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5 Major Challenges Faced by Strategic Leaders in Organisations

5 Major Challenges Faced by Strategic Leaders in Organisations

Strategic leadership is an Dynamic style of leadership but one that does not come without a host of challenges.

Strategic leadership is all about visualising, planning, leading, and making the best out of existing resources to execute strategies efficiently and successfully. Strategic leaders need to combine their plans with their management style and bring the organisational vision to life. However, there are certain organisational challenges that a strategic leader has to overcome. Here are five of the major ones:

Rigid People:

In an ideal world, the workplace is where everybody looks forward to working together as a cohesive unit and helping contribute to the success of the organisation. Unfortunately, the real world works differently and there is often an individual or two in the workplace who is unwilling or unable to do a competent job. Such people often slow down the speed of goal achievement.

Culture Issues:

Organisational culture expresses goals through values & beliefs and guides activity through shared assumptions and group norms. Negative cultures in the organisation can particularly affect strategic leadership as initiatives are actively undermined by managers who have a stake in the old culture or struggle to accept the changes inherent in the modern workplace. Whether it’s through manipulation or complacency, negative cultures can create significant challenges for change.

Self-motivation:

It’s one thing when you make efforts to motivate your team, it’s completely another doing it when you are struggling to find some motivation yourself. As a leader, you can sometimes feel demotivated to lead a project; It happens to even the best of us. The reasons can be internal or external. But you have to remember that as a leader, you’re expected to be the source of motivation, the driving force that your team looks up to.

Managing All Stakeholders:

One of the major leadership challenges is to maintain relationships, politics, and self image in the work environment. This includes gaining managerial support, managing up, influencing others, and getting buy-in from other departments, groups, or individuals.

Lack of Innovation & Creativity:

Innovation is often seen as a disruption of the way things work. A rigid and traditional management model can be one of the reasons leaders face challenges in innovation and creativity. Introducing change while keeping a business profitable is a tightrope and creates lots of challenges. Even if the company is willing to embrace and invest in new ideas, what good is it if the majority of the organization isn’t able to bring such ideas forward?

To sharpen up your strategic leadership skills or learn more about this style of leadership, enroll in our Strategic Leadership Training Class where you will learn about self-leadership as well as team leadership so you can form your own strategic vision and plan and implement your own strategy.

To learn more about the Strategic Leadership training at Pragati Leadership or to know about our other critical leadership courses, training programmes, or workshops, send us an email at myneed@pragatileadership.com or call us at +91 9765366385

We’re here to guide you and support you!

50 Inspiring Quotes from World’s Top Known Leaders

Powerful leaders are capable of shaping nations, communities, and organisations. They are visionaries with a blend of charisma, enthusiasm, and a strong sense of direction. Self-assured and focused, they take important decisions confidently even amid uncertainties and complicated situations.

So, what makes successful leaders? Well, it’s a culmination of many qualities. They’re not merely people occupying high ranks or respectable positions, but inspiring individuals who set benchmarks for others to follow. They demonstrate their excellence and lay the ground for breakthroughs. They reinforce the importance of integrity and honesty, and build strong connections, camaraderie, and trust.

The world has given us some truly powerful leaders who have served as the epitomes of inspiration. Their struggles and success stories motivate us to strive for greater heights, both in life as well as in business. Enlisted below are some of the best Inspirational quotes from these successful leaders to guide you through your leadership journey. Let’s dive in!

 Top Inspirational quotes by famous world leaders

  • “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
  • “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
  • “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”– John F. Kennedy
  • “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”– Winston Churchill
  • .”Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”  Chris Grosser
  • “If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.”  Jeff Bezos
  • “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
  • “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” – Colin Powell
  • “It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs
  • “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” Mark Zuckerberg
  • “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” – Robert Collier
  • “Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different.” – Indra Nooyi
  • “There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” Ray Goforth
  • “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” Mary Kay Ash
  • ”The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Kenneth Blanchard
  • .”You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs
  • “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • “To be successful, you must accept all challenges that come your way. You can’t just accept the ones you like.” – Mike Gafka
  • “Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.”

– Tom Peters

  • “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill
  • “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
  • “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estée Lauder
  • “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”– Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”

– John C. Maxwell

  • “Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” – Margaret Thatcher
  • “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” – Lao Tzu
  • “Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.” – Brian Tracy
  • “Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.”

– Brian Tracy

  • “We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.” – Queen Victoria
  • “Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.”

– Mary D. Poole

  • “Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
  • “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” – Steve Jobs
  • “There are two kinds of stones, as everyone knows, one of which rolls.” – Amelia Earhart
  • “Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.” – Margaret Wheatley
  • “The secret of a leader lies in the tests he has faced over the whole course of his life and the habit of action he develops in meeting those tests.”– Gail Sheehy
  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
  • “You have to look at leadership through the eyes of the followers and you have to live the message. What I have learned is that people become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you want to see in the organization.” – Anita Roddick
  • “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan
  • “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch
  • “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”  – George S. Patton Jr.
  • “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”  – John F. Kennedy
  • “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker
  • “A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
  • “’Restore connection’ is not just for devices, it is for people too. If we cannot disconnect, we cannot lead. Creating the culture of burnout is opposite to creating a culture of sustainable creativity. This is something that needs to be taught in business schools. This mentality needs to be introduced as a leadership and performance-enhancing tool.” – Arianna Huffington
  • “Contrary to popular opinion, leadership is not a reserved position for a particular group of people who were elected or appointed, ordained or enthroned. Leadership is self-made, self-retained, self-inculcated and then exposed through a faithful, sincere and exemplary life.”

– Israelmore Avivor

  • “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” – Rosalynn Carter

Even though a picture is worth thousand words, right words or inspiring quotes too have the power to push your through the tough times. If you’re a leader or aspiring to be one, a glance through the above quotes by the World’s most successful leaders will surely keep you motivated and help you chase your goals with passion. Get in touch with Pragati Leadership’s experts today to enquire about our inspirational leadership training programs!

effective leadership

Relevance of True Leadership in Dynamic Corporate Environment

A lot has been said and written about effective leadership and its significance in the successful running of an organisation. For years, experts have been providing insights that reflect how strong and positive leadership can be the differentiator between a successful company and a struggling one. Despite being a popular topic of discussion in business circles, it’s been difficult to chart out the exact route to making an inspiring and successful leader.

Given today’s volatile corporate environment, leadership is a complicated role that requires flexible mindset and innovative approach. Constantly honing strategic management skills, collaborating and mentoring diverse employees effectively and being agile & adaptive in the face of constant change are some of the crucial elements, which make way for successful leadership stories.

When we talk of effective leadership, a certain degree of guidance or training becomes an essential requirement and most experts unequivocally agree upon it. Good leadership training programs like those offered by Pragati Leadership equip leaders to take challenges head-on and stay competent.

Right guidance helps establish the purpose as a leader and build a mindset critical to productive work culture.

Those having inspiring leadership stories to share often display some common behavioural and professional traits such as:

  • They establish themselves as role models.
  • They make a positive impact on others.
  • They are focused on a clearly defined vision.
  • They encourage intra-team and inter-team collaboration.
  • They stay optimistic in tough situations and encourage the others to stay positive as well.

Effective Leadership and Evolving Corporate Environment

Given the high level of uncertainty and dynamism in today’s corporate world, achieving a smooth and efficient business operation depends heavily on how leaders choose to respond to urgent challenges.

Strong and versatile leaders serve as true assets to their organisations and are capable of turning challenges into opportunities. They create processes and situations that take the organization on the path of excellence. Wondering how great leaders succeed in making a positive difference?

  • There are numerous issues with far-reaching consequences, which have a significant impact on organisations. The ability to execute in such kind of environment is difficult and crucial. Strong leaders are capable of looking at the bigger picture and depicting upcoming trends when making decisions today. Backed by a strong vision and commitment, they focus on solving immediate problems while also preparing their organisation for future challenges.
  • Uncertainty and disruptive technologies have only added to the pressure under which employees work. This breeds anxiety, which can be counterproductive. An efficient leader strives toward curtailing this anxiety and exposes people to optimal level so as to drive success. One displaying characteristics of effective leader navigates through tricky situations with courage, empathy and decisiveness.

Resistance to change and defensive attitude hold back many capable leaders from reaching their full potential. An agile and flexible leader is always better positioned to make the most of available opportunities. Embracing new ideas and opinions, true leaders are optimists who nurture courage and take confident decisions.

Exploring the Sure-Fire Ways to Becoming a Successful Leader

Exploring the Sure-Fire Ways to Becoming a Successful Leader

Strong leadership qualities are undeniably the cornerstone of a successful business. In the current times when uncertainties, ambiguity and complexities loom large, the role of an effective leader can hardly be ruled out.

Strong leaders have major impacts not only on the team members but also on their company as a whole. Employees who work under great leaders are found to be happier, more productive and more connected to their organization. This creates a ripple effect that eventually reaches your business’s bottom line. No wonder today more and more companies are focusing on leadership coaching programs.

Well-trained leaders or managers build a culture of honesty, trust and accountability. They define and promote core values and foster a desire to learn. All in all; they play a pivotal role in developing a harmonious, collaborative and productive work culture that generates excellent results.

4 tips to become a successful leader

      1. Earn trust of your employees 

Building trust is the very foundation of leading successfully. Effective leaders build strong, lasting relationships that lead to better employee engagement, retention and business results.

Leaders who get it right champion humanity, empathy and integrity.

Winning employees’ loyalty in a hybrid or remote working which is very much today’s reality is a real challenge. However, a true leader knows the trick to crack it. Following are some of the ways that a leader can build trust:

  • Demonstrating as a dependable and responsible person.
  • Being approachable and friendly.
  • Showing empathy and fairness.
  • Maintaining rational behavior even when team members make mistakes
  • Being respectful of others opinions and perspectives
  • Living up to the commitments.

    2. Encourage two-way communication channel

 A strong leader creates a healthy work environment where every employee works with a free mind, feels valued and connects with the organizational goals. Two-way communication plays an important role in achieving this goal. Leveraging different communication channels, the leader can convey key information to the members and at the same time allow them to express their thoughts and ideas.

  • Motivating leaders encourage employees to ask questions, discuss concerns and even offer suggestions for resolving issues.
  • They share the stories of the company’s role models who made significant contributions toward the company’s goals or performed in a way that supported them.
  • They make sure employees’ viewpoints are not dismissed outrightly. Their opinions and thoughts are given due consideration.

    3. Reinforce an honest and responsible attitude

When you as a leader are honest and ethical in your conduct, you set the right precedent for your team members to follow. Remember, your genuineness and transparency will always be valued and inspire others to reciprocate accordingly. A fake attitude cannot give long-lasting results.

Act as a responsible mentor or coach. Do not hesitate to give credit to good work. This could mean recognition in front of peers or other non-monetary rewards that are meaningful to the employee.

         4. Capitalize on your employees strengths 

As the load of responsibilities and tasks pile up, you’ll need to master the art of delegation. You’ll have to identify the real strengths of your team members and accordingly make the most of them. Figure out what they’re passionate about and how they can help you in leading a project. Empower them to perform to the best of their abilities. Remove the hurdles that limit the creativity or efficiency of your team. You can organize effective employee training programs that could help them achieve their true potentials.

Just like empire, companies too can come and go. But, those that are steered by powerful leaders continue to last for ages. Having a great leader at the helm is something that all investors, consumers, and employees look for. If you want to excel at the role of a leader or want to be that significant contributor to your organization, focus on consistent learning.

Try Pragati leadership training Programs to develop effective leadership qualities. Our powerful learning solutions will help your foster your leadership effectiveness and talent performance at all levels. For more information connect with us today. Explore your true potential and march-on to becoming a leader that can make a difference!

What qualities make an inspirational leader

What Qualities Make an Inspirational Leader?

According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business School, it was found that the ability to inspire can yield the highest levels of employee engagement and commitment. Another study by Gallup in 2022 showed that adequate employee motivation improves overall retention at the workplace.

So, what do these results validate?

Well, they substantiate the role and importance of inspirational leadership in an organization. Real breakthroughs are achieved through the best performances of the employees and these come from optimistic and motivated employees. Inspirational leaders are instrumental in building a motivated team that produces excellent results.

The conduct and behavior of true leaders leave a deep impact on the people around them. They act as positive and inspiring mentors who foster better engagement and help create healthy work culture. Inspirational leaders encourage employees to take up new challenges and hold them accountable for their work. They bring out the best in their teams through empowerment rather than through control or command.

Key traits defining a truly inspirational leader

  • Inspirational leaders are responsible people who are value-driven and committed to creating positive change. Their actions are bound by strong values that align with the company ethics which they never compromise with. At times being ethical might prove to be challenging but true leaders do not back out as they believe in setting the right examples for others to follow.
  • Passionate about the mission and vision of the company, motivating leaders share the same passion with others working with them. This gives a clear direction to the team members as to why they are doing what they are doing and how it’s critical to the larger organizational goal.
  • Inspirational leaders have a strong sense of self-awareness. They acknowledge their limits and mistakes. This helps them invest rightly in their development. They never shy away from considering negative feedbacks and improving upon their skills.
  • Collaboration is the cornerstone of a dedicated and thriving team. Inspirational leaders understand the real strengths and weaknesses of their team members. This helps them devise and use strategic techniques like peer-to-peer mentorship or cross-training etc to promote coordination and unity. They allow individuals to come together and share their learning, experiences and opinions. A healthy environment is created where members are willing to learn something new from each other.
  • Inspirational leaders master the art of building connections with their employees. Now, this is certainly not a piece of cake. It calls for patience and persistence. It’s easier to get into a pattern of putting employees on hold to complete some other work. However, true leaders take out time from their busy schedules and engage in meaningful conversations. Authentic and approachable leaders create a culture of openness, kindness and respect.
  • Effective communication plays a critical role in influencing employees. Here it’s important to note that communication is not just limited to verbal or written communication. Your gestures and body language too speak a lot about you. Inspirational leaders are excellent at mirroring the non-verbal clues and emotions that ensure the people around them feel valued and understood. During difficult conversations, for instance, when someone’s flaw needs to be pinpointed and corrected, the leader adopts a constructive approach that encourages the person to acknowledge his/her mistake and work upon it.

