Value Unfiltered

September 2020

Transitioning from a Manager to a Leader

As you climb the ladder of success in your career, one of your dreams would be to make a leap from being a manager to holding one of the leadership positions. Even though being a leader will require your expertise and management skills you learned over the years, it would add to your responsibilities enormously. The difference between manager and leader is that people work for managers, whereas leaders have people follow them. In this article, we would discuss several key aspects you need to focus on when taking on your new role as a leader.  Emotional Intelligence One of the first things you need to work on when transitioning from manager to leader is to work on your emotional intelligence. You need to focus on not only getting the work done but also to understand if your employees’ skills are fully used and developed in the process. It is also the leader’s responsibility to understand whether the employees are happy and satisfied with the organization or if there are shortcomings that are dampening the growth effort.  Reading between the lines, developing interpersonal skills, and adding that personal touch to your approach helps you get a better grasp of how to increase your employees’ productivity and, hence, the organization.  Look and Sound Like a Leader When you are transitioning from a manager to a leader, focus not only on your skills, role, attitude, and approach but also how you look and sound. Dressing powerfully and sounding confident and straightforward is essential for a leader. The first impression is the last impression, and if you don’t look like a leader, you’ll not be able to send your message across as clearly as you’d want.  Decision-Making Skills This is one skill that you need to master because, as a leader, you would be making tons of important decisions day in and day out. Quick thinking and strategizing logically to align your decisions and its consequences with the desired goals are essential attributes every leader ought to have. A leader develops their own formula when it comes to decision-making, and you can polish your decision-making skills over time as well through trial and error.  Promote Transparency Cultivating transparent and ethical work culture in an organization is the responsibility of a leader. It is also clearly showcased in a survey conducted by Harvard Business School that employees are more engaged when leaders communicate with them openly and directly. Transparency in an organization helps develop a closely-knitted work culture based on trust and collaborative in nature.  Learn to Delegate You cannot and should not try to do everything yourself or be closely supervising everything that is going on in an organization. Learning to delegate your talented employees would help them develop their skills as well as help them feel accountable and responsible. Making mistakes is human, but a leader knows that a mistake today means results tomorrow. Give your employees and teams the space they need to thrive. Focusing on the core functions you’re responsible for while letting your employees handle the rest on their own would do your organization more good than you can imagine. Stop micro-managing.  As a manager, you’re mainly responsible for a specific department or a team, but as a leader, the entire organization depends on you. You need to articulately find ways to expand your strategic scope and make innovation the basis of it. Never be afraid of challenges as a leader, but instead try to turn adversity into an opportunity. Most of all, always remember that as a leader, you’re like the parent of the company, and don’t expect your employees to give a hundred percent when you don’t. 

Effective Collaboration for Innovation

Innovation is the key to success in today’s competitive environment. Companies from across the globe are relying on innovation to make a mark in their respective sectors. It helps both the end-users as well as the companies and, in the process, contributes towards the overall growth of the concerned sector.  One of the key components to promoting innovation as an essence of culture in any organization is effective collaboration. Collaboration contributes massively to a company’s bottom line, including a high retention rate, low attrition rate, enhanced profitability, engaged employees, increased management velocity, and better management overall. Here are the few tips to promote innovation through effective collaboration – Establish Clear Objectives When clear objectives are known to the employees or a team, it helps them experiment with resources at hand to achieve the objective when conventional methods fail. Effective collaboration helps in ensuring the implementation of ideas is achieved perfectly through active brainstorming sessions and ideation.  Engaged Employees Employee engagement is essential for collaboration and innovation. The organizations need to work on employees’ engagement to enhance the spirit of teamwork. It will help employees see change and adversities as challenges. The workers feel empowered and ready to take on obstacles proactively in such a collaborative work environment.  Innovation Effective collaboration promotes innovation as everyone has a say, and no one is called out for thinking out of the box. Even when the employees are assigned specific roles, there is a free-flowing environment where everyone is allowed to collaborate to achieve team goals.  Individual Productivity  As per the study conducted by McKinsey and Company, it was discovered that in companies where collaborative processes where used, the productivity of individual employees increased by 20 to 30 percent. The use of networking, social, and technological tools plays a pivotal role in streamlining such collaborative processes in an organization.  Collaboration and innovation go hand in hand in today’s date. Ideas need teamwork and a collaborative work environment to materialize. Thankfully, there are tools available today that allow for a team to communicate seamlessly, share ideas, brainstorm actively, and bring ideas to life. It is important for the people heading the organization to promote ideas, tolerate mistakes, and give employees creative liberty to find solutions to achieve goals. 

