What is leadership ?

The Successful People Demonstrate - Leadership.
"Leadership is not wielding authority - it's empowering people " - Becky Brodin.
"The Size if a leader is determined by the depth of his conviction, the height of his ambitions, the breadth of his vision, and the reach of his love."  - D N Jackson

Everything rise and falls on leadership : Small victories can be achieved alone : but great victories, the kinds that ultimately being success can never be achieved alone. To accomplish them you must include other people. And any time you start involving others to achieve any goal., you cross over into the area of leadership. Everything rise and fall on leadership.

What exactly leadership is ?
"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality."  In the broadcast sense that is true. A leader is someone who does make vision come true, but you have to include another important element - other people. A Leader makes his vision become a reality through not only his own efforts, but also those of others. Anyone who thinks he is a leader but has no one following him merely taking a walk.

Leadership is Influence : 
In some dictionaries of  English language defines the word leadership as "the position of guidance of leader; the ability to lead." That definition doesn't help much. In fact it promotes a common misconception concerning leadership. Many people believe that leadership get its power from position or title. They think the boss is able to lead because he has the position and the manager because he has the title. But that is not true nature of leadership. A person who can do no more than lead within the narrow parameters of his position is not true leader. As some one said " People do not follow programs, but leaders who inspire them".

The definition for leadership that I have seen is this Leadership is influence. A true leader is a person able to influence others to follow him. He is able to get them to join up and more out with him. He encourages the people  around him to be a willing extension of his vision, goals, and accomplishments. And he empowers them to succeed.

Leadership begins with a person's character and vision the core of who is as a person :
The core of who is as a person. As leadership expert Fred Smith said Leadership get out in front and stay there by raising the standards by which they judge themselves and by which they are willing to be judged. the beast leaders are people who are continually growing, stretching, learning,. They are willing to pay the price of leadership They will make the sacrifices needed in order to keep improving themselves, enlarging their vision, increasing their skills, reaching their potential. Through their efforts , they become people that others admire. 

Positive Thinking, Character vision, communication and motivation are the principles that from the foundation of leadership :
Credible people with good personal qualities are better potential leaders then people without admirable traits, but those good qualities alone don't make them leaders. Those attributes must be coupled with the ability to positively interact with others. Leaders develop positive relationship with people, begin to care about them, and learn to communicate and motivate them. Positive thinking, character, vision communication and motivation are the principles form the foundation of leadership and Self Improvement.

Relevant Pages : Vision, Time Management, Leadership Styles

9Cs - Lee Iacocca

Lee Iacocca' 9Cs of leadership from "Where all the leaders have Gone".

1. Curiosity :  A leader has to show Curiosity. He has to listen to people outside of the "Yes sir" crowd in his inner circle. The inability to listen is a form of arrogance. It means either you think you know it or just you don't care.

2. Creative : A leader has to be Creative, go out of the way and be willing to do something new and different. Leadership is also called all about managing change. Things change and you get creative.
You adjust and adapt.

3. Communicate : Leader has to communicate in a way, facing a reality and telling the truth.

4. Character : The leader has be to a person of character, that means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having powers to do right things.

5. Courage : Talk or walk or behave in a very confident and arrogant or self important way is not courage. Courage is to sit down calmly at negotiation table and discuss. Put your view and prove it right scientifically / by data / by knowledge / by skills.

6. Conviction : To be a leader one should have Conviction. A fire in your thought. A power of thought to really have some thing done or achieve.

7. Charisma : It is also called attractiveness. People follow leader on his steps, works and set an example because people trust leaders. This was the meaning of Charisma taken.

8. Competent : Leader has to be competent. You have go to know what you are doing and which is right or wrong. Other than this you have to surround your self  with people who know what they are doing.

9. Crisis : Leaders are made, not born. Leadership get tested and passed in the time of crisis.

Also Read : Communication Skills 
Also Read : 80/20 Rule of communication 

Managing Emails Effectively

Email can be incredibly useful – or it can be a huge distraction. The strategies in this guide will help you and your people process email effectively, so that you can all be more productive.

Email has transformed the business world. When you use it effectively, you can share information quickly, and increase your productivity as a result. But, email can easily become overwhelming if you don’t manage it carefully. In this 10-Minute Guide, we’ll outline six simple ways that you and your team can manage your email more effectively, so you can get on with the work you’re trying to do.
So, what are these six ways of managing your email better?

