Category Archives: Leadership – To Be A Good Leader

Your Road to Success

on the road to success
on the road to success

It has been said that the road to failure is strewn with good intentions. What then, lies along the road to success?

More importantly, what lies along the road to your success? One would hope that it should be full of achievements, learnings, leadership and good, old-fashioned results.

How often have you heard that someone has climbed up the ladder of success on the backs of people they have destroyed?

On the other hand, there are those who wonder why they are not successful in their careers despite the fact that they are top performers and know their work inside-out. Actually, it is not such a mystery. In the working world, by the time you have been promoted a few times due to your work excellence, you will need to develop other skills. People management, political savvy, negotiation skills and many other soft skills suddenly become the deciding factor between getting that next promotion, and being passed over.

In life, success had many measurements. Success in your career, success in your love life, success in your personal growth, success in your spiritual life and so on. More money, more friends, more influence, more power, more peace, more joy – how would you measure success?

No matter the measure, do the ends justify the means? This is a question many leaders face on a daily basis. If you can achieve the results you want, but someone gets hurt along the way, do the ends justify the means?

Where is the line between a necessary sacrifice and a convenient escape?

If the only way for you to look good is to make someone else look bad; then something is clearly wrong.

As you think about your road to success, you need to think about the view from the top. Or at least, think about what you will see when you look back along your journey. Would your back-trial be filled with betrayals, back-stabbing, vicious quarrels and simmering hatred? Or would it be filled with camaraderie, shared achievements, strong friendships, and superlative results?

You Lead, I Follow – The non-leader

A lot of focus has been placed on being a good leader. In fact, there is more literature about good leadership than any other management topic. This is because leadership covers not only management, but it involves teams, motivation and even our social lives.

But what of the people who consider themselves non-leaders?

If you are contented to follow, you are, by definition, a follower. Yet, the reality is that no one is a 100% follower. Everyone, bar none, will at one time or another be in a leadership position.
Continue reading You Lead, I Follow – The non-leader

Is it Good Enough to be a Fair Leader?

Think about this for a minute, the question is not about whether a leader should be fair, the question is, is it “good enough” to be a fair leader.

As with most things, the answers lie quite comfortably within the range of where you are coming from. If you are a corporate manager, you lead a small team of executives and assistant managers, and yes, it just might be good enough to be a fair leader. In fact, if you were in some kind of civil service, you must be a fair leader above all else. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t get too creative.

If you are leading your own business, is it good enough to be a fair leader? Continue reading Is it Good Enough to be a Fair Leader?

Work Life Balance vs Work Life Integration

Good leaders need to understand the concepts of work life balance and work life integration.

Originally, as part of staff welfare, the theory was that you needed to provide a sense of balance between their work and their “normal” lives. The most interesting implication of this is that there is an immediate dicotomy of work vs life. One is the friend, the other the enemy.

The irony then is that instead of creating happier staff, there is now a built in expectation that work is “bad” and we need to “balance” it against the “good stuff” which is found in other parts of our lives. Wow! How is THAT for motivation?

Seriously, the underlying assumption therefore becomes that everyone dislikes coming to work. Work is the necessary evil and so on and so forth.

That is like saying, eating is a waste of time, therefore…
Continue reading Work Life Balance vs Work Life Integration

Good Leadership needs good guidance

What does it take to be a good leader? This, and many questions about good leadership have been discussed many times and in many places. For sure, there is no simple answer to good leadership.

To add just one more morsel to the soup, here is a little story which I hope will shed just a little more light to the subject. It is a little vague to protect the identities of the people involved.
Continue reading Good Leadership needs good guidance

Good subordinates require good leadership

When things go wrong, the bosses blame the workers, and the workers blame the bosses. When things go right, the bosses take the credit and the workers do the clean up work.

Yes, many of you will say that the above is a cliched scenario that no longer happens today. Well, dream on.

All managers want to have good subordinates. A lot has been written about this topic. It is not only about the authority of the boss, but in many cases, it is about the ability to lead. Leadership is so very different from being bossy.

Some bosses think that good leadership means that they set a good example. If they set a good example, they are good leaders. I think that is a little too simplistic.

Recently, I overhead this discussion and I want to share it with you. Names, places and some details were changed to maintain anonymity.

One manager was joking about another colleague who got his iPhone and only knew how to use it to receive and make calls, nothing else. After a nice round of chuckles, one of the directors suddenly asked “Where did he get the iPhone?”

Apparently, the iPhone came as part of the package when the corporate mobile phone plan was renewed. Immediately, the director then said, “That iPhone belongs to the company, he should surrender it since the company is paying the phone bills.”

Interesting, isn’t it? What would you have done?

By the letter of the law, that last statement is not wrong. However, think about the message that you are sending to your people. Here are a few points to consider as a leader:

1. The guy is working FOR you. That phone is already being used in service of the company.
2. The guy did not break any rules or bent any to “get” the iPhone, it was simply a part of the Corporate Plan which the company was subscribing to.
3. Taking away the iPhone and keeping it in the cupboard would appear to be a spiteful, petty “management” action that does not seem to have any bearing on improving productivity or any thing positive.

Is this how you would inspire your subordinates? By demonstrating how legalistic and by-the-book you are?

Would you be surprised if the guy told you that he knocks off at 5pm and refused to lift a finger to answer the phone at 5.01pm? After all, you set the example.

If you want good subordinates, you must first be a good leader. That leadership extends to many aspects of your interaction with and your management of, the people.

This is probably worth a case study, but since this is just a blog, let us leave it at that. Your comments would be most welcomed!