Besides, genuine and inspiring leaders also exhibit the following qualities:

  • Empathy
  • Risk-taking
  • Positivity
  • Honesty
  • Passion for Learning
  • Trustworthiness

An inspirational leader is a culmination of all the above qualities. When employees enjoy the freedom to take risks while holding accountability, exercise their creativity without feeling apprehensive, communicate opinions without fearing repulsive responses, and work alongside their leaders as partners rather than worker bees, their performances are sure to skyrocket.

All strong and inspirational leaders are not born with all the amazing traits. In fact, they develop the skills over a period through right exposure and effective training programs. Pragati Leadership is one of the trusted leadership training institutes known for remarkable contribution in this field. Our leadership training modules are designed by industry experts who ensure optimum results from the sessions.

If you want to steer your organization on the path of success, focus on building more and more inspiring leaders. We can help you in this endeavor of yours.

So, what are waiting for?  Connect with us today and unlock the secret of creating true leaders who can add value to your organization!

Techniques to Nail the Job as First-time Managers!

Techniques to Nail the Job as First-time Managers!

Getting into the role of first-time managers can be overwhelming for many. Although it’s an excellent opportunity for honing one’s skills and career growth, taking additional responsibilities is certainly no piece of cake. Nonetheless, dynamic individuals who are ready to take challenges head-on make the most of the situation.

Each manager has different personality traits, skill sets and experiences, and hence each has his/her way of managing things. However, some effective leadership techniques can help a first-time manager to emerge as a go-getter. Enlisted below are some of the tips that have worked for most first-time leaders to transform into competent and powerful trendsetters!

  • Learning to delegate: One of the toughest parts of becoming a manager is transforming from being a follower to a leader. Adapting to the new role of being more essentialand less involved is importantA manager must learn to effectively delegate work to the team members. Whether big or small, a task must be assigned to the members who are best suited for it. Delegating not only relieves the leader for other pressing issues but also inspires team members to become valuable contributors.
  • Figuring out what motivates the team: Building bonds with the team is one of the stepping stones to getting the best out of them. As a manager, one must try to spend some time with the team members and understand their strengths and flaws. Getting down knowing what truly motivates can help in a successful delegation of work, driving optimal results.
  • Mastering the art of listening: Development of listening skills is an effective method of becoming a good manager. Being patient enough to listen to the team members concerns, ideas, opinions and challenges can breed loyalty and productivity. Listening doesn’t merely imply being quiet or giving full attention. It requires being aware of others unspoken gestures as well like body language, mood, and facial expressions. Listening on regular basis is very important to ensure smooth working especially when uncertainty is embedded in the workplace.
  • Setting clear expectations: Competent managers establish clear expectations for each of the employees. They set realistic goals for the team and ensure that members recognize themselves as accountable for those goals. When the managers and employees agree on clearly defined expectations, the possibilities of confusion are ruled out and a clearer road map is created for the employee to follow.
  • Creating a constructive feedback culture: Inspiring managers promote the culture of exchanging feedback. They appreciate good work and offer constructive criticism (in private) to the employees when they go wrong. A workplace environment open to feedback sets the ground for a growth-minded culture, leading to enhanced productivity and better retention of employees who feel valued.

Wrap up

 Being a first-time manager is quite demanding. With tons of work to be done, important decisions to be taken and different kinds of people to be managed, the position of manager comes with a lot of responsibilities and accountability. However, there’s always a way out for those who wish to conquer new frontiers.

While there is no surefire way or a rule book to follow and succeed, constant learning is the real mantra to becoming a successful manager. Building confidence over time with trial & error and following the three Ps – Patience, persistence & practice one can certainly grow as a true leader!

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How Organizations can navigate through VUCA Challenges

How Organizations can navigate through VUCA Challenges?

In the VUCA world, business masters are compelled to rethink their ways and rewire their priorities. The relevance of VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in the business environment has never been as strong as what it stands today.

In the age of rapid disruption, the business world is replete with opportunities as well as challenges. Call it the exponential rise of technology, globalization or epidemics, the changing scenario is getting more demanding for businesses to survive and grow.

As we closely observe the 4 characteristics of the VUCA, we realize that all stand in coherence with one another. While co-related at varying degrees, dealing with all the 4 aspects such that fruitful outcomes can be achieved calls for strategic leadership- VUCA leadership.

With the concept of hierarchical organization diminishing and no dominant model to follow and no thumb rule for any industry, the VUCA world directly challenges the business leaders to create a more stable and lucrative roadmap for their businesses.

A successful business strategy that suffices the VUCA demands requires highly responsive, agile and flexible leaders. They must be ready to embrace changes, fine tune strategies and adopt innovations to set the business on the path of progress.

In a gist, the key values that help business leaders to navigate through the VUCA challenges include:

  • Strategic foresight or clear vision
  • In-depth understanding of the industry
  • Ability to collaborate and co-create value
  • Think divergently and be open to new ideas
  • Ready to adapt and respond to the changes
  • Avoid looking for permanent solutions
  • Take decisions & mobilize resources to operate in crisis.

Finally, leaders need to have a growth mindset. By striving to be a lifelong learner, a leader can master the skills that lay the ground for better productivity and increased returns for the company.

Inculcating a learning culture is the way to master VUCA world!

Creating a learning environment is the key to unlocking the true potential of an organization. World-leading organizations focus on this element as it creates the cycle of quality improvement. Different methods and techniques are adopted to infuse learning and responsive work culture in the company. Effective training program is certainly one of them.

Skill development and knowledge enhancement are essential factors that can make a business rise against all odds. Employee training programs and leadership development sessions help to create a work culture geared to take challenges head-on.

Customized training modules supplemented with supportive coaching & mentoring can turn potential executives into enterprising leaders. They prepare professionals to proactively deal with the complexity and ambiguity inherent to the business environment and come up with viable solutions.

Special VUCA training courses are designed to help leaders build confidence and learn new skills and techniques that can be applied in practical situations effectively. The managers or leaders learn to understand and handle the implications of VUCA on the workforce and organization. All in all, a sound training and development program is the way to champion the new leadership style – resilient and dynamic leaders who steer the company to the road of success!

Effective VUCA Leadership - the Key to Today’s Business Success

Effective VUCA Leadership – the Key to Today’s Business Success

VUCA stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The term was coined by the US army during the Cold war to describe the condition resulting from the war. It provided a framework to build a strategy & leadership that facilitated survival in a rapidly changing world.

Currently, the acronym finds relevance in the business environment that’s facing constant threats in form of economic and global influences, ongoing restructuring needs, technological changes, societal shifts and more. The pace and intensity at which things are shaping only a dynamic business approach can steer an organization towards reaching its goal with minimal hurdles.

In the current scenario, VUCA leadership has emerged as the solution to counter the unprecedented challenges. So, what exactly VUCA leadership stands for in the business environment?

VUCA leadership is based on an agile and pragmatic approach that is quite different from the traditional management principles. Under VUCA leadership, a leader manages all the issues in the evolving environment without losing focus from the organization’s mission and vision.

VUCA leaders are competent people who learn and master the art of responding to fast-changing requirements. They are proactive leaders, prepared to deal with an uncertain world and make decisions that benefit the company. They are the real assets for the company who play an important role in realizing the business goals and driving profitable returns to the organization.

How VUCA leadership contributes to business success?

  • VUCA leadership counters volatility with a strong vision. The leaders develop a clear shared vision while setting flexible goals for the team that can be amended when needed.
  • The VUCA leaders beat uncertainty with knowledge and understanding. They invest in analyzing and interpreting the industry trends and stay updated about the changing needs of the market. They use this knowledge to respond smartly to the upcoming challenges.
  • They handle complexity with clarity. They focus on effective communication and positive collaboration that streamlines the working processes and eliminates unnecessary frictions.
  • They combat ambiguity with agility. They promote adaptability and agility by setting a flexible mindset. They build a team that has out-of-the box thinking and is prepared to embrace changes.

All in all, it can be summed up that true leaders in VUCA times are go-getters who know how to transform VUCA threats into opportunities. They anticipate issues cropping due to market instability, technological changes, economical factors etc and are well-prepared to face them.

They come up with alternative solutions and innovative strategies that can fight back expected as well as unexpected changes. They play an instrumental role in creating a corporate culture that’s supportive and adaptive to changes and uncertainties. Encouraging a non-linear approach to decision making, VUCA leadership thrives on creativity and “out of the common” thinking.

Concluding Thoughts 

The need for a shift in leadership paradigm is evident. The ever-changing industry trends emphasize reinforcing organizational resilience to future challenges and fostering a leadership culture that’s open to newer concepts and solutions.

The role of leadership today is to bring clarity in unpredictable times. A true leader has no rule book to follow, they learn and unlearn from their experiences. Needless to say, effective VUCA leadership training programs also play an important role in building and enhancing desired leadership skills.

Pragati Leadership is a reputed institute that specializes in leadership training programs. For organizations aspiring to attain breakthrough results, Pragati Leadership training program provides excellent learning solutions that accelerate leadership effectiveness & talent performance at all levels. The customized solutions help managers to understand the compulsions of the VUCA environment and build cognitive readiness in them to face the crisis with confidence.

Highlighting Importance of Leadership Development Trainings

Highlighting Importance of Leadership Development Programs

Several studies and business experts have time and again stressed the importance of leadership development programs. Leadership programs designed by qualified and experienced professionals who understand the ins and outs of business trends and challenges have turned out to be a game-changer for many businesses.

It’s not for no reason that most successful brands today consider leadership development programs an essential component of their business strategy. Effective training programs have a great impact on the overall organization including areas critical to strategy execution like cross-boundary collaboration, organizational management, and adaptability to diverse perspectives.

Most organizations that value leadership programs gain a competitive advantage in the long run. Better employee engagement, retention, development & organizational culture are the outcome of good leadership that paves the way for impressive financial returns and strengthening of the company’s industry positioning.

Role of leadership development training in boosting business bottom line

Improves employee retention and attracts talent

We’ve often come across people who quit jobs due to a bad boss. Simply altering the way a manager conducts his work and handles his team can go a long way in improving employee retention. This is where leadership development programs can be helpful. Providing managers with the necessary leadership skills of team management can drastically enhance employee relations and overall productivity. A well-honed leader knows to win a team’s confidence by making them feel valued and supporting them. Additionally, a good leader also attracts top talent and sets benchmarks for better performance.

Drives effective strategy execution

Execution is not just having a sound plan but also carrying it out effectively. Leadership development training instills confidence and a sense of commitment in the managers to execute the strategies in the right direction. They gain the power of adaptive thinking that opens a floodgate of opportunities and possibilities to them. They learn to rapidly respond to adverse and unpredictable business situations and take decisions that align with the company goals.

Bridges the gaps 

One of the key factors that hinder the smooth completion of any project is the lack of proper communication with the clients, working team members and other parties involved. A leadership development program hones interpersonal interaction skills that equip the managers to communicate effectively. They champion the art of convincing, negotiating and motivating people that helps in reversing the fortunes in the favor of the company.

Improves work culture

Leadership development programs have proven to be an important factor contributing to a positive corporate culture. Well-trained leaders or managers create a culture of honesty, trust and accountability. They define and teach core values and foster a desire to learn. All in all; they play a pivotal role in building a harmonious, collaborative and productive work culture that generates excellent results.

Leadership qualities are the cornerstone of a successful business. In the current times of uncertainties, ambiguity and complexity, the presence of a strong and positive leader can be the difference between a successful and failed project.

Impactful leadership development training develops competent leaders who can navigate through challenges and take the company towards its goal. Pragati Leadership is a trusted brand offering innovative leadership development programs that support talent strategies and empower businesses to rise above all odds.

Our programs are designed to spark the minds of corporate leaders who can proactively address business issues in a dynamic and disruptive business environment. For more details about our leadership training programs, you can connect with us today!

Corporate Training Advances Employee Skills And Helps Keep Up With The Times

Corporate Training Advances Employee Skills and Helps Keep Up with The Times

Corporate training, also known as workplace learning, is a system of activities designed to educate employees. The aim is to prepare the employees for their roles and imbibe the company culture into them. Having the company investing in the employees certainly makes the employees better understand the gravity of their job and also makes them feel important. For the company, corporate training presents an opportunity to mould the employees the way they want and prepare them for their responsibilities.