1. Check Your Email at Set Times.

If you check your email constantly, you disrupt your train of thought, and you become less productive. So, instead of checking your inbox throughout the day, choose set times that you’ll check your mail – for example, first thing in the morning, after lunch, and at the end of the day. Alternatively, schedule time to read and respond to emails after a long period of focused work, or at the time of day when your energy and creativity are at their lowest (so that you can do high value work at other times). You may be able to set up your email software to receive email at certain times only. But, if not, turn off alerts (including those on your smartphone or tablet), or, log out of your email program completely, so that you’re not tempted to look at it outside your allocated times. Manage colleagues’ expectations, and let them know that you only check your email at set times. If there are situations in which they need to contact you urgently, suggest that they call, or use instant messaging.

2. Use the "Two-Minute Rule".

You can waste hours if you don’t use your email reading time intelligently. Apply time management “Two-Minute Rule” to your email. It suggests that you should assess your tasks (including your email) as you come across them, and immediately do any that will take less than two minutes to complete.For more complex emails, schedule time on your calendar, add them as actions on your To-Do List, or use your email system to flag them up as messages that you’ll need to respond to.

3. Manage Informational Messages Proactively.

Many of us get lots of informational notifications – such as “FYI” emails from the corporate office, or details of updated procedures. If you see your name in the “CC” field instead of the “To” field of a message, chances are it’s an informational message. Consider filing it in a “To Read” folder, so that you can tackle it when you have time. You may even be able to set up a filter or a rule (see below) in your email program to file these emails in a specific folder that you can access when you have spare time.

4. Use Email Folders.

A simple filing system will help you find information quickly, and act on it. You could use broad categories such as “Action Items,” “Waiting,” and “Reference.” You can then use your “Action” and “Waiting” folders as informal To-Do Lists. If three categories sounds too simplistic, you can set up folders for each of your projects or clients. Then, instead of scouring your entire email system, you can simply search in the relevant folder and find the relevant emails quickly and easily. (Whether this works for you depends on the type of work you do. If you need instant access to emails, use folders. If you can spend a bit of time searching for an email, then an email search engine can give you everything you need.)

5. Use Rules

Most email programs allow you to establish “rules” that sort email into a particular folder as soon as it comes in. For instance, you might get several emails each day that notify you of sales your company has made. You want to receive these, because you want to know what’s happening, but you don’t want them to clutter your inbox. So, instead, set up a rule that moves every email with the subject header “sales notification” into a dedicated “sales notifications” folder as soon as it arrives. You can then browse these at a convenient time. You’ll also store all of these emails in one place, which can help you spot trends in the information that they contain.

6. Agree How to Use Email

If email is the main communication channel with your team, then it’s likely that your inbox is full of ongoing conversations about team projects and issues. These can be distracting, and these messages can make it difficult to manage the other contents of your inbox. Agree some simple rules with your people, so that you can all manage your email more effectively:

• If a message is short, suggest that it’s fine to type it straight into the subject line of the email and add “EOM” (End of Message) at the end. You’ll all be able to see the message quickly, act on it, and then delete it without having to open the email.

• Include deadlines in email subject headers. People can use these to prioritize tasks quickly, and to file them once a deadline has passed. 

• If your team members regularly send similar emails, such as time sheets or expense forms, ask them to use agreed keywords in their email subject lines, so that you can filter these emails into folders, and tackle them in a batch.

• You can manage email volume by using the “To” and “CC” fields intelligently. Only include someone’s email address in the “To” field if you expect a reply from them, and use the “CC” field for people you’re simply keeping updated. 

• Likewise, think about who needs to be kept in the loop before you press “reply all.” You don’t always need to reply to everyone included in a message.

• If it’s appropriate in your organization, switch on your “out of office” message when you need some email-free time. Provide a cell phone number or VoIP/IM username in your message that people can use if they need to reach you urgently, and state when you’ll next be reading your emails.

Key Points

Most of us feel overwhelmed by email at some point. However, when you manage it effectively, you can significantly reduce stress and boost your productivity. 

To gain control of your inbox, start by checking and processing email only at certain times during the day. If you’re concerned about the delayed response, let people know that you don’t check your email constantly.

Aim to keep your inbox as clear as possible. Organize mail using folders, and, when you do check mail, use the two-minute rule – immediately handle any email that you can read and respond to in two minutes or less.

Agree simple rules within your team so that you can reduce the number of messages sent, and make them easier to handle. 

Discover Self

Personal development planning is all about creating a long term goal for you career and then planning how your will get there.

However, before you can know what you want to do in the long term, some serious reflection is in order. What are you good at ? What are you not so good at ? What opportunities are available ? And are there factors beyond your control that could impact you goals?

To answer these question what we studies is management Gurus have accepted two classic tools, SWOT and PEST which can be applied in personal situations. Through this analysis you will gain a solid understanding of where are you now, and where you would be well suited to go with a high chances of success.

