, it also amply demonstrates the leader’s commitment towards nurturing his subordinates, timely succession planning and talent development, in a concerted and committed manner. Much unlike than the unauthentic gibberish that does the rounds during annual talent management exercises in the corporate world.

My first boss taught me a valuable lesson – the key to success for any deputy is to do such good work that his boss gets promoted and recommends him for taking his spot!

And here is what I derived from my own experiences of leading teams – another imperative lesson – the key for any boss to do well and become successful is to grow his subordinates; nurturing them into leaders, sometimes even better than him. And certainly, not feeling threatened when they perform exceedingly well!

While the world is replete with poor managers (I refuse to address them as leaders), who start feeling vulnerable when their subordinates outperform them and get ready to take on their mantles, I am also sure there are many like Dhoni around.

That’s the light of hope in the arena of leadership, the biggest skill required in today’s times.

Have you also experienced supervisors who were threatened to see their subordinates out-perform them? Or, you did experience a Dhoni like leader too? Let me know what you think.

The Dilemma of Focus Vs. Multitasking

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multitasking-vs-focus-mediumA young management professional reached out to me today with an oft-repeated dilemma – what to chose between Focusing on one thing and Multitask. A year out of the college now, she was taught at her management school that it is good to have the skill of ‘multitasking’. And now, the same is expected at her workplace too. Armed with this learning, she till now firmly believed in the concept of multitasking to excel at work and life alike. However, working for sometime now in the corporate world, she often finds herself caught in the predicament of focusing on one thing at a time vis-à-vis multitasking – that how working on many things simultaneously may also lead to distraction in focus from the most important thing at that time!

“Won’t it impact the quality of work, leave a piled-up list of unfinished tasks and finally diminish my productivity, which could have rather been augmented by focusing on doing one thing at a time?” she asked.

I am sure many of you would have faced the same dilemma, especially during starting years of your working life. And the question is quite valid too – this dilemma does exist. It would appear that in some cases, multitasking is undeniably an efficient way to utilize time, while on other occasions, the quality of the work may suffer as a result of split attention.

Few years ago, a teammate shared with me his success secret, with quite an apt description of FOCUS

Follow One Challenge Until Success is achieved

I could not agree more!

And yet, on the other hand, multitasking is a really crucial & necessary skill demanded out of the working professionals in the chaos of today’s fast-paced scenario.

Here is what I learnt in all these years – these two are the two wheels of a bike. Both are quintessential and one cannot ride a bike on only one wheel. Given the situation, there is a reasonable dependency on both approaches and a balance needs to be achieved by ‘prioritizing’ the work.

I would like to share an invaluable lesson I learnt from an old supervisor – multitasking becomes difficult as we also confuse, a lot, between Urgent and Important – we often assume both to be same. Don’t you receive a lot of emails, with subject as Urgent and/or Important? However, in reality, not all work that is important will be urgent. Similarly, all urgent work may not be necessarily important; sometimes otherwise non-important work too requires urgent attention and action.

If we do not prioritize carefully, we can fall into this trap of

multitasking = distraction in our focus.

Then, there is more to it. Quite often, I have observed that we tend to take too much work on our plate – blame the old-fashioned fear of not being able to say ‘No’. That also leads to poor quality in the outcome, delay in timeslines and increased performance-related anxiety and/or stress. In this case, eventually, both work and the worker suffer. Hence, I would say that when you do decide to multitask, make sure to check your work carefully so as to ensure that it is of high quality, and consider abandoning multitasking for certain tasks if you notice a decline in quality. Saying a timely ‘no’ to a task you cannot do justice to is also a right start.

Again, there is an element of one’s engagement at work. As I keep saying, the real mantra behind a successful professional delivering quality output consistently is the quantum of her engagement at work. If she is working on the things that make her feeling productive and successful at the end of the day, she will be positively driven and encouraged to give her best in the same time duration and hence, this dilemma of focus vs. multitask will really not bother her way too much.

A successful professional will have a strong sense of planning her time and energy; she will focus on the high priority things at the time, while not losing sight of other simultaneous deliverables.

This is what I think and that’s how I manage the balance between focusing on priority and multitasking. Now, it is your turn. Let me know what you think. Do you too get embroiled in this dilemma? Do share your experiences.

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Photo-credit: rodneygoldston.com

Talent…

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TalentAs a Talent Strategy professional, I have a keen interest in identifying, managing and developing talent, and I always thought it is more of a responsibility bestowed upon leaders and not merely a job that they have to perform. Similarly, talented people have a responsibility to put their talent to work and deliver. Else, what a waste, it can be…

While there isn’t any dearth of literature on this subject, very little of it really makes us think about making best use of talent. Recently, while following the events at the World Economic Forum held at Lima, Peru, I heard a profound statement on this subject, which I wish to share with all of you who follow my blog:

“The largest fortune in the world is Talent. It is a question of how you put talent to work. When you have a talent, you have an obligation to deliver.”

– Carlos Garcia Moreno Elizondo, CFO, America Movil, Mexico

What an intense and meaningful statement, this is. Does it make you think? Do share your thoughts.

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Photo-credit: gowitflow.tumblr.com

5 Things Great Employees Do After They Resign

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OK; so you have called it a day and have decided to move on from your current job. Just like most of us, you would also like to believe you are a ‘great employee’. All through your tenure, you were an employee held in good esteem by your organization. You had a considerably long association too. Now, you’ve just resigned and in some time you would be moving on to something new, maybe something better, something different. Great! Now, let’s serve the notice period…

In my experience of hiring thousands of people in my career, I have observed myriad, albeit strange developments in the operating patterns of both employees and employers, after the resignation is tendered and exit-formalities commence. Sometimes, these behaviours aren’t spot-on and befitting a ‘professional’.

Here are the 5 things that I think ‘truly great’ employees do after they have resigned and are serving the notice-period:

  1. A ‘Truly Great Employee’ would not speak ill of her organization, team or supervisor; she’d spread absolutely no negativity around.
  2. She won’t walk around notifying about her ‘resignation’ to all and sundry. She would discuss and allow the supervisor to plan a communication, as to ‘when, to who all and how’ and then stay true to the plan.
  3. She would not stop putting her total dedication and heart in her work, till the very last day and ensure a fair handover.
  4. She would not use the current offer to ‘bargain, just to ‘enjoy’, even when there isn’t any intention to stay. That’s just not done.
  5. She would say, ‘Thank You’ and mean it. And not just to the boss or immediate colleagues, but also to the stakeholders, to associates in other functions and the support staff. She would just not simply drop an email thank-you note while walking out, would rather walk up to all such fellow-workers and express her appreciation in person.

To my mind, that’s what ‘truly great employees’ do when they resign. And they do so even if their experience with the company and/or the manager wasn’t exactly enriching or rewarding, or even when their manager/organization starts treating them differently post resignation. They behave mature and stay committed till the last day of work and even thereafter. And by saying that, I do not mean in any way that feedback, even candid one, should not be given; in fact, one must give constructive feedback during the exit interview process. What I am stressing here is the personal conduct of the employee should remain dignified and graceful. An impactful statement I heard from a senior leader the other day, “Never let your good name be destroyed”; a great employee would stay true to these words, even in the parting days.

Have you similar or some other behaviours in people after they resign? How did you act when you tendered your last resignation? Do share…

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