The term corporate training encompasses many different levels of training such as the induction of the company, niche skill sets, soft skills, etc. Designing your training program to be employee specific will improve learning efficiency and increase ROI. Typically, it’s the HR department that looks after arranging a corporate trainer for conducting training programs in larger organizations. They are the ones who identify the needs of training programs and make them available for the workforce accordingly. A few types of training programs are mentioned below:

Compliance training

Compliance training is often an obligatory part of the new hire onboarding process. It is a formal program that focuses on company policies or rules that enable employees and employers to avoid problems in the workplace and violations of the law. Most often, these are industry or job-specific policies. Compliance trainings may revolve around programs such as anti-harassment, diversity, business ethics, workplace safety, data protection, etc.

Job-specific training

Whenever a newly hired employee is welcomed onboard, they are given this kind of a training which continues until they are able to work independently. The main purpose of this training is to streamline the new employee adaptation process, make them comfortable and quickly improve their productivity. The onboarding training program can either be generic for all employees that cover the general information about the company, its history, mission, vision, and values, as well as corporate policies and regulations or specific for a particular role. 

Soft Skills & Hard Skills training

Soft Skill training involves working on personal attributes such as communication skills and personality development. These skills play an important role in the success and growth of a person and potentially of the organization as well. It is important for the employees to be able to interact well with the clients, colleagues, managers, and others in order to ensure smooth operation. On the other hand, hard skills are all about gaining master and developing an expertise at a specific task or a number of tasks to complete a job. It could be technical such as coding or generic such as project management.

Leadership skills

Leadership programs are tailored to build leaders within your company and make them capable to take ownership of their jobs and the tasks required of them. Not only does it train people to be better employees but also great leaders. Pragati Leadership designs training programs that are specialized to help you learn new leadership techniques and refine skills that will help you run your team successfully.

If you want to maximise the training programs you create, revisit your current workforce’s strengths and weaknesses and assess their need for the programs you currently offer or those you can potentially offer. This strategy will help you to arrange training programs that are absolutely required. For consultation on conducting corporate training programs, contact Pragati Leadership, today!

5 Easy Hacks That Will Make You A Pro At Communicating In Your Office

5 Easy Hacks That Will Make You A Pro At Communicating In Your Office

No matter which domain you work for or what your role is, if there is one skill you should have apart from your job-specific skill is the ability to communicate effectively. Communication is one of the most elementary skills humans require for survival and progress. In a corporate setup, having good communication skills can greatly differentiate individuals and highlight them out of the crowd. It is what drives a team to work collaboratively and creates a cohesive bonding which ultimately leads to achieving common goals. If communication does not sound like your strongest forte, here are a few tips from Pragati leadership – a leader in communication skills training – that can help you UP your game.

1. Be an active listener:

This may sound like counter-intuitive advice but a major part of effective communication involves you listening attentively to the other person. That does not mean you should only keep listening without talking at all but rather that you respond and acknowledge the speaker and let them know you are receiving their message correctly. This is probably also why we have 2 ears and one mouth.

2. Speak with your body:

Most experts agree that 70 to 93 percent of all communication is nonverbal. Body language is all about communicating maximum information using bodily gestures such as facial expressions, body posture, eye movement, touch, and the use of space. At any given point of communication, body language is inadvertently at play. For example, if you struggle to make eye contact with a person when you engage in conversation, you are jeopardizing the interaction with the chance of having your intentions misinterpreted.

3. Keep the conversation going:

Being a part of an active conversation requires you to respond constructively and add to the conversation. For example, simply agreeing to the other person by a ‘hmmm’ or a ‘yea’ is a surefire way to kill the conversation with a slow death. On the other hand, contesting each point with a counterargument can also become annoying. Instead, being able to give positive feedback is a skill that can make anyone you work with feel good.

4. Be confident, clear, and concise:

Consider this, the average human attention span today has dropped down to only about eight seconds. This directly means that people may get impatient when they have to spend extra time exerting their brains to grasp what you’re saying. Lengthy sentences are considered to be an indication of being indecisive and may hurt your image as a leader. Hence, being concise in your communication is an essential part of establishing an executive presence and projecting confidence.

5. Being respectful of others’ opinions:

Sometimes in a conversation, you listen to someone talk, and when it’s time for you to give your viewpoint, they either look elsewhere or have an expression of disregard on their face the whole time. This is an uneven and one-sided conversation that yields nothing but a loss of respect and a feeling of resentment. Avoid being the former and instead, give respect to the other person by hearing out their point with full attention and then giving out a fitting response. Sometimes, even great arguments can be resolved with a little bit of understanding and a slight modulation of tone.

Besides being able to communicate effectively at your workplace, honing your communication skills can influence your career – and your daily success at work. For organizations aspiring to achieve breakthrough results, Pragati Leadership offers powerful learning solutions to accelerate leadership effectiveness and talent performance at all levels. To learn more, explore the Pragati Leadership website today!

Highlighting the Benefits of Design Thinking Workshop

Highlighting the Benefits of Design Thinking Workshop

The concept of design thinking workshop has gained a lot of traction in recent times and all for good reasons. Leading brands including Apple, Google, Samsung, Procter & Gamble, and more have adopted design thinking to excel in their business niche. Business Experts agree that applying a design thinking model is one of the best ways to create a creative mindset that’s open to innovative solutions.

A design thinking workshop helps the design team to develop a user-centric solution based on empathy, ideation, problem solving, and prototyping &testing. Emphasizing a collaborative approach creates a space for productive sharing of ideas that helps tackle even the most complex challenges in the best possible way.

Throwing Light on the Benefits of Design Thinking Workshop

Spreading the value of Design Thinking across an organization helps to translate issues into a single clear problem statement and come up with viable solutions quickly. This ultimately results in a quicker time-to-market, better customer retention, considerable cost savings, and desired ROI.

Let’s take a glance at some of the benefits of the Design Thinking Workshop:

  • Teaches the skill of problem-solving

Problem-solving is undeniably an important skill that can make a difference to business prospects. A well-executed Design Thinking Workshop trains participants to master the art of developing innovative solutions to any challenges in any area of their lives. It infuses in them a dynamic mindset that never gives up.

  • Nurtures Collaboration and Co-Creation

Collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking are the very essences of the Design Thinking Model.  Design Thinking Workshops break down the silos mentality and inspire team members to work towards common goals. The participants learn to share ideas and value each other’s range of skills that pave the way for productive collaboration and co-creation.

  • Inspires to Challenge Assumptions

The challenging assumption is a vital element of critical thinking. Design thinking workshop helps participants to overcome preconceptions and develop a mindset that’s open to newer possibilities and different perspectives. This broadens one’s critical thinking ability, leading to better ideas and curtailing risks due to the repetition of the undesired processes.

  • Promotes Cost Savings:

Design thinking workshops help to adopt a proactive approach that prepares the team to respond to situations quickly and efficiently. It facilitates a deeper understanding of the user’s pain points and effectively reduces the feedback loop, development & testing time which in the long run saves efforts and costs.

Concluding Words

All businesses today are competing to offer the best products and services to customers in order to gain a competitive edge. From designing and releasing new products to providing better customer support, every segment of business plays an integral role in the success or failure of the same. Applying design thinking principles in the business process can help take the right actions at right time yielding desirable outcomes.

Design thinking workshop opens the gate to opportunities that remain unexplored. It prepares the ground for problem-solving through understanding human needs, idea generation, and experimentation. Through interactive and constructive Design thinking workshop sessions it’s easier to meet the project’s needs and achieve smoother transformations, driving concrete results.

Uncovering Factors that Define Good Communication Skill

Are you a good communicator? Learn the skills that will make you one

Communication skills have a significant impact on all aspects of our lives, from professional to personal and everything that falls between them.  The ability to convey a message in a way that evokes positive response from the listener is a skill that can take an individual far in life. While it comes naturally to some people others need to put some extra effort to master the art of communication.

When it comes to corporate world, effective communication is an important factor that none can rule out. Assertive leaders use their communication prowess to build a productive team that contributes immensely towards improving the performance of the company. This is the reason why major brands prefer communication skills training programs for their executives and managers.

Whether it’s written, verbal or non-verbal communication, clarity in communication is of paramount importance.  A piece of information is delivered successfully when the audience understands the intentions and is compelled to take an action.

So, what qualities make up a powerful communicator?  Here is a list of things that forms an integral part of good communication:

  • Active listening

When it comes to effective communication, active listening is highly recommended. Paying close attention to what the other person is saying without interfering him/her in their speech and responding thoughtfully is one of the first rules to good communication.

  • Choosing suitable communication style as per the audience

A good communicator knows how to tailor information according to the audience and the situation. For instance, different communication style (tone and words) is used to convey the same piece of information in an informal meeting with close colleagues than a group of external parties.

  • Positive attitude

Having a positive approach to communication is critical to garnering trust of the listeners. Simple gestures like asking someone how they’re doing or complimenting someone on his/her good work can help foster productive relationships with both colleagues and managers.

  • Confidence

Confidence brings clarity to the message that commands authority and builds trust. Maintaining eye contact, sitting up straight with shoulders open, showing attentiveness etc are some of the traits that play a role in effective communication.

  • Empathy

When we understand and share emotions of others we are in a better position to convey our message successfully. Taking into consideration the audience’s perspective and adapting accordingly translates to more productive interactions. Organizing and phrasing ideas that strike rapport with the listeners can make a lot of difference!

Significance of communication skill in corporate world

Communication skill is instrumental in promoting fruitful employee engagement and better client relations. When a right communication culture is established in the company, the employees align better with the company objectives and goals.

Be it channelizing the real talent, inspiring the team, eliminating conflicts or building trust, communication forms the cornerstone of all productive and positive work cultures.

From the client’s perspective clear and strong communication translates to winning the confidence of the clients. It acts as a channel through which clients are made to feel valued and understood, thereby paving the way for beneficial business relationships.

What Leaders Can Do to Reinforce Agile Transformation – The Need of 21st Century organizations!

Over the years, the term agile has evolved from strictly being a part of software development manifesto to having a role in business facets.  In today’s ever changing and disruptive business world where technology is fast-changing and so are the needs and demands of the customers, it’s time for the organizations to adopt a resilient business model that’s quick to respond and adapt.

In order to survive and grow speed and agility are the perfect competitive weapons. When we build a culture of agility, we create a significant competitive advantage that is difficult to replicate. Interestingly, the key to achieving successful agility in an organization begins from transforming leaders. Developing the right mindsets and capabilities of senior leaders go a long way in equipping the organization for future challenges and opportunities. In this respect, leadership development programs play an important role in imparting the desired skill to the talent resources.

What leaders need for agile transformation?

Starting at ground zero, top leaders need three sets of capabilities for agile transformations. These include:

  • Self-transforming to evolve new personal mindsets and behavior
  • Transforming teams to work in newer and better ways
  • Transforming the organization by incorporating agility into the design and culture of the whole enterprise.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the above pointers for better understanding.

Transforming one’s self

Leaders must be prepared to espouse changes and adapt to innovative ways in order to fully transform themselves for the good of the organization. They need to shift to a creative mindset that’s open to the diversity of thoughts, creative collision, and unpredictable risks. Executive leadership training programs can be useful in creating this mindset.

Unlike traditional organizational designs that worked on a hierarchical structure, the new leadership demands shift from authority to partnership mindset.  Fostering collaboration and building partnership with the team through freedom, trust and accountability can serve as the cornerstone for building and leading an agile organization.

Also, to deliver concrete results, leaders must view markets with a creative mindset of abundance. This implies realizing the unlimited resources and potential available to the organizations thereby, laying the ground for customer-centricity, dynamic entrepreneurship, inclusion, and value co-creation.

Transforming teams

Organizations that are agile, consider each team as a value-creating unit that has the ability to impact the business positively. So, when leaders build teams that excel in creativity, innovation, and agility, they deliver more value to the organization as a whole. But how can leaders help teams adapt to the agile ways? Well, this can be done by:

  • Building small empowered teams that are diverse yet well-connected.
  • Developing and encouraging agile teams to work in rapid cycles so they deliver greater value more efficiently and quickly.
  • Guiding agile teams to stay focused on a customer-centric approach. They must be able to create value for customers, by understanding & addressing their potentially unmet and unrecognized needs.

All these are a bit complex and call for nurturing and honing leadership skills in the right way. Effective leadership and communication skills training is often viewed as an excellent way to accomplish the goal.

Transforming organization

Unlike traditional executive-team exercise, in agile organizations, leaders bear the responsibility of sharing the organization’s purpose with people across the enterprise.

Designing and building an agile organization demands a set of skills based on a different understanding of organizations. It’s pertinent for the leaders to design their organization considering it to be a distributed and continually evolving system. Such an organization encompasses a meshwork of smaller empowered units, with lean management and greater transparency.

Besides all, the leader must learn how to undertake a multifaceted culture-transformation effort that centers on their own capabilities and behaviors. Whether its role modeling new mindsets, fostering understanding and conviction, leading virtual teams effectively, building capabilities across the organization, or implementing reinforcement mechanisms in the agile design, a true leader can make a lot of difference!

Concluding thoughts

While a robust foundation is core to developing a nimble organization, initiating agile pilots and then scaling it through the organization successfully is imperative for consistent progress.  Adhering to the following essential elements can help achieve the objective:

  • Taking help of a cadre of enterprise agility coaches for supporting the leaders.
  • Engaging the top team in developing capabilities at the early stage.
  • Creating immersive and inspiring leadership experience.

Inviting leaders to apply their learning in practice.

A woman leading a virtual meeting | leading vitural teams | Pragati Leadership

Challenges & Solutions related to Virtual Team Management

If we go by the recent statistics, there has been a sharp rise in the number of remote workers. This indicates a favorable picture of work from home trend that most businesses today rely on. Many look at remote working as a great opportunity for the employers to save on costs and for employees a way to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

But is the picture actually as pleasant as being portrayed? Well, practically not. Managing and leading virtual teams is a real challenge that makes project handling difficult for the managers. Ensuring all the employees are connected and motivated towards the same goal is a task that calls for immense talent and patience. It’s no surprise then that some major companies have retracted their work-from home policies- signaling the probable problems that businesses are facing with remote teams.

However, if the concerned issues are addressed directly, the benefits coming from the same can hardly be questioned. Identifying the key problems and taking right measures to resolve can shape up things perfectly.

To understand the topic more deeply let’s take a look at the top 3 problems that managers often confront while dealing with virtual team management. This relates to communication, trust building and productivity enhancement. Interestingly, these are also the essential parts of most management and leadership development programs.

Problems and solutions pertaining to virtual team management

Problem Area#1

Communication

Good communication across all the team members is the cornerstone for smooth and successful completion of a project. However, maintaining effective communication through calls, mails and chats is certainly not an easy task. Ensuring free flow of correct information to the respective employees demands nurturing proper communicative culture, hiring right people and using relevant tools for the job. The main idea is to build a collaborative environment that facilitates communication process and helps in relation building.

Way to go!

  • Hiring right people:

    We must look out for people who can adapt well to the virtual working style. Interviews are the time when we can judge the candidate’s communications skills and willingness to adapt. How well the person can interact through calls and emails, what are his opinions and expectations about remote working are some of the factors that can help set right foundation for building a strong team.

  • Developing interactive culture:

    Hurdles to communication can be eliminated through building culture of clear communication. We must provide guidance to the staff as to what kinds of messages should be sent, through which mediums and how team members should respond or interact with each other so that there are no chances of misunderstandings. Best way to train the staff is to meet once or twice a year and apprise them with guidelines on effective communication.

  • Using appropriate tools:

    Virtual teams rely on tools and software to carry on with their operations. There are different tools available for chatting, messaging, video conferencing and more. We must select tools that serve as good fit for our team. It would be great if we could conduct few trial sessions or do some research to determine which suits our needs. Training the staff on the tools selected is also critical to ensure everyone is utilizes them consistently and to the optimum advantage.

Problem Area #2

Trust Building

Be it leadership programs or executive presence training, earning employee’s confidence is considered as the route to accomplishing outstanding results. But, in a scenario where managers or team leaders hardly get to meet the team members in person and personal interaction is a rarity, it’s difficult to build strong bonds which form the very basis for shared mission, collaborative spirit and strategic team building.

Way to go!

  • Establish your Mission:

    We must draft a document highlighting the mission statement of our business that relates to the greater cause of humanity. Most non-traditional and younger working professionals like to get associated with a mission-driven organization. Stating mission clearly and embedding it in actions like donating charity and partnering with NGOs that share the mission can help win employees confidence and loyalty.

  • Promote collaboration:

    Collaboration is even more important when it comes to virtual team building. We recommend encouraging teams to meet regularly via video conference, as these virtual face-to-face meetings breed sense of community and familiarity. Managers should communicate their expectations for each team so they know they’re working toward a shared goal.

Problem Area #3

Boosting Productivity

Low productivity is one of the major concerns when employees are working outside the system of traditional office. In the absence of proper monitoring and personal interaction, some team members may fail to give in their best while others may risk burnout due to a lack of clear-cut boundaries.

Way to go!

  • Set up accountability structure

Setting clear expectations for each job role and regular check-ins to monitor the progress is important for ensuring accountability. Employers must have a basic idea of how long tasks take and how much each person is accomplishing every day/week. This is especially crucial for staff that is dealing with clients as it gives a sense of billable hours spent.

For employees not working directly with the client, conducting regular one-on-ones with each team member can be useful. This is recommended not just to hold them accountable for their performance but also to know about workload and support required.

  • Build processes

Forming informal group to establish daily check-in process keeps the team on the same page and holds respective employees accountable for their routine tasks and work contributions.

In addition to group check-ins, the managers must follow a system of monthly or quarterly one-to-one time with their direct reports. This could remove the stress of a sudden request for a meeting, and provide employees a specified time to talk about their issues, hurdles and progress.

Wrap Up

Leading a virtual team successfully is challenging, but addressing the issues in the process head-on is certainly worth the effort. Overcoming the challenges establishes a solid base that supports a cohesive and dynamic virtual team.

To explore more about how to lead virtual team effectively connect with our training plans. Pragati Leadership virtual team programs ensure:

  • Improved communication, cooperation and collaboration
  • More systematic team working & enhanced productivity
  • Improved proficiency while working in a virtual environment
  • Better working relationships with customers and suppliers- sound stakeholder management

For more information, call us +91 9890915064 or email us myneed@pragatileadership.com

Unlocking Wholesome Leadership with Compassion

Leadership is about creating new futures. This kind of leadership which arises out of the space of compassion and is about creating vision for the world is also known as Wholesome Leadership. This leadership takes care of all people, all the aspects of life- inner as well as outer aspects of life, and the environment.

Wholesome Leadership and Compassion:

Wholesome Leadership is all about Wholeness. The purpose of life is joy, creativity, health and to experience this we need to relax into the Wholeness of Life.  With uncertain times, we tend to ignore the inner potential of our ownself and move away from the Wholeness of Life…from the magnificent creative energy of life and this creates illusion. And Wholesome Leadership is about letting go of this illusion and coming back to the wholeness which is by default the situation of Compassion.

Wholesome Leadership and the Mind:

Our mind plays an important role in identifying who we are but on the other hand it is also the one who creates a lot of other things that can create illusions. So, Wholesome leadership says….let go off this mind and come back to the zone of silence, infinite joy, and infinite compassion. Our mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master, so let it be in the purest form of life. Let the wholeness do everything for you as our mind is too complex.

At the heart of the wholesome leadership, it is all about awakening…it is about awakening yourself to who you really are and when you wake up to this, your vision expands, you care more for others, you become universally responsible, and become wholesome and more conscious about your visioning.

Letting go of our mind is like ‘Lord Krishna playing an Empty Flute’ where the flute represents pure heart, open heartedness. When Krishna plays the music, we don’t praise the flute but we praise Krishna for the way he played it. In the same manner, when you surrender to the wholeness you can have whatever you want. With this you find the right connections and in comes the peace and your ‘will’ becomes wholesome and you will be happy and satisfied in the wholeness of doing good for the society and everyone.

Wholesome Leadership and the Executives:

In today’s world the need of Wholesome Leadership felt the most among the executives. With time the conversations and the thought process has changed significantly; their conversations are different and are now thinking about wholesome well-being. And, this is where the Wholesome Leader or the Wholesome Leadership plays a crucial role. The current situations have made them re-think about their life and also focussing on ‘what is the purpose of their business or why are they here in this role.

Eventually, they all are looking for a happy life. And Wholesome Leadership is a slow process of purification, purifying you of judgements and identification with certain communities. A Wholesome Leader/ Executive when becomes aware of the wholeness of life or about the inner potential, he/ she is like a ‘Joker in the pack of Cards’…who doesn’t belong to any suite and yet can play the role of ‘anything and everything’ in an instant. It is like a Leader who knows nothing inside and yet can take on any role that life wants them to take on. He/ she becomes the ‘Heart of the Organization.

So, to summarise what Wholesome Leadership unlocks is like slowly dissolving the Ego and coming back to Wholeness. It is about coming back to ‘oneness and peace’. And this Wholeness is achieved when you are compassionate, compassionate about working for the larger good and it should at first begin with ownself which will lead to unconditional OKness. And this OKness will further lead to compassion for other people and the environment.

Benefits of Wholesome Leadership to employees and the organization

Wholesome Leader and the employees

When a leader is aware of his surroundings including the struggles and strengths of his team, he/she is able to bring out the best from each of the members. A dynamic leader with wholesome perspective too can play an important role in creating a support system where everyone feels empowered and responsible towards achieving the common goals.

Be it delivering value to all stakeholders, contributing to environmental footprints or creating social impacts, business leaders today have a bigger and more pertinent role to play.

Here are some of the ways in which Wholesome leadership will help your employees and organization:

  1. It will help your employees connect with the profound inner space of joy, freedom and creativity and get them in touch with their core of life i.e. to the essence of ‘who they are’.
  2. In the world of disruption and uncertainty your employees will be anchored in the space of purity, calm and peace.
  3. Employees will be more creative, healthier and more compassionate.
  4. Vision of the employee as well as the organization will expand beyond business and organization.

What would an organization where everyone has unblocked all their barriers and are awakened to the full power of ‘who they really are’…look like? The organization will be an organization that is flourishing and its business is expanded by 10x. And what could be the reason for this? It is because, by being wholesome, all your employees will be charged to their highest potential. They will be more peaceful, collaborative, creative, and happy which will result in them enjoying their work more. Such a peaceful condition will create more social, emotional, spiritual and cultural value and it will not only result in profits to the business but also will result in Value expansion thereby making the organization a wholesome organization.

Wholesome Leadership and the organization

Wholesome Leadership is beneficial to the whole society…be it you as an individual or the organization or even to the environment. Following are the benefits to the organization:

  • The organization will be in capable hands of wholesome individuals/ leaders who are working with compassion towards the larger good of society and the environment. They will be more compassionate towards all the stakeholders- customers, society, family etc.
  • There will be a high level of employee engagement with more joy and peace.
  • Environmental impact will be good. The organization will be focussed on using sustainable ways of operation and this will impact the environment in a positive manner.  It is said that there can’t be a successful business on a failed planet. In this manner there will be wholesome success in the organization.
  • There will be ‘sociocracy’ with clear charter, agile systemic organizational structure and the individual desires to control departments or teams will be lost. They will be aligned with life. The structure of the organization will be more organic and not mechanic.

So, when all the employees in the organization and also the organization follows wholesomeness and there will be authenticity, integrity and everyone will be anchored into peace and calmness, it will result in increased productivity, more trust, increased morale and better ability to thrive and sustain.

What are the Benefits of Wholesome Leadership?

What are the Benefits of Wholesome Leadership?

Leadership is about making change happen. A simple definition. What is this change about however? Change is always in the context of what you lead. For Business Leaders, change is usually about building the business, larger revenues, customer base and engaged employees.

Wholesome Leadership is a new way of looking at Leadership that enlarges the scope of stakeholders from the standard ones of Shareholders, employees etc to one in which Nature, the Planet and indeed all of Life are our stakeholders. Operating out of this paradigm, means that the desired positive change is change for all the stakeholders. Operating out of the paradigm of Wholesome Leadership has a lot of positive impact for the organization you work in.

Some of these benefits are:

Caring for all stake-holders as key business decisions are taken.

The framework of Wholesome Leadership brings out the following as key stakeholders

  • Self
  • Team
  • Organization
  • Communities
  • Planet

 Business may be making profits, the ecological footprints of the business may have a huge negative impact. That becomes short-sighted thinking when we don’t care or don’t attend to the future. Taking care of all stake-holders (the ones you have a voice and ones that don’t) ensures that our business will be sustainable for now and for future generations since we are ensuring that what it takes to live and thrive is being attended to.

Creating a joyful and engaging environment at work.  

We spend nearly 70% of our lifetime at work. This work happens in organizations and with people. Leaders define the culture and working environment. When Wholesome Leaders are created, they operate out of a sense of ease, joy and a desire to enable success for others. This energy from the Leader creates a joyful and engaging work environment in which teams are most productive. It is well researched that a non-threatening work environment enables the best to come out of a person since they are not on guard. They work out of ease and a desire to excel born out of their own volition.

Catalysing collective evolution.

Beyond creating an engaging work environment, Leaders also catalyze the evolution and growth of their teams. They recognize that their role is not merely getting performance but to enable the living out of the full potential of their teams. They therefore invest time in understanding the hopes and aspirations of their teams and encouraging them to work for that. They also spend time with individual team members coaching, guiding and mentoring them. They get their teams to see themselves as unlimited awareness and operate from that space.

Benefits of Compassion to the Organization

Benefits of Compassion to the Organization

Wholesome leader is someone who has a vision that works for all. A leader who knows how to balance between polarities, which means it is crucial to strike a balance between focusing on your business profits and targets (e.g. task – oriented) and being a humanistic leader – one who is compassionate, ethical and creatively adds value to the stakeholders.

Research undertaken by Pragati Leadership has established creativity as one of the most important parameters of wholesome leadership quotient. The wholesome leadership instrument helps you assess WLQ parameters.

Creativity

It is thinking of novel and productive ways to do things. It is related to doing things differently, doing things better (pg. 281, Kirton) engaging the creative inputs of the workforce as a whole in the continuous process of improvement and lateral thinking with brainstorming, mapping and visualization (De Bono, 1984)

One of the characteristics of wholesome leadership is looking beyond limiting self-beliefs and cracking barriers of routine, comfortable thoughts, which is a function of creative ability

Wholesome leadership operates from the paradigm of possibility thinking and thinking out of box. Weaving variety of business resources is a key imperative for business results and requires strong creativity muscle.

Ever changing dynamic business situation and involvement of variety of stake holders pose tough challenges to business leadership and expects speedy effective response. Creativity with possibility thinking helps leaders facilitate that response.

Creative muscle of an organization facilitates connecting variety of business resources for better business results and satisfying all direct & indirect stakeholders.

How one does built creative muscle of an organisation?

  • Commitment to discover new, data which may not conform to the present paradigm is one of the skills which build creative muscle.  
  • Leadership Transition from Individual limited wisdom to diverse collective wisdom helps organization to be more creative and quickly align with changing business situation for better business results
  • Creating opportunities to reflect, share, experiment collectively by design helps build culture, to nurture creative acumen.
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Building Professional Excellence and Life Satisfaction through Wholesome Leadership

Building Professional Excellence and Life Satisfaction through Wholesome Leadership

Wholesome Leadership is a paradigm of leading which is based on an integrated, total and wholistic view of all situations.

Operating from this paradigm has a lot of benefits for our team, organizations and society at large. The biggest benefit however is reserved for the Wholesome Leader.

Here are 3 benefits that they experience in their personal and professional lives:

1. Inner Transformation

Inner Transformation refers to a shift in the way that a person seeing themselves and therefore their relationship with the world.

It’s not merely a change of perspective. It’s a radical restructuring of one’s mental models.

We start by examining our deepest beliefs, values and assumptions. Most of us tend to run on an auto-pilot rather than a conscious choice.

We can use an analogy of working with the roots of a tree rather than trying to change the flowers! Working at a deeper level helps us to reach directly to the deepest level of consciousness. This helps the outer world of our thoughts, words and actions to be transformed. In the process, personal unblocking also happens.

We start shedding our illusions, limiting beliefs, and sense of deficiency which block our full glory.

We awaken to who we truly are. Once this process of Inner Transformation awakens in us, we experience

  • Joy and Ease
  • Humility
  • Openness to Life
  • Being in a sense of FLOW

2. Professional Excellence

Being a Wholesome Leader is about bringing in excellence in your professional Life. How does that happen? Excellence is a state of mind before it becomes a way of life. When the state of mind is calm, uncluttered, unblocked- it can objectively look at the external situation, our behaviours, and what needs to change. The Wholesome Leader operates with no bias or prejudice and therefore it’s easy for them to reach out to others and collaborate.

This helps in work execution. There is often a fear that if you are peaceful and calm, you become passive and not interested in performance excellence. This is a myth. Being calm and peaceful helps in working with an uncluttered mind and with greater focus. The zeal for being an excellent professional gets enhanced (not reduced) due to having a wholesome orientation.

The Leader is always interested in doing better what they do each day. They do this without attachment but with dedication. This enables the excellence quotient to be higher for them.

3. Life Satisfaction

Since Wholesome Leadership is about jigging the cookie-cutter paradigms of life and work, a Wholesome Leader has a very different set of expectations from life.

They work from joy and happiness, not for joy and happiness. They recognise that the life they are leading is the life they have created and are continuously creating.

Therefore, life and work can’t be anything but satisfying and inspiring. Due to examination of their beliefs, assumptions, and values, they are clear about what really gets joy vs needs.  Life for them becomes an ongoing adventure since they are open to possibilities and accept whatever comes their way. This shift in their consciousness brings tremendous acceptance and gratitude for life.

Life therefore becomes more interesting and satisfying.

How Wholesome Leadership Matters to Me as a CXO

During the last 25 years of my career, I have been privileged to be in the role of CEO on multiple occasions for small and medium sized enterprises. These roles were challenging and rewarding. They enriched my learning as a Leader and provided opportunities to contribute significantly to the success of these Organizations.

During this Leadership journey, I have come across several Leadership models and have also attended Leadership development programs. One executive leadership program that has impressed and impacted me significantly as a CEO is Wholesome Leadership.

Wholesome Leadership provided me the paradigm that taught me a balanced and multi-faceted approach to everything I did as a Leader – Strategy definition, Decision Making, Caring for People, Caring for Society, Caring for Environment and many more.

It also channelized my thoughts and actions to the foundational qualities that a Wholesome Leader needs to focus on like Awareness, Mindfulness, Creativity and Compassion. These serve you in all times – the good and the bad ones as well.

The Wholesome Leadership Program also provided a number of specific practices for me to work on, to be on the journey of development of these qualities. The dialogue and discussions with other CXO participants were also very rewarding in terms of the diverse perspectives they brought in.

On the whole, Wholesome Leadership has provided me with a model that has acted as the foundation for me as a Leader and also one on which I could superimpose other models and leadership competencies without compromising the original beauty.

A Leader watching the skyscraper | Leadership Training | Pragati Leadership

How to Become and Excel as a Leader at Workplace?

When names of the leaders like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Tim Cook, Bill gates and Warren Buffet crop up, we know what exactly we are talking about. They are some of the most powerful business leaders that took their companies to phenomenal heights. With their conviction and vision they gave a completely new dimension to the world of business.

Just like empire, companies too can come and go. But, those that are steered by true leaders continue to last for ages. Having a great leader at the helm is something that all investors, consumers, and employees look for.

So, how can one become a leader in true sense at his/her workplace and serve as an asset for the organization?

Here is quick guide highlighting the qualities of effective leaders:

  • Gauge talent:

    If we are looking for promotion opportunities and aspiring to lead, we must be aware of our abilities. Being a leader at work begins by improving oneself at individual level. So, it’s important for us to figure out whether we have the necessary skills expected of a good leader. Are we ready to take up new challenges and responsibilities? Can we handle crisis situation in a project cycle? Are we confident to manage people with different perspectives? These are some of the pertinent questions that can help gauge where we stand.

If unsure about these qualities, we must spare time and effort into developing the desired skills. We can commit to a trusted leadership development training program like Pragati leadership to polish required skills for the dynamic role.

  • Learn how to add value:

    When planning to sharpen leadership skills, its best to work upon talent that will add value to the organization. It could be learning about the latest technology or acquiring a certification needed for management. Remember, it’s essential to demonstrate exceptional qualities to qualify for the leadership role. True talent is always noticed. So, we must surpass expectations and show our potential. If we have it in us, nobody can stop us from making our mark!

  • Work on emotional fitness and creativity:

    A powerful leader brings with him/her certainty even when situation turns topsy-turvy. This doesn’t mean that he/she knows answers to all problems; it just implies the person has the conviction and will power to find the right solution and move forward. The key to being mentally fit is being ready to face the unexpected. Moreover, when we bring creativity and humor to stressful environment, we win people confidence that turn to us for guidance and help.

  • Embrace growth mindset:

    Real leaders are those who constantly challenge themselves to grow. They view criticism and setbacks as steps toward improvement. They are consistently learning and honing their skills. This implies growth mindset and it is high on the priority list of a leadership role. So, when we learn to overcome all odds, set new standards of performance and inspire others to follow the suit we can be sure of being on the path of becoming a true leader.

  • Be Adaptable and flexible:

    In today’s Vuca world (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity), leaders are more challenged by continuous change. This is why VUCA leadership calls for ability to shift and respond to changes in the business environment with corresponding actions that are focused, quick, and agile. As real leaders, we must be prepared to embrace the ever-changing nature of business, meet challenges with a flexible attitude and also inspire the same willingness to adapt among others.

  • Adopt Innovative thinking:

    Innovative people are always open to new ideas and discussions. They listen to everyone actively and encourage others to think out of the box. This quality gives them an edge over others since they are always searching for newer and better ideas. In the words of the innovative leader, Steve Jobs, ‘Innovations distinguish between a leader and a follower. When on the path of leadership, we must move beyond habitual thinking blocks.

  • Be Strong Communicator:

    Leaders are good orators who know how to get his/her work done through right communication. Whether leading virtual teams or meeting face to face, they use their power of speech to influence and inspire. So, we must know how to be assertive without being rude. Also, it’s important to choose words and expressions which suit the situation and allow others to express their thoughts and ideas. Being observant and consciously learning from others’ behaviors can further enhance our communication skills.

  • Rise above biases:

    Good leaders are always fair to their subordinate, team members and the organization’s processes. They appreciate the good and provide equal opportunities to everyone to share their views. So, we must keep biases and unfairness out of our dictionary and create a culture that does not promote or acknowledge this attitude.

Final Thoughts:

True leaders lead, inspire, and contribute to the greater good. But, no one can own all these leadership qualities. To excel in the role of a leader it’s highly recommended to get guided by experts. Leadership training can be instrumental in achieving this goal.

Remember, leadership demands consistent effort and strong self-belief. Leaders should, therefore, be mindful and exercise the leadership skills for sustainable growth.

For more information on how to develop effective leadership qualities, connect with Pragati Leadership. We offer powerful learning solutions to accelerate leadership effectiveness and talent performance at all levels.

2 Managers Talking | Communication Skills Training | Pragati Leadership

Key factors that contribute to Effective Communication

Ability to communicate is an art that helps us excel not only in personal life but also in professional one. Such is the importance of effective communication in corporate world, that today most large companies prefer organizing communication skills training for their employees and managers.

Good communication is considered to be the bedrock for smooth running of business. It helps build relationships, facilitates innovation and promotes positive work culture; all in all, it makes it easier to achieve the set goals.

The essential communication skills that an employee or manager must possess:

Show respect:

When we show respect to others when trying to put across our message, we tend to fortify our stand.   Whether pitching an idea, making a business deal or just engaging in regular conversation with a boss or coworker, being polite and respectful are imperative—not just in terms of cultural practice, but in terms of common courtesy and making connections. We must be respectful of one’s time, place, perspective and feelings as these promote healthy work environment.

Learn to be a patient listener:

People usually have tendency to talk at lengths when communicating across companies, project ideas, deals and more. But do you know that taking time to listen is also very important. In fact, according to leadership programs in India, effective communication is a two-way street where active listening is as crucial as speaking. This includes maintaining eye contact and incorporating right non-verbal gestures to let the other parties know we are convinced with their ideas — and more importantly, that we are listening to them!

Maintain right body language:

When it comes to communicating ideas and plans, it’s not just verbal communication that counts. Instead our body language too plays an important role in emphasizing our message. Body language illustrates confidence and commitment in more ways than we realize. As a speaker, we must be conscious of and cultivate the presence we bring to our speech. Crossed arms, avoiding eye contact, biting lips or adjusting hair or clothing are some distractive mannerisms that must be done away with.

Don’t shy away from asking questions:

The ability and willingness to ask thoughtful questions is critical to communication skill. Asking questions helps to clarify doubts, control a conversation and even influence others. This is not just applicable for employees. Even leaders at work, must follow questioning habit -instead of giving direction, we should try asking questions to guide individuals to a correct conclusion.

Open Mindedness works:

If we want to an influential speaker we must learn to accept different perspectives. This forms an integral part of most executive presence training programs. It helps us to stay connected with our co-workers and understand the corporate work culture. Judgment and insistent on one’s own opinions can turn out to be a huge barrier to open effective communication. Be it adapting to new plan of action or new processes at work, being open minded brings in concrete results.

Feedbacks can propel positive work culture:

This communication skill is essential for senior level managers to help their co-workers and organization to grow. Feedback whether negative or complimentary must be conveyed such that it brings out the best in the employees.  We should remember that feedback is not just about correcting mistakes, but also a way of encouraging employees to improve their performance. So, when something negative is to be communicated, it’s better to commend the person first for his/her contribution and then go on to the real points.

Concluding Thoughts:

Irrespective of the type of business you are involved in and the level you are positioned at, good communication skill will always be an asset. Top Leadership programs in India like that provided by Pragati Leadership play a strategic role in developing and honing communications skills of working professionals. Our training modules are designed with a holistic approach- we train how to create persuasive message, when to cooperate and not compete, how to ask thoughtful questions and more.

For all those who want to give that extra edge to their career, mastering communication skills is a must. Contact us to know about our communication development programs and give your personality the push it deserves!

First Time Leader | Pragati Leadership

Creating Avenues to Develop First-Time Leaders

Excitement and nervousness are the two emotions that most first-time mangers experience.

The transition from valued team member to the role of a leader is no cake walk. A new leader selected for his/her excellent performance as an individual contributor may find it tough to fit into the role of an influential leader. Taking command as first-time leader and building strengths to adapt to the realities of a leader demands proper training and support.

Many a time, new managers and their organizations fail to realize the challenges involved in the transition of a technical/functional expert to a leader of people. It’s no surprise then, that nearly 50% of managers in organizations are rated as inefficient for their role.

A company that wants to strengthen its leadership pipeline must focus on developing its new leaders.  This calls for initiatives to be taken in the right direction.

Here are some ways to help build first level managers who can make a difference!

How to develop first-time leaders?

Acknowledge the challenges in the transition process

Make the new leaders aware of the probable challenges and expectations for the front-line management. They should understand that the role change will demand them to stretch their capabilities and step out of comfort zone.

It should be clear that managing some basic challenges in leading a team like building relationships, engaging and motivating others, finding ways to conflicts without losing patience will be a quintessential a part of their learning curve.

Many mangers feel lonely and lost when taking charge of the new responsibilities. They are uncomfortable to admit the same as that could prove them undeserving. In such a scenario it’s imperative to show them support. Build confidence in them. Help them understand that they are entrusted with an important work that they can manage well.  As for the issues they’re facing, its part of the game and can be sorted out with practical approach..

When people feel supported and trusted, they are motivated to give their best. Higher commitment and job satisfaction eventually paves way for excellent results.

Tailor development according to the specific needs

Many organizations opt for leadership development training for their new managers to help them develop key leadership competencies.  This is an essential part of leadership development. However, equipping the candidates with skills (taking into accounts their strengths and weakness) that are relevant to their current leadership role is critical to the success of training program.

Many new managers know exactly what do to but when it comes to yielding practical results, they falter. Hence, it’s recommended to try new approaches (rather than generic ones) to address their most pressing development needs. Also, consider providing access to 360 feedback to improve self-awareness. Give them time to adapt, develop and grow.

Create learning networks

Besides, setting up formal leadership development programs, look for ways to create in-house learning opportunities for first-level managers. Organize interactive sessions with senior managers. Let them share stories of their success or failure and talk about their challenges and the lessons learned through experiences.

One can also create learning networks by allowing space and time for new leaders to come together and act as peer mentors for each. Peer-to-peer learning can be a powerful development tool that breaks through some common barriers to skill-building. People gain new skills best in any situation that includes the four stages of “Learning Loop”: gain knowledge; practice by applying that knowledge; get feedback; and reflect on what has been learned. Peer-to-peer learning encompasses all of these.

Wrap Up:

Honing new talent such that it turns into a major contributor to the attainment of business goals need right planning and dedicated effort.  Prepare an assessment model to zero in on the set of core transition tasks for new leaders and accordingly break down the framework into distinct levels of support that organization can provide.

If you want to build a team of dynamic leaders that can steer your company to the road of success and establish higher standards for others, connect with Pragati Leadership. We offer top leadership programs in India that are customized to match the unique needs of the new leaders. For more details call us today. We’ll be happy to serve you!

Wholesome leadership | Wholesome Leader | Leading virtual teams | Executibe leadership training | Pragati leadership

Wholesome Leadership – An Overview

The defined role and expectations for business leaders have changed over the period of time. Today, they can no longer consider themselves as an isolated island committed merely to the creation of business revenue. Be it delivering value to all stakeholders, contributing to environmental footprints or creating social impacts, business Leaders today have a bigger and more pertinent role to play.

This presses the need for a holistic outlook wherein wholesome leadership forms a quintessential part. It is about framing a clear-cut roadmap and executing actions through self awareness, people awareness and surrounding awareness.

Who is a wholesome leader?

We’ve all known some common leadership traits that holds true for all leaders, irrespective of their industry. This includes having a powerful vision, motivating people to follow that vision, thinking strategically through business options, adding value through innovation, leading teams and people and most importantly conducting themselves as role models for others. All these form an integral part of all leadership programs including executive leadership program.

A wholesome leader is one who is expected to transcend the traditional roles of a business leader and create desired breakthroughs at all levels. All in all, Wholesome Leadership calls for a process that includes three- fold integration:

1 – Self awareness, integration with body and mind
2 – Integration with the people
3 -Integration with the environment.

Mindfulness and self mastery – the pillars of wholesome leadership   

Self Mastery and Mindfulness are essential components of wholesome leadership which encompasses both –being self aware and in control of one’s attitudes, thoughts, preferences and mental paradigms. It is the ability to understand mind and its tricks. Technically, it is a survival skill which trains your mind to stay more focused and cognizant in a natural way. Such an approach can be built over time with effective training of the mind.

Mindful leader development practices are being adopted by mega organizations in their leadership training programs. One of the top leadership development program launched by Google called “Search inside Yourself” is a popular course which revolves around the concept of wholesome leadership wherein the employees learn about emotional intelligence and meditation. The course teaches you to master your emotions, train your mind and more importantly, gives you a ‘balanced awareness’ of activities happening around you.

Why wholesome approach is critical to leadership?

Every business aspires to make its mark in the niche industry. Achieving this objective becomes easier through a wholesome approach.  Leaders with wholesome ability can build a community where productivity, trust and well-being are closely interwoven.

Wholesome approach helps leaders to connect with others without being judgmental. When a leader is aware of his surroundings including the struggles and strengths of his team, he is able to bring out the best from each of the members.

He masters the art of creating and maintaining a positive attitude throughout the organization. Leading virtual teams, collaborating without friction, acknowledging achievements, giving patient hearing to grievances and more, all paves the way for strong bond between a leader and employee, eventually creating a productive work environment.

Mindfulness and self mastery is also a recognized approach among successful leaders to cope with stress and crisis situations. It forms the basis for initiatives that support “growing together” rather than harnessing the feeling of competitiveness. The Google’s gPause is a step in this direction that aims at building a community where members share problems, solutions, resources etc. to help each other out.  A dynamic leader with wholesome perspective too can play an important role in creating a support system where everyone feels empowered and responsible towards achieving the common goals.

Executive Leadership Program | Leadership Development Program | Female Manager | Female Executive | Pragati Leadership

Transition from A Manager to An Executive Leader

The impact of a high-level executive transition can hardly be ignored by any organization. It is believed that if a leadership transition succeeds, it bears fruits to the organization for several years. However, the transition from managerial role to executive leadership is not easy. This is why dynamic organizations take all necessary measures including help of executive leadership program to ensure their top managers become top leaders.

The responsibilities at executive level are much greater and difficult than at managerial levels. Their decisions and actions have strong influence on the course of the business, for better or worse. Yet, despite the high stakes, leaders are usually underprepared and under-supported during the transition to new roles. Helping new executive to succeed is an essential element for an organization that should not be undermined.

Before getting into how to achieve successful transition, we must delve into what factors are involved in the transition. This stems from the difference in roles of the two –manager and executive. The skills and responsibilities of a manager differ from that of an executive. While managerial role is limited to successful execution of project and effective team management, generating competitive value, the role of executive leaders is much broader. They have to deal with critical business decisions and processes including:

1. Developing competent managers

2. Creating leadership teams

3. Reducing long-term overhead costs

4. Anchoring transformation changes

5. Making culture a competitive advantage

6. Developing a vision and strategy that add value to the organization

Skills for manager-executive leader transition

Managers who aspire to take on senior leadership role in the C-suite must possess a mix of management skills and leadership capabilities. Here is a list of skills considered as pre requisites for managers to excel as executive leaders:

1. Connect well with people, build trust & credibility through effective interactions

2. Have a vision for the future, make work meaningful that inspires others

3. Enable coordination through clear agreements that can be trusted

4. Identify opportunities for change and can lead the organization to execute a new path forward

5. Keep acquiring and improving knowledge and skills

6. Have an open mind to new ideas and willing to create something new, not bound by old formulas

7. Able to factor in the needs of every part of an organization, not just the areas in which they have the expertise.

8. Good emotional intelligence like empathy, relationship management, self-awareness, and social awareness. This can be achieved by practicing listening skills, being open to constructive criticism, and staying self-aware.

Developing and mastering these capabilities come with practice and good leadership development training programs. It’s a path of building strengths that can shape the future of the organization.

Common mistakes that make the transition from manager to executive role unfruitful

1. Waiting to reach the position to learn the desired skills

2. Go solo, instead of collaborating with others

3. Complacent with current skills, considering it enough for next position

4. Learning just to meet job requirements, with no curiosity to learn about the bigger and rapidly changing world.

The business world needs leaders who can make a difference. If you are about to make that big leap from manger to executive leader or you are already there and want to improve your capabilities, then don’t hesitate to take help from experts.

Wait no longer! Contact us and we’ll help you master leadership skills and set new benchmarks for others to follow.

Stakeholder Management | Pragati Leadership

An Overview of Stakeholder Management

Every project you work upon involves large number of people. The inputs provided by them are crucial to its successful completion. You may depend on them for support, resources or investment.

Stakeholder management is the process of engaging these people and working with them through building positive, trustworthy relationships. Your authority and reputation as an organization too depends on it.

Forming an essential element of a project management, a stakeholder engagement plan identifies the strategies and actions required to promote productive involvement of stakeholders in decision making and project execution. Now, this is certainly not a simple task.

Each stakeholder is unique and so are their understandings, goals and strategies. The key to stakeholder management is taking into consideration interests, influence and needs of each stakeholder.

You must prioritize what and how many resources to actually spend on the engagement of different stakeholders.  This calls for a strategic and consistent approach, backed by a plan with clear-cut objectives and a customized-engagement process.

Good communication is the cornerstone of a meaningful stakeholder engagement plan.  Keeping stakeholders well-informed at different stages and giving them assurance about your project’s prospects is important. They can play a big role in winning their confidence and overcoming several hurdles.

Aligning stakeholders with your objectives and action plan is salient. It ensures that they understand the process, history, goals and the trade-offs made. Hence, there are less chances of backtracking or disapproving aggressively in the last stages.

Addressing the concerns of stakeholders and monitoring their feedback also fortifies your credibility with stakeholders. This also develops strong relationships, paving the way for better handling of conflicts resulting into creating win-win scenarios.

Important strategies in stakeholder management

The stakeholders can be potential sources of risk and opportunity within the project. It all depends upon how you shape your stakeholder management. You must be able to anticipate hazards, and take appropriate and timely actions. This can help you avoid strong resistance, poor implementation and negative outcomes.

Leadership development programs can contribute immensely to your preparedness for stakeholder management. This is because a range of business general management skills fall in line with qualities required of good stakeholder leadership.

Ideally speaking, a stakeholder management strategy must include:

  • Identifying and segmenting your stakeholders.
  • Setting parameters for stakeholder involvement
  • Communicating, negotiating and managing conflicts
  • Maintaining a transparent history of interactions with your stakeholders
  • Monitoring the feedback and developments

Stakeholder Management is a Consistent Approach

Making decisions and taking actions around stakeholder engagement in a consistent way across the organization is fundamental to accomplishing positive and reliable results. This requires embedding stakeholder engagement into everyday business activities. Remember, implementing and employing an appropriate stakeholder engagement framework can go a long way in achieving your set objectives. So, if you want your business projects to reach to fruition, make sure you get your stakeholder management approach right.

A happy team with their boss | Executive leadership program | Leadership Development Program | Pragati leadership

Tips on how to be a great leader and manage your team successfully

Along with the usual suspect like management skills & communication skills, there are many challenges you have to face as a leader which are not mentioned in your job profile. You’ll need to start planning on developing yourself immediately both personally as well as professionally. Research on the leadership in other organizations & see how you stack up against them.Are you that good? If not, what changes do you need to make in order to compete with the best? Proper training is essential to be a good leader. It is important to have a competent leadership development program to train and guide your management.

Here are a few tips which will help you lead & manage your team successfully:

  1. Strategic planning

When a company is going through the process of reorganization, there is a bit of panic and chaos within the employee and they generally look up to the leadership for reassurance. Keeping a tough exterior and giving the impression that you’re more than capable of taking the team through troubled waters is an integral part of management. Research & Development is essential to be a great leader. Try to stay up to speed on all the current events which may affect your organization. Have clarity of thought regarding the vision of the organization. Be well informed about the goings  in your organization.

  1. Employee development

As a leader it is important for you to exude confidence & charisma. However in some cases it is observed that managers are more focussed about personal growth rather than the combined progress of the team. A truly capable leader will recognize the efforts and contributions of his team and try & make great progress as a team. A great leader is always as good as his team. It is the mark of a true leader to take his entire team towards progress.You only stand to progress when your teamis performing at their best. It’s in your best interest to get to know each one of your employees – their strengths, their weaknesses, and what would help them to perform at their best. It is essential for a leader to lend an open ear to his team & keep an open mind. This will surely help your group flourish.

  1. Resourcefulness 

As a leader, another skill you need to develop is resourcefulness. You need to have a great network to help you in times of emergencies. Also, one should have good presence of mind to approach the right person at the right time.

  1. Managing Change

While the company is going through organizational changes, conduct an executive leadership program & train your managers to involve other team members in the decision making process. The leadership must be trained to effectively handle the employees’ natural resistance to change.

  1. Inspiring Commitment

If you want your team members & subordinates to give you absolute commitment to the company, as a leader you’ll need to inspire then by describing the company’s policy of encouraging, recognizing & rewarding its employees for their commitment & hard work. As a leader, it is your job to get out the best possible quality of work from your employees.

Be the change you want to see in your team. This will help instil confidence & help you gain the trust of your team.

leading virtual teams | VUCA Leadership | Pragati Leadership

How to successfully lead a team virtually?

The COVID-19 pandemic induced work from home situation has dramatically changed the way businesses work worldwide. The most daunting situation is faced by all the leaders in such cases. The shift from daily physical interaction to leading virtual teams surely needs some getting used to. Some companies have actually given permanent work home from to all their employees.

So what is different about leading a virtual team compared to a daily physical interaction with your colleagues? The main thing is that the personal bond is missing. All interactions and meetings are planned. Spontaneity is almost non-existent, which makes it more difficult for leaders to gauge their colleagues vibe or mood or how they feel about a certain thing. Another important thing that has changed is the accountability factor with all leaders having to rely upon online login systems to measure productivity & having to trust their subordinates somewhat blindly. This may affect communication & in turn hampers productivity as well. Your VUCA leadership will define the tenacity of your organization.

Virtual leadership requires a certain amount  of comfort with technology & knowledge of video based applications like Zoom & Skype& a general comfort level regarding video conferencing. If the reporting officer or the subordinate is inclined not to share progress or is not an efficient communicator, it poses a big challenge to the person in charge to make sure things are running smoothly. Being proficient in written as well as oral communication is a big bonus.