Personal SWOT
Fig 1 SWOT Analysis

In business, we use SWOT analysis to to identify the strength and weakness of any organization and the opportunities and threat it is facing. Just like that for single person the strength of an individual say what are you good at, the weakness say what is minus point and where the improvement is required. If person start know where he is not good, he understand that someones help can be taken.

Taken together, you strengths and opportunities help you to identity potential long term career goals. Your weakness and threats you face are the things which you need to manage, mitigate or planned to ensure the goals remain achievable. Management Gurus use four Quadrant to write the question and answers show in Fig 1.

Strengths :
Do not limit your self up to work skills, think of all the experience you have had, opportunities you have ad to grow, which may include your education, aptitude, personality factors, interests. Answers the following type of questions.

  1. What are you really good at ?
  2. What skills do other people recognize in you ?
  3. What do you do better than most people you work with ?
  4. What do you get recognized or rewarded for ?
  5. What, about yourself, are you most proud of or satisfied with.
  6. What experiences, resources, or connections do you have access to that other's don't have.
Remember to ask friends, relatives, partners, neighbor, your peers if required.

Weakness : 
We all have weakness, the trick is to identify and work upon as an improvement area. Use the following question to identify the same.
  1. What do you try to do that you are masters of it.
  2. What do you do just the sake of doing or just to fill the job requirements.
  3. Are there any personality aspects which hold you back by going forward.
  4. Where are you vulnerable.
  5. Where do you lack of experience, resources or connections where other go more.
Unlike the S section, limit your self to the weakness which actually may affect your career progression.

Opportunity :
Now that as you have looked inside your self, you turn your attention to outside and identify the elements that can build on or take advantage of that will improve your chances of success. This is best done by setting aside some time and brainstorming in an attempt to uncover new and innovative ideas that may not have occurred to you before.

  1. In what ways you can maximize your strengths
  2. What are the opportunities open to those who do things well.
  3. What would you love to do that you are good at ?
  4. How can you minimize your weakness.
  5. If you weaknesses did not hold you, what could you be.
  6. Where do you see the most potential growth for your self, Within your company, in different company, in same industry, different industry or a different career altogether.
Threats :
If the threats are not in control they can be planned for. It is called mitigation plan. That's why it important to identify all possible threats and do a mitigation plan. The more you know about them, the less you are to be "blindsided" by something unexpected. Now you  might feel that you would rather avoid looking at threats as they can cause worry, fears and stress. The reality is you will encounter much more anxiety if you do not think about potential threats.

Remember, a threat loses much of its sting when it is managed and prepared for. Ask your self the following questions.

  1. Do you have a weakness that need to be addressed before you go ahead.
  2. What problem your weakness cause if remain unchecked.
  3. What set backs may I face.

Personal Development Plan

Are we fully in control of our career ? Do we have a clear and inspiring idea of what we want o achieve in future? Are we actively taking a steps to reach to the career goals and to pursue dreams?

If you are not taking steps or doing something towards career goals, which is you dream, you take risk not to achieve them.  If you put the course of action to your dream on your organization, your boss, your parents originally - you risk not going where you want to go, and not doing what you want to do. After all if you are not working to realize your dreams, you are working for some one else's dream.

All too often, this abdication of career direction happens without even you realizing ti. See if you are recognize your self in this below scenario.

Mr. Mehta has been in a current position from last 3 years. He is doing his job comfortably, he knows what is expected, his senior was a good person, his peers are his friends, life was stable and good in this roll. Few more months passed and now he started looking at calender and finding Friday mood in Wednesday afternoon hours. Mehta started wanting excitement and challenge. He wanted to have some thing more right away. He himself is in confusion that what he want, a promotion, a statuesque, more importance in job, job enhancement, money, cabin change, or a job change. This is the reason of higher attrition in today's time in corporate. 

Unfortunately, for Mr Mehta, no one ever told him that neither his company nor his boss was responsible for his career satisfaction. No one let him know the secret that if tomorrow you do the same what you do today, results of tomorrow are not likely to be different than today.

The need is to take a charge of self and proactively change the career the way one want. When one take back the control he realize that the only way you will achieve what you want, personally or professionally is to think about where you want to go,  put in place the plan to go there and then start moving.

Surprisingly, One who do this personal development plan is you yourself, we ourselves. Personal development planning is just a structure way of doing below points.

1. Understand yourself so that you can set meaningful goals.
2. Decide and define goals in terms of what you want to achive and the steps you need to be get there.
3. Last, identify the gaps in your skills and experience and create an action plan that will fill them in to start to move closer and closer.

So start the process right now. Stay connected for more details.

Discover who are you are for what you are.

360 Degree Feedback Tool for an Enterprenuears

In one of recent organization, company is conducting the 360 Degree feedback on the values of the Company based on which the vision of the Organization is designed.

