What makes a great leader? Who is the best boss? And what does it take to lead a team?
While the first qualities that come to our mind like a visionary, decision maker, courageous, passionate etc are all quite essential and can be termed as the foundation of a great leader they are not all.
According to Simon Sinek, Author, motivational speaker, and marketing consultant, most leaders don’t even know the game they are in. And what happens when you play football following the rules of rugby, you do it all wrong.
He believes that there are 2 essential qualities that make a great leader which we’ll discuss in the post below.
But first, let’s cover what we are doing wrong and why?
All we’ve been taught is to run in a swirling scheme of patterns where the leaders are responsible for the results, customers, and are in charge of everything but in reality, leaders are not responsible for customers, not even results, and are definitely not in charge of everything but only of people under them.
If you look at it how can someone who hasn’t talked with customers in years be responsible for them, they don’t interact with them, they are at the very end of this chain. They are only responsible for the people who are responsible for the people who are responsible for the customers.
It’s often seen and taught that you need to get the right people for the job. I mention it from time to time in blogs and while I still believe in it that sometimes because of pressure or lack of clarity as to what one actually wants to do they get into things that they have very little to no interest in and it’s not good for anybody to continue with that. But I also believe that one can learn anything and be an expert in whatever they choose to be an expert in and research has shown proof of brain’s plasticity which earlier was thought to be fixed is now known as highly malleable.
So, is saying we don’t have the right people for the job nothing more than a good believable excuse? Maybe.
But if it’s not the employees then who’s responsible for the low performance? Is it the leaders? Maybe, a self-reflection of the ways followed to manage the workforce can help find the culprit. Because nobody wants to perform bad and be shouted at, everyone wishes to be the epitome but conditions might or might not support the dream and this is when the leader needs to bend forward and give his/her helping hand to the needy employees.
The thing is that we don’t know what’s going on in people’s lives and after having met and known too many people up close and personal, I can vouch for it. That it’s never just the good that furnishes their livelihood but a mix of the yin and yang. So, go out there not to shout and demean but with curiosity to learn and help. Ask what happened, is everything alright? And let them know that they can ask for help, you’re there for them.
Taking this further, Simon classified the various issues that the current generation is dealing with and how companies are not understanding them.
Millenials are grown in the age of failed marriages and in a world where they are taught that they can get whatever they want and that too with minimal efforts. Today, kids get participating medals which have been shown to have negative effects on both the winner and the participating kids because it degrades the value of winning and it gives a sense of embarrassment to the losing kids for getting a medal without winning it leading to mixed feelings.
And when this generation enters the real world of jobs and business. Their beliefs are shattered in a moment and they come to realize that the world doesn’t function the way they have assumed it. Wanting doesn’t necessarily mean having. They have to work hard for it, their parents cannot help them get a promotion. This complete reversal of the “How things work?” pattern leaves them baffled and with low self-esteem.
Moreover, they are people who have grown up using social media where they can apply filters to everything and show what they wish to show. People think they are confident but it’s actually the opposite. They become insecure.
Dopamine is the chemical that is released when something excites us and it is responsible for the tingling effect that we get when we do something fun. And guess what the notification bell has the power to shake our dopamine levels. Apart from social media, the other things that release dopamine are alcohol, nicotine, drugs etc. That’s the reason why people feel less stressed after consuming these things and the first time people interact with these products is in their teenage years and once they realize that it plummets stress, they turn to it everytime faced with one.
And the same happens with social media, when we get likes, we get happy and this becomes an inherent quality that whenever stress calls use social media, text to a deluge of friends hoping someone would reply. The number of likes on our post dictates our level of happiness and the emotion we’ll end up with. And it actually can depress some people.
Not only that when kids nowadays go out with friends they still have the phone ruling the majority of their attention. Putting the phone on the table when sitting with someone poses a subconscious barrier. Imagine a speaker speaking with a phone in his/her hand, your attention will be divided and the message it would send is that you are not the most important thing in that room. So, this hampers their relationships with people and they end up with shallow friendships.
Because of the instant gratification that we get nowadays, people have become impatient. We just don’t know how to wait. If you want to buy something order online, want to watch movies again go online, and even if you wish to go out for a date swipe right. So, this disturbs the mental balance and sets a different pattern where instant is the theme followed. But things in real life outside of these amenities don’t function like this that’s why nowadays we see people jumping from one job to another, one relationship to another to find that perfect one.
We are putting a talented and highly creative bunch of people in a restricted corporate environment where they are least treated as humans. Our passe methods are dated to as back as 70’s and there’s an urgent need to upgrade.
One thing that’s pervasive and a complete turn off for companies is the mass layoffs. It is the easiest way to break trust. It not only affects those who are let loose but also those who stay in. The message that’s conveyed is no matter how long and how hard you’ve been working if the books say otherwise you’re fired. So, this encourages an atmosphere of fear and distrust. In such a case no one would speak up on their fault and will fear to admit a confusion and this is definitely not how a company grows.
So, developing a good environment is a key to better working.
Now, that we know the reason behind less productive working let’s discuss the two qualities that make a great leader.
Show that you care. There’s always a backstory for the way things are and if someone’s not performing to their utmost level there must be a reason for it. Try understanding it and give your full support.
Bashing people for low performance will never motivate them to do better. In fact, it will plunge them further. The only way to fillip their course is to be there will them cheering them for their efforts and helping them surmount problems if any.
Simon Sinek suggests that most leaders don’t know the game they’re in and are playing it wrong. There are two types of games one finite and the other infinite. The finite games include those with fixed rules, the middle, and an ending. Examples can be football, cricket, tennis etc. But in case of businesses, it’s not a finite game, nobody has agreed to the rules of what constitutes a number 1. So, playing this with a finite mindset will only lead to limited growth. That is companies shouldn’t vie with one another but approach the game as a self-development thing, i.e., focus on one’s own goals, values, and motives. Try getting better than oneself.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU BECOME A GREAT LEADER?
On the lines of this theory that employees are the most important part of any business, we’ve developed H.U.M.A.N. a simple to use, end to end human resource management system.
We believe the most important quality an HR should have is human qualities and that’s what H.U.M.A.N. stands for humane, unifier, manager, analyst, and nurturing.