Knowing When It’s Time for a Change

Knowing When It’s Time for a Change We all are victims of our bad habits, and it’s not that we don’t realize our bad habits; it’s just that our brain refuses to choose the alternate path. Why? It is because change requires a lot of effort and determination, which is worthy but potentially difficult. However, change is the only constant thing, and avoiding it would surround your life with boredom, stagnation, and even mediocrity to some level. It is important to know when it’s time to change, move ahead in the right direction, objectively, and fulfill your dreams, goals, and purpose. In this article, we would discuss indicators that tell us when it’s time to change. Over-Thinking If there’s something you think about all time, whether it is settling somewhere else, doing a different job, or living a different life, maybe it is time you stop thinking and start doing. If you’re constantly thinking about something that doesn’t leave you alone and these daydreams become a part of your present and don’t let you live peacefully, it is time to change. Inner satisfaction is essential for happiness. Period. Don’t be a bystander to your own life Don’t just exist and don’t just dream. Take actions to fulfill your purpose and dreams. Don’t let your life pass you by while you just witness it day after day, year after year. Time is of the essence in life, and you need to do a lot in the limited time you have on this planet. Take those risks you’re afraid of, and don’t be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone. In fact, it is not stepping out of your comfort zone that will fill you with regret more than you think later on. Once you set your mind to it, nothing would seem impossible. Don’t Forget You Have Choices We often forget we have choices because we force ourselves to believe we don’t. It is not true, and don’t let the proverbial wall stop you from discovering your true potential or doing things you want to. Just because you’re used to your life by now doesn’t mean you can’t take action to make it like you always dreamt of. If you are cornered like this in your own life, it is time to make changes that may seem uncomfortable but are worth it. Stop Asking Wrong Questions If you frequently ask yourself, “Why Me?” rather than “What’s next?” it is time to stop asking the wrong questions and start asking the right ones. It is time to make positive changes in your life that helps you to stop victimizing yourself. Blame yourself when things go wrong and stop looking for a scapegoat when things do go as planned in your life. Take charge of your life, learn to say no, and do what needs to be done to get what you want. Lost Your Passion? Do you feel that you’re just going on and about life without passion and without joy?  When was the last time you jumped out of bed in excitement and joy? While successes and materialistic pleasure do have its own importance in life, search for that internal motivation that drives you. It is essential to see those dreams that you’re passionate about for a happy and fulfilling life.  It would help you stay focused, motivated, and driven until you achieve it. The sense of satisfaction you gain from achieving one goal becomes addictive, and you continue to see such pleasure by achieving many more goals through life. Life will never be a boring black and white movie once you start coloring it with your passion, hard work, and dreams. Many things indicate that it’s time to change. Whether it is your emotions and mindset that needs to change or your attitude towards life, your willpower would help you identify it. Life is a gift, and one should not get complacent with it because if you do, you’ll soon realize you wasted precious moments that you aren’t getting back anymore. Living your life to the fullest needs courage, and most importantly – positive change. Live your dreams by realizing it.

Effective Leaders Do Not Do These!

There seems to be no thumb rule for effective leadership as there are so many leaders out there who have achieved a lot in their own unique ways. Even though their attitude, approach, and leadership styles are quite different from each other, they have managed to get the results. While we all have a general idea of what a leader should be – a strong and determined team worker who understands, adapts, and promotes equality, we rarely debate what effective leaders shouldn’t do. It is what we would be discussing in this article.  Insult People Leaders can be tough in their approach but should not transgress into a bully. A bully often resorts to finding someone to blame or punish when going gets tough, but a leader works as a constructive part of the team to rectify the problem. It does not mean that team would be allowed to get cosy at their work. Mistakes should be pointed out for sure, but leaders allow employees to rectify their mistakes.  Decision Making  True leaders do not fear making harsh and difficult decisions. They understand the importance of taking the advice of peers, colleagues, friends, and mentors, but understand that buck stops with them. They are ready to take the plunge when the situation calls for it and are prepared for the consequences of their decision. They do not doubt their ability to judge or make decisions.  Failing in Goal Setting Leaders should have a clear vision and defined goals. It is what helps them to stay focused and determined as well as pave the way to achieve those goals. Unless the leaders know where they are heading, it would be impossible for them to guide the others in the organization in the right direction.  Believe You Know Everything Successful leaders never hesitate to ask for advice and suggestions. Instead, great leaders are curious and always keep asking questions to gather as much knowledge and information they can to make the right decision. Leaders know they are not the best or the smartest, but instead, know how to get things done by hiring people who are smarter than them.  Don’t Ignore Mental and Physical Health Leaders are well-aware of the responsibilities that lay on their shoulders. They know that they won’t fulfill their role as a leader unless they are fit, active, and able. For this reason, they take good care of their mental, spiritual, and physical health and don’t neglect its importance.  Don’t Hold on to Grudges, Anger, and Resentment Great leaders know how to handle their emotions and don’t hold on to anger, grudges, and resentment. It is mostly because they are too determined to move ahead, achieving goals and progress. It allows them to understand that such negative emotions can be a stumbling block on the way.  Effective leaders are focused personalities who are great managers of people as well as themselves. They are organized in their thoughts, actions, and emotions, which help them think clearly, plan strategically, and act pragmatically. With that said, they don’t expect to win always, but they aim to win always, and handle failures gracefully as well.