360 Degree word it self says, that from all direction a  person get a feedback. This means an Individual get an feedback of Direct supervisor, Peers, direct report employees and the most wonderful thing is your own feedback by some set of Questions and Answers. Like other giant organizations, a small and emerging organization should also practice this feedback mechanism for getting and giving a feedback on any topic. Remember the Feedback is not criticism, its an opportunity to improve self, improve others performance, improve organizations performance and make the work place better to work.

360 Degree Feedback Mechanism
Generally the 360 Degree feedback is done for those who are some or more at leadership level. It is an effective performance tool which is common in most of the organizations now a days. In this feedback mechanism, the employee receives confidential feedback from his manager, peers and employees about their performance. Generally it depicts what an employee should start doing, Stop doing and continue doing.

The Questions are generally on rating scale from one to five, designed based on the company requirements and type of feedback. The respondents is also asked to give comments on rating in details. 360 Degree evaluations represents the results in a form of Development plan.

The Development plan or guidance could be in this format.

1. Continue
2. Start
3. Stop

The employees who are not managers also passes through the same method of survey but since they dont have direct employees reports under him, it is generally called a 180 Degree survey for feedback.

The results of the survey can be used either way.

1. Used as a development tool to measure strength and weaknesses
2. Used for Yearly Appraisals tool for performance measurement

The 360 Degrees feedback measures behaviors, competencies, feedback on how others perceive him or her, which also address like how the person behaves, listening skills, planning, organizing the things with available resource. This evaluation focuses on teamwork, character, and leadership effectiveness like subjective areas.

This is not the way to measure employee performance objectives, meeting basic job requirement. The feedback can not be focused on some technical of job related,  skill related competencies, attendance etc.

In nutshell the tool is very effective in getting honest feedback and being prepared for the strengths and weaknesses identified.

Compare Leadership skills in Whatsapp Group Admin

We have seen two major internet revolutions in computer and mobile, which are Facebook and Whatsapp. Recently Facebook has acquired Whatsapp and it was a breaking news over night. Today the both are a very strong Social medias with which people are connected with each other. However, it has reduced the personal interaction and face to face meets. 

While we talk about the leadership, and mentioned in earlier posts as the persona having capabilities to transform the vision in reality, taking all teams along with him, becoming a guiding light, motivator all the time to reach the final goals. We never thought earlier about the comparting and taking exapmple of  leadership qualities before on Whatsapp Group Administrator. The following write up is inspired by one of my friend Pratik Shah, who is Administrator of Telecom Gujarat Group.

Vision : Creating a group on certain theme and make it successful is a vision of the Group Admin, and he or she make it happen by having a thought in mind first. Certain people create a group on the theme of School members, college students, certain company members or a some industry altogether. Some groups are on special interest or like minded people who wish to exchange ideas on very prompt medium. Have read some where that the first ingredient of success is to dream a great dream and if you can dream it, you can do it. Our leaders are also visionary and they led us to some goals and achievements.

Establishment : People need courage and strong commitment to establish something new, on which they are not sure about the clear cut goals and guidelines. Group admin create a group by having certain thoughts in mind, like from what will be theme, first conversation, who will be group members, from where he or she wll get those number and etc etc. The small things matter, micro planning required, even if you are at top level being a leader. The planning while and before establishment makes the leaders confident and makes him aware about the potential problems lying in path. The foresight will help teams to find a solution.

Selection / Recruitment : 
Selection of members in Whatsapp group is also an very important task since the activeness of group and members lies on this criteria. Even in some cases where the count of members increases above 50, Admin need to select some inactive members to remove and add new aspirants in the group. What exactly the Admin does in this process. Selection of suitable member and add them in a Group, Monitoring of Performance ( Activeness, effectiveness and Value) of the group members. Take decision to remove and add new members. Same is happening in Corporate world. In todays scenario the Corporate is totally Performance driven and employee are rated, graded, awarded and terminated based on the performance.

Policies : 
Whatsapp group Admin admin generally makes and helps others to break the rules either way. I have seen certain Admin, who restrict members by posting unwanted material, photos or contents on racism which may not generate a healthy discussion. It is a leader who decide how his group will behave. In certain groups there are only light contents will be forwarded where as some groups are so active where they discuss technology, job opportunities, current affairs which adds value to you knowledge.

Conflict Resolution :
Many members have difference of opinion with others still they are active participants and who make the group alive, it is a leader who keep them alive and encourage them to talk and share their views where as applicable. In some of the cases Admin become inter mediator to resolve the difference of opinion and drive the discussion to some other fruitful directions.

We never notice such leadership skill but it is every where in each individual if a person start looking at that angle. If you have notices that the Father in his Daughters marriage, become best manager, organizer, planner, forecaster, accountant, and leader overall. No matters what his roll in his day to day job.