Here are a few useful tips on how to lead your team virtually:

  1. Timely Communication

Able leaders lead by example & establish a trusted channel of communication with their subordinates. Giving your full attention to your colleagues while on call is highly important as it shows your colleagues you care about what they are communicating.

  1. Healthy Environment

A good leader always makes his team comfortable about constructive criticism. It is essential to create a healthy & safe environment of trust for your colleagues. This makes them comfortable & improves overall productivity.

  1. Clarity of thought 

One more thing a leader needs to do while leading virtually is to make sure his colleagues have crystal clarity about the team strategy & that they have been informed of the same beforehand. This helps in avoiding confusion & improves the quality of work.

  1. Security 

If your colleagues working from a remote location have the confidence that you’re taking note of their contributions & are advocating their abilities to the higher-ups, it motivates them to work harder which in turn boosts the productivity of the organization.Always be an encouraging leader to your team. It helps build trust & efficiency.

To conclude, with the pandemic being a sad reality at-least for the next couple of years, it is important to adapt yourself to leading a virtual team & still excel at an organizational level.

Remote working | Coaching culture |Executive Leadership Program | Pragati Leadership

Importance of Coaching Culture in COVID-19 Times

Building a coaching culture in the workplace puts it in a better position to grow and nurture talent. But what exactly is a “coaching culture,” and how can leaders make this part of their everyday environment especially during the time of COVID-19?

A coaching culture simply means supporting your employees so that they learn new skills and become greater assets to the company. A management culture that emphasizes training, regular feedback, and opportunities for growth creates a more engaged and energized workforce. It’s the key to helping your organization overcome the challenges that came with COVID and help in its transition to new ways of working through and beyond the pandemic. If you’re to adapt and transition properly, you need to do this now. It is important to note that before trying to embed coaching in your culture, start by integrating coaching into your leadership and talent development framework. Embed coaching in some of your executive leadership program for targeted populations, like high potentials, senior managers, and senior experts. It’s the equivalent of learning how to walk before you run. It also exposes your organization to a critical mass of adopters.

As if 2020 was not challenging enough, the second pandemic wave has come with a greater vengeance crashing global health infrastructure and economies underneath. Marginally excluding the essential service sectors, It has naturally not been kind to businesses either. In this new and dramatically changed world, It’s time both, businesses and individuals, reposition themselves and reinvent their stance towards survival & growth.  The disruptive conditions of the pandemic mean that old rules and ways of working, leading, and managing are no longer relevant.

The 3 qualities that need to be cultivated

The three pillars that will uphold the post-pandemic organization are resilience, adaptability, and sustainability. These pillars depend on each other to ensure long-term organizational stability and success. However, these qualities will not emerge or evolve naturally, they will need to be taught by corporate trainers at an organizational, and individual level.

1. Resilience

Organizations need to take the time and effort to develop resilience into working practices, systems and to help their staff develop resilience skills. Managers should discover better approaches for getting more power, choice, and responsibility in the hands of their people.

2. Adaptability

Being able to adjust to new and emerging conditions has always been a key component of success, and adaptability applies both to organizational systems and processes as well as individuals. 

3. Sustainability

For organizations, sustainability means having effective leadership and management practices that are values-led and which demonstrate care and consideration for employees, customers, and the wider system or environment.

Coaching culture will help nurture these qualities

As work from home becomes more mainstream and administration becomes further decentralized, management will need to find ways of placing power, choice, and responsibility into the hands of employees. While some may be able to embrace the change and respond well, others may struggle. The only way to strike a balance is through coaching culture.

Think of coaching as the adhesive that holds the three pillars of resilience, adaptability, and sustainability together keeping them from falling. A coaching culture, where individuals realize how to mentor and how to be trained, is at the core of building a pandemic-proof organization. This would mean not only continuing to develop leadership and management practices that empower staff, unlock talent, encourage self-reliance and develop personal responsibility but introducing and developing coaching as a core skill and mindset.

For organizations aspiring to achieve breakthrough results, Pragati Leadership offers powerful leadership development programs to accelerate leadership effectiveness and talent performance at all levels. For more than three decades, we have been partnering with our clients to create engaged and productive/effective workplaces through our agile and highly customized solutions approach. To know how we can help you, contact Pragati Leadership, today!

corporate trainer | Pragati Leadership

What to expect from corporate training in 2021?

As the business landscape becomes increasingly competitive, the need for corporate training gets stronger. It has become an integral part of your workplace learning that paves the way for better processes and smarter workforce. The skills necessary in the workplace change over time, especially as we move towards the next digital age. Hence, to keep pace with the industry changing requirements it’s imperative to support your human resources with desired training and development programs.

Much contrary to the popular belief, these development programs are no longer an additional perk limited to the C-suite. Instead these are designed for different talent groups that can propel your business growth with their active participation.

Corporate training trends for 2021

Here is quick look into what to expect from corporate training in 2021:

Improved Workflow management 

Improving Workflow management is pivotal to business’s success. Longer business processes can lead to disgruntled employees, delayed services, longer waiting times, and dissatisfied clients. Hence, elevating workflow processes should remain one of the business priorities.  Corporate trainers can develop the capability to identify problems areas and  laxity in your processes and ensure a faster internal workflow process and a more productive team, yielding better outcomes.

Considering every member as a potential contributor 

A well-structured corporate training and development program brings all employees to a higher level by broadening their skills and knowledge. This helps reduce any weak links within the company that rely heavily on others to complete basic tasks. Focusing on how each member can contribute towards the final goals and encouraging them to perform better, goes a long way in improving the overall workflow efficiency and workplace environment.

Employing digital systems for training

Employing digital systems for training the employees is becoming increasingly common, and the results seem promising. When exposed to working with advanced digital systems and given the opportunity to learn different types of technology within the office, the employees acquire new age skills. This facilitates adaptability to the latest transformations, lowers rates of employee turnover and improves company turnover.

Enhancing soft skills continues to rule

Also referred to as interpersonal skills, soft skills play a critical role in project management. Be it communicating with the team, collaborating with a client or negotiating with a third party, soft skills can be instrumental in turning things in your favor. Some of the notable soft skills that find place in almost all leadership development training programs and which your business should also work upon in 2021 include:

  1. Communication skills
  2. Teamwork spirit
  3. Problem-solving ability
  4. Work ethics
  5. Flexibility

Virtual reality likely to gain momentum

Although Still a new concept within a workplace premise,  virtual reality is  being viewed as an incredibly useful  resource in corporate training. This is because it allows the respective trainees and employees to go through simulations of what challenges they could experience and how they would deal with them in a real scenario. This allows them to visualize what to expect and learn from their failures if necessary. Although virtual reality is just in the nascent phase in corporate training, this is certainly a trend that is likely to continue in 2021 and beyond.

Greater focus on Problem solving skills 

Problem solving ability is an essential part of any employee’s skill set that can make a huge difference to a project’s successful completion. The best problem solvers are ones who anticipate potential future problems and act reasonably to prevent them or to mitigate their effects. Corporate trainers shape their modules and teaching programs to help employees develop effective ways to deal with operational problems (such as delays in the supply chain) as well as to resolve internal team conflicts.

More emphasis on Data analyzing skills

A large number of companies complain of being  ill-equipped to meet their current analytic needs which requires turning mounds of data into actionable insights. Significant growth in analytics skills can be achieved through proper training of the staff. Employees can be introduced to advanced tools and technologies for data analysis and trained to manipulate and view the data in multiple ways and  most importantly, apply the newly acquired skills to strategic decisions on real projects.

Summing Up 

The ultimate goal of corporate training is to improve your work processes and upgrade your team with resources and knowledge so that they can perform to the best of their capabilities . Choose the best training for your workforce and become the thought leader of your industry.

If still wondering how to manage and adapt to the future of corporate training & leadership development programs in your company, reach out to the Pragati Leadership. We can help you with the relevant training programs that can meet the requirements of your workforce.

Call us today to give your business management just the right kick start!

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Female Boss leading a team | Woman leadership | Pragati Leadership

Women’s Day #Choosetochallenge: Encouraging Women To Rise Above All Odds

Can we imagine a world without women? Certainly not.

If women represent half of the society then why not give them the share of credit they deserve? Time and again women have proved themselves to be great leaders, thinkers and healers. Their remarkable contributions to different fields are simply commendable.

It’s Women’s Day once again, a time to celebrate womanhood and also a moment to reflect the status of women in our set ups.  Can we earnestly agree that we are a progressive state where women enjoy same freedom and opportunities as their counterparts?

Well, the theme of International Women’s Day 2021- #ChooseToChallenge is a clear indicator of where we stand. It’s a reminder that we need not accept the status quo anymore, instead, strive for change; a change that steers us forward – as individuals, and as a society. It’s a time to give ourselves a nudge to ask some uncomfortable questions and challenge the discriminatory practices and stereotype mentalities that breed gender inequalities and exclusion of women.

Can we ever forget the surprises that pandemic brought in its wake last year, 2020? Amidst all the chaos it was the grit, determination and agility of women leaders that became the savior ground for scores of businesses. Be it Kirna Mazumdar Shaw, Suneeta Reddy or zia Modi, the common thing amongst all the top business leaders is the grit to stay strong even when the tide is against.

Promoting Women leadership is what we need today to make our economic and social structure more dynamic and successful. Initiatives like more awareness about women potentials, women leadership program, countering gender biases in job roles and pay structures etc can be instrumental in bringing the desired change.

Reinforcing women’s role as leaders

Whether it’s the boardroom, the senate floor or the podium, women leaders are conquering every frontier. Truly, a lot has changed over the years; women today are arguably better placed than what they were in the past decade.

As women are surging ahead in different fields, it’s a landmark moment to witness their indomitable spirit and quest not only to assume positions of power but to exert influence on the on key decisions that shape our social and economic fate.

Innumerable articles, studies and even leadership training programs link women management qualities with traits of powerful leaders. Women are hard-wired to be influential mentors that can bring tremendous results even when the going is tough. Building mutual understanding, sharing common vision and guiding through inspiration comes easily to them. Their natural instincts like empathetic attitude, patient listening, collaborative and negotiating skills are their strong holds that make things happen.

Multitudes of business organizations are fortunately waking up to the need of diverse workforce with good representation of women onboard. Conscious efforts are being taken to address gender inclusivity and to build a women-friendly workplace. The initiatives in this direction include creating policies fostering an inclusive work culture, sponsoring women for senior positions, organizing women leadership development program, providing structural support to move women up the talent pipeline and more.

Miles Still to Cover…..

Despite all the affirmative changes, there remains a gap that keeps women from coming to the forefront. Ingrained stereotyped thoughts that consider females not fit for high stake positions or men as better fetchers act as deterrents. Besides, personal and familial challenges too hold them back from becoming go-getters. These pressing issues call for a greater thrust towards breaking myths, redefining women roles, making them realize their real worth and ultimately, breaking the glass ceiling.

Design Thinking workshop conducted by a corporate trainer | Pragati Leadership

How to Run a Winning Design Thinking Workshop?

Incorporating design thinking concept into your business process can keep you a step ahead of your competitors. By enabling you to develop viable & user-centric solutions, design thinking helps achieving quicker time-to-market, better customer retention, remarkable cost savings, and a desirable ROI. Looking at the growing benefits of the principle, a design thinking workshop for your team is certainly a proposition to ponder upon.

It’s an incredibly interesting way to bring together a diverse group of people from different departments and provide them a rare opportunity to get hands-on with a problem solving experience. With a well-oriented workshop you can foster innovation & team work, polish problem solving abilities and improve your competitive advantage.

How to run an effective design thinking workshop

Wondering how to go about facilitating a design thinking workshop? Let’s get the real picture by analyzing the key steps as enlisted below:

Step 1 – Planning and preparation

Before you actually get down to design thinking workshop there are some prerequisites that you must look into, these include:

  • Establishing the workshop objective. You must define clearly the goal of the workshop. It could be generating new ideas or improving on an existing design product.
  • Finding a suitable location wherein the members can be comfortably accommodated. If it’s online, decide on the meeting and presentation tools beforehand.
  • Planning the agenda- Decide how and when different activities will take place. It should largely be activity-based event. Time should be allotted equally for discussion and reflection at the end.
  • Ensure all the essential materials required during the workshop like props, whiteboards, markers, sticky notes etc are in place.

Once all set, focus on executing it the right way. Let’s get into the second phase of the conducting the design workshop.

Step 2 – Design Thinking Workshop – Introduction

Welcome all the participants to the workshop and apprise them on what to expect during the workshop. After a brief self-introduction, proceed to share the following information:

  • The main objective of the workshop
  • Problem that is to be addressed
  • A schedule of the workshop activities

Step 3 – Start off with an exciting team building activity

The best way to kick off the meeting is engaging members in a team building activity. This will help loosen up the participants and make them feel comfortable before the real work begins.

Step 4 – Introduce the design thinking concept

By now, you’ve set the scene and put everybody at ease. It’s the right time to make an impactful presentation covering the fundamentals of design thinking, including:

  • What is design thinking
  • Five phases of design thinking (Empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test)
  • Benefits of design thinking (share some interesting stats)
  • A real-world design thinking case study

Step 5 – Empathizing with the end user

Understanding the user’s needs and preferences is the first step towards generating innovative ideas. In this stage you will encourage the workshop participants to put themselves in the place of the users and gain insights of their experiences, motivations, needs and challenges. You can conduct role-playing games, create empathy maps, use photo and video user-based studies etc to understand the nuances of empathy for end users. Once done with the activities, give the participants a chance to share about their learning and ask questions, if any.

