Ah this is the fourth and last of the series, “Do I have what it takes to be a Thought Leader?“. Finally I shall focus on the Way to get there. So far we have seen, the basic characteristics, the why, and the how of Thought leadership.
There is no single path to get to being a Thought Leader. There are many! One of the first things that you need to remember is that, you can be a Thought Leader, and it is solely up to you! There is no right way or wrong way – but it should never be by hook or crook!
When you study the way a Bamboo Grows, it teaches you a lot more than just the way to being a Thought Leader.
The Way Forward:
Keep a Multi Disciplinary Outlook: Be an expert in your field, simultaneously understand and build your knowledge base with regards to other related fields of your discipline. Specialization is fine. But, having a wholesome understanding of your field as well related fields gives you a better advantage when it comes to problem solving, and arrive at creative solutions
Be the Focus: Thought Leaders do not always grow vertically, they are usually the focus, the center point around which not just a circle, but interlocking circles grow. This does not mean that you become the focus, but, be like a magnet and draw the attention of people in your field. Let it come naturally. Let them rally around you, turn to you for solutions.
Maintain Ethical and Moral Behavior: Never ever promote a solution or idea as your own, if it is not original. Always acknowledge and credit the originator who laid the seed of the idea from which a solution has been arrived at. Humility is always respected among great leaders. Once in the eye of followers, you need to maintain your credibility with behavior that is acceptable.
Self Reflect: At every stage in your life, self reflection is a must. Keep in mind You are not indispensable! Knowledge is changing every minute, and you may not always be able to deliver every time. Your quest to serve others should take precedence over one’s own desire for power or maintaining status quo.
Keep Ears and Eyes Grounded: Never put yourself too high, so that you become unreachable. Great kings have always moved among their citizens, learning the problems and finding ways to solve them. No problem brought to you should be too small to solve.
The Middle Path: Thought Leaders often find themselves at crossroads and that is the most crucial test for them. Many lose their way to egoism or external gratification. Thought Leaders need to know when to bow down, and when to stand tall- like the spirit of a bamboo.
People may prescribe many ways to get to being a Thought Leader. But do realize this, that if it is in you, and you passionately serve the needs of others, share, and keep your horizons in check, self reflect, and be humble – the path towards being a Thought Leader has already been laid. You need to strive towards it, and it will gradually build around you. And always pay heed to people around you. It is in keeping true to yourself that you maintain credibility and earn your stars as a Thought Leader!
Ah Ha! Wondering why I have picked up Sun Tzu’s book, Art [...]
Ah Ha! Wondering why I have picked up Sun Tzu’s book, Art of War, for some Gyaan in the middle of the week? Well its one of those days, when things at work settle down a bit, and the weekend looms so near, that the body itself goes into a relaxed state. Tune in and do inform me if this is not what you are feeling right now!
Why Sun Tzu? For one this great general and military strategist wrote this classic 500 years before Jesus was born & his strategies are still discussed in military classrooms and find relevance in the field. The Art of War has been divided into thirteen chapters each having something to say about the various aspects related to war.
But being midweek I don’t want to talk about war, but how after reading through his book, I realized it offers much more than strategies for war.
I have listed a few of his “pearls of wisdom” at random, and pondered over them, and have found for myself, a Strategy for achieving simple things in life, which I share with you here.
1. “According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s plans”- there is such simplicity in this statement, that it can teach us many things from dealing with what we have, to making good no matter how hard life may seem at times. Look for opportunities and grab them, and always look forward in life, for such opportunities come only once! Be flexible and life is at once easy – like the bamboo tree that bends in the wind and lets the storm pass over. But stands upright when the weather holds.
2. Sun Tzu saw that success in “war” comes from winning support and not from conflict. And this is very true. Once you try and win people over to your side, or even sort of reason with them, then conflict does not exists at all! Be pleasant in all your dealings, and you have a win-win situation.
3. “.. though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays”. Well my reading of this can work in this fashion – Be patient, don’t push your point, keep it simple, and trust in what you do – things will slowly unravel the way you wanted it to.
4. “What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease” – simply put, stop fighting the obvious, instead concentrate on knowing yourself so as to vanquish doubts, and you vanquish your “inner enemy“. The rest then comes easy.
4. “Order or disorder depends upon organization” – a fair amount of discipline is essential to help get things done. Too disciplined could cause monotony, but a fair amount helps to keep and make life easy in the long run
5. “There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet, bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted” – interestingly, when I look at my fingers the same thought emerges- together they are powerful but as a single digit, they seem weak. Collaboration can yield much more from life than going at it alone.
6. “Knowing the place and the time of the coming battle, we may concentrate from the greatest distances in order to fight” – Always, Be Prepared! A scout’s motto and holds true in adverse situations as well as in good conditions.
7. “Ponder and deliberate before you make a move” – this is wise not just for a war strategy but in every action or reaction we may implement in word or deed. A wrong word at the wrong time, without paying attention can lead to much distress for a long time. Think before you act!
I am sure you can find each of these “pearls” a place in your life at home or at work. And a last pearl – Never judge a Book by its Title, as it may have much more to say within its pages, than just the title. A snappy title may lack interesting content. So next time when browsing through a book take a while to turn a page or two before you pick or discard!
Every one needs to encourage once in a while. On individual basis we [...]
Every one needs to encourage once in a while. On individual basis we encourage and motivate ourselves by reading books, inspirational quotes, watching movies or listening poems and songs. However as a manager, leader and entrepreneur “Do you encourage, motivate and inspire your team?”
Like individuals every team has its own soul, which requires right kind of environment. In adverse situations where pressure has been mounted due to business reasons, this environment changes. As the environment changes the team gets uncomfortable or they get discouraged or demotivated and no where to get inspiration from, it will be an alarming situation.
In such times as a leader and manager stand-up, talk about objectives and goals as a team we should have achieved. Understand, where are we(team) lacking, what are the pitfalls, work which is trailing behind. Take a note of status and updates of progress. Figure out how much we are trailing from objectives. Estimate with current pace how much extra time it will take to achieve. All this while forbid yourself from playing blame-game. Never blame any team member at any cost. Always remember – to err is human.
Once we have noted the status, breakdown the lag between members and ask why are the modules lagging behind. Talk to individuals and understand their problems as why are they trailing. Is it technical and require subject matter experts or it is dependent on some other task/requirement? Ensure these prerequisites are met or subject matter experts have been provided. Sit with individuals and explain the gravity of the situation, appreciate their work so far. Request them to push themselves to the limits. Ensure they understand that they have not reached their limits yet. Make them observe their true potential in coming days while they are achieving the objectives.
Pep them up with every morning with a short email/letter as how close we are and how are guys shaping that up. You can use many conventional techniques in emails like small/short stories or motivational/inspirational quotes. Whilst the progress is made, never compare team members internally. While the tasks are happening and Unless objectives met never put a competition of comparison in focus.
Take them for the daily/alternate days lunch/dinner which would be quick(between 30minutes-45mins). Take informal status and repeat we can do it and we will do it. In discussion throw stories which people can relate to from previous organizational/your/their experiences. The pressure of deliverable should not come on the team members, it should first on leader and then on team but not individuals. If the individuals would be pressure free and he/she understands the gravity of work they will efficient and productive. The right kind of motivation and inspiration always make them believe in themselves and their potential. As a leader your job is to stick around with them always. Leader to a team not only helps them sail in rough waters but in calm as well. If lead better in calm situations in case of business, pressure can be avoided many times.
Some good books are there on bookshelf look on page 8 and 9.