Step 6 – Defining the problem statement

Here you’ll get more specific with a problem that needs serious attention. Remember, articulating design problem that is human-centered and user-focused provides a clear-cut objective to work towards. Frame a meaningful, actionable problem statement that will guide the design team towards a feasible solution. Allow the participants turn the user’s needs into a “how can we” question. For instance it could be something like “How we can offer a safe, easy online purchasing experience?

Tips to remember

  • A good problem statement leaves room for innovation and creative freedom. Hence, keep it broad enough to invite a range of different ideas and avoid any references to specific solution.
  • Avoid addressing too many user needs in one problem statement; prioritize and frame your problem accordingly.

Step 7 – Finding better ideas and potential solutions

The next step is brainstorming and open discussions, leading to potential solutions. Let the participants share their insights and views with open minds. Give enough space to participants so they can challenge the commonly held beliefs and explore newer and broadest range of possibilities. You can employ different ideation techniques like brainstorming, mind mapping, story boarding, body storming (role-playing) etc

Shape it like a team building endeavor where team members consider other’s ideas and build on them, find ways to link concepts, recognize patterns and flip apparently impossible notions over to reveal new insights.

Step 8 – Prototyping & Testing

This is technically the final step in the design thinking process where you offer the participants the opportunity to test the practicability of the current design and to potentially investigate how a user would actually respond to the change. Ask the participants to create low fidelity prototypes of their solution. Allow them to create screens for each step of the user journey and then ask them to add functionality to their screens in the form of buttons. Towards the end collect the feedback from the rest of the team. Make sure to give your team some time to compare their prototypes and let them vote for the best prototype.

Step 9 –Wrapping up the design thinking workshop

Conclude your Design Thinking workshop with a quick debrief. Dedicate some time for reflection and discussion. Ask your Design Thinkers what they felt about the workshop and what were their findings? Their feedback is essential to improve your design thinking workshop skills.

If you are new to the world of design thinking, know that practice is the way to mastering the art. However, a user-centered approach and quality feedback can go a long way in enhancing the efficacy of your design thinking workshop.

For more information on design thinking, get in touch with the Pragati Leadership. We’ll help you to get the best out of the session.

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Leadership Development Training Coach | Pragati Leadership

What are the skills that a good leadership training program should include?

Leaders are role models that steer their teams or departments to the path of success. Leadership calls for a culmination of traits or qualities in a person that others would like to follow. This includes intelligence, accountability, honesty, communication and more.

Given today’s corporate environment, leadership is a complicated role that requires new mindsets and innovative approaches. This might not be easy to achieve. Some degree of guidance or training is essential for shaping a true leader. Leadership training programs are viewed as crucial elements that help build inspiring leaders who can make a difference. Best leadership programs equip the leaders to surpass evolving challenges and stay competent.

The basics to any leadership training are about establishing what your purpose is as a leader and the mindset you need to develop in yourself and your team.

What are the core practices included in the leadership development program?

  1. Being a role model
  2. Making an impact
  3. Focusing on following a vision
  4. Encouraging collaboration
  5. Staying positive

Other essential leadership development skills

Some of the other leadership skills that are essential towards making a good leader and are included in effective leadership programs are:

Power to inspire and influence

Effective leaders don’t command with authority; instead they inspire, persuade and influence others to align with their vision. Leaders who know the art of influencing and negotiating can always drive in positive results. Rather than demanding the employees to perform because of authority or hierarchy, leaders use their influencing quality subtly to build relationships, align priorities and accomplish the set goals.

Holding Accountability

Most successful leaders accept that their success hinges more on their team’s efforts than their own. Leaders are no individual contributors and must be responsible enough to hold accountability for team performance – good or bad.  Training leaders on this important distinction makes them capable of defining accountability and rigorously holding direct reports to those commitments, so that everyone can succeed and produce the results they need.

Mastering Change Management

Introducing changes and bringing transitions in the set up is one of the most difficult tasks undertaken by managers. Irrespective of the scale of change, leaders must be prepared to guide the employees to accept the change with minimal resentment. This requires training leaders to manage change before it ever even happens. Change management training should be part of leadership development programs to ensure the leaders can harness the power of vision, provide strong leadership during all the phases and capitalize on the transitional times to improve performance.

Learning Effective Communication Skills

In a leadership role, communication happens at all hours of the day be it presentations, one-on-one conversations, phone calls, text messages, videoconferencing and, of course, emails. Although communication skills training is not new to leadership development, communication is one of the soft skills that need to be optimized in order to be fully relevant and useful to the leaders of today and tomorrow.

The context and landscape of leadership is changing for a number of reasons —increased expectations, technological shifts, economic uncertainties and so on. Therefore, it’s critical to remap leadership’s place within this new landscape and re-think the skills needed to navigate through it.

Good leadership development training can help accomplish the above goal. Hire a genuine leadership coaching center like Pragati Leadership to transform your managers into real mentors. The experts here will help you bridge the gap between the desire for progressive leadership and the reality of failing leadership.

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Importance of communication skills in business

In today’s fast paced world, one thing that continues to be highly valued is good communication.  Be it your professional or social life, if you are able to express yourself in the right manner, you certainly have an edge over others.

Whether you are facing an interview or dealing with a client, the way you interact with the other party can make all the difference between getting your dream job or missing it out; developing bond with the business partner or losing out beneficial business relations. Companies too prefer candidates that demonstrate good communication skills. It’s no surprise then; communication skills training programs are gaining immense popularity in the corporate world.

Let’s take a look at how good communication skills can favor you at your workplace:

In demand skill:

Oral & written communication proficiency has consistently ranked in the top ten desirable skills by employer surveys.  This means with good communication you are better placed when being considered for a promotion or when seeking a new job. Top organizations often encourage their employees to take online courses & in-person training for honing their presentation and communication skills.

Helps you work effectively in a team:

When working in a group, you need to share information, present your ideas and interact with others frequently. Listening and understanding verbal as well and non-verbal communication are essence of healthy interaction that you must not miss out. This can help build a positive working relationship which ensures enhanced contribution by each team player.

Builds good rapport with customers:

All customers desire to be understood by the company they are dealing with. Knowing that they are being heard and valued gives confidence and builds trust. This is particularly important if your business involves interacting with large number of customers, either face-to-face or over phone.

Keeps misunderstanding and conflicts at bay:

Poor communication in workplace can result in misunderstandings leading to friction, frustration, confusion and tense environment that could hinder productive workflow. By mastering the art of professional communication, the chances of miscommunication and misunderstandings can be minimized considerably.

Inspire others:

Not all are born as good presenters. Impactful speaking is an important soft skill that one can develop with right guidance and training. Being able to deliver idea and information effectively can engage and inspire people to take right actions.

Other benefits of effective communication:

Most organizations accept the fact that good communication at all levels is essential to be successful in business world. Communication skill development is one of the key aspects of all executive & leadership training programs. With effective communication, you and your organization can achieve following benefits:

  • Stronger decision-making & better problem-solving
  • Upturn in productivity
  • Transparent and more streamlined workflow
  • Beneficial business relationships

Final thoughts:

The ability to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues and managers is crucial to rise in the professional ladder, irrespective of the sector you work in. The art of communication enables you to win confidence of your co-workers and inspire your subordinates, thereby creating a positive and thriving work culture.

Women Leadership - Female Manager meeting an employee

Women in Leadership Roles – 4 Strategies for Female Managers

Women can be great leaders without having to follow the footsteps of men. In fact, it’s found that women have a distinct leadership style which when channelized properly can result in high performing team.

Specifically, studies & even women leadership program link women management qualities with transformational leadership style.

Transformational leaders are those who work towards improving morale and efficiency of the team players by building mutual understanding, sharing common vision and guiding through inspiration.

Women leaders can leverage their natural inclination towards transformational leadership by following certain strategies which include:

1) Giving importance to development over goals

Setting up business goals and achieving them is a part of business success. Transformational leaders consider employee development as a pathway to accomplishing goals. They master the art of transforming people into smarter and better performers by:

  • Representing themselves as positive role models who can inspire.
  • Caring about personal development of the team members and coaching them to be better performers.
  • Emphasizing on teamwork play and using right communication to build confidence.

2) Avoiding being transactional

Imagine a boss who just gives orders and demands regular progress updates, without creating any connection with the employees. Being only result-centric and unable to connect/engage with the team at personal level is a form of transactional leadership style that is not conducive for productive work environ. So, it’s advisable for women managers to keep away from transactional style leadership that is detrimental for their growth.  This includes the following:

  • Remaining disconnected with their team inspiration.
  • Taking charge of the deteriorating situation only when things get too complicated.
  • Engaging with subordinates only to assign work & hold them accountable for mistakes and failures.

This type of leadership is certainly not recommended. It’s important for women to focus more on a transformational approach as it allows achieving goals through personal growth and development of the team members.

3) Adopting strength-based approach

For women to be a successful boss or leader, it’s important to embrace strength-based approach.  Rather than delegating work to the team members according to the workload or time frames, it’s better to gauge what each member is good at and then accordingly assign work that suits their caliber.  The best way to carry this out is to spend time with the employees and understand them inside out. You may discover some real talent from unexpected quarters.

4) Keeping the Communication channel open

Female bosses are known to be good at verbal communications. This is the key to success. When your team is comfortable communicating with you, you’re more likely to deal with major problems with ease.  Make sure your employees feel valued and respected for their work. Appreciate efforts of each team member as meaningful contributions so that they are motivated to work for something greater than a paycheck. This is what most leadership programs in India also reiterate on and rightly so!

Remember, as women you have a tremendous potential to become incredible bosses and managers. All you have to do is recognize your abilities and leverage your natural female strengths for productive actions.

To know more about how you can sharpen your leadership skills get in touch with the right leadership coach- the Pragati Leadership. Backed with the industry experience and team of professional coaches, we ensure bringing out the best in you!

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communication skill training

Communication Skill Trainings – An Essential Ingredient for your Workplace Success!

Communication is more than talking. It’s about connecting with people.

No matter how technically sound you are at your work, it’s just not enough to get your work done! Ability to communicate is a critical factor when it comes to team building, conflict management, employee engagement and client handling. It’s no surprise then, communication skills training programs are getting popular in the corporate community.

Communication mishaps do occur.  Even the wisest or most articulate person might at times face difficulties when trying to convey a pertinent message. How we communicate is often impacted by several factors like emotions, stress and other external elements. The ability to deliver rightly is a talent that is developed, and rarely inborn.  Hence, giving proper communication training to your workforce can be really effective for achieving high performance.

Why Communication Skill Programs are Important?

Communication trainings form an integral part of leadership development programs. The central idea of these trainings is to build communication skills that can result in better understanding, leading to right initiatives.

The communication programs train how to identify communication patterns and make small communication adjustments, such that information can be dispensed in a way that is free from miscommunication or mis-presentation of facts.

Communication skill trainings are devised diligently by experienced professionals to facilitate smooth work flow. The training modules are designed considering the designation of the employee, the gender, working environment and more. For instance, communication trainings under women leadership programs are crafted keeping in mind the strengths and vulnerabilities of the Female executives.

However, there are some basic skills that are common to all communication training programs. These include:

  • Better listening skills
  • Ability to speak clearly and precisely
  • Developing greater sense of empathy
  • Learning about client interaction

How Communication Trainings Can Be Helpful?


  • Improves Employee Engagement

One of the key benefits of communication enhancement programs in executive and leadership training is better employee engagement. The employees can better align with the company objectives and goals when right communication culture is established within the workplace. Communication can improve employee engagement in the following ways:

  1. Allows you to better understand what motivates the employees.
  2. You learn about the real strengths and skills of the employees that may otherwise go unnoticed.
  3. Helps you to channelize the employee’s abilities and skills such that they are in line with the company goals.
  4. Eliminates misunderstanding and conflicts, thereby resulting in good relationships.
  5. Creates productive and positive work culture.

  • Builds Better Client Relations

Your communication ability has the power to impress and influence your client. Right interaction makes all the difference- either you have a satisfied client or a disgruntled one. When employees are trained to communicate more effectively, they are in a better position to:

  1. Convey the message properly such that the client easily connects with it.
  2. Helps the client feel being valued and understood.
  3. Mitigate and resolve differences in a positive way.
  4. Express new information in way that customer is receptive towards it.

 

Concluding thoughts: Communication helps in generating ideas, building good relationships, and overcoming challenges at the workplace. It creates an environment that empowers the employers and employees such that they are motivated to nail their work!

Are you looking forward to optimizing your workforce efforts and creating productive work environment through communication programs? Well, Pragati Leadership can help you in this initiative. Our business communication training workshops conducted by experienced corporate trainer can bring positive mindsets to your company. Elevating the way your employees communicate will not only increase productivity, but will eventually contribute towards better employee engagement and profitability.

For more details you can contact us today and we ensure taking care of all your requirements!

Changing Paradigm of Customer Engagement

Even before the pandemic hit us with full force starting June’20, the Indian economy was in its worst phase with the growth in GDP falling to an 11 year low of 4.2 per cent in 2019-20. The months of March, April and May saw total lockdown impact daily lives. The worst hit were the economically weaker section of the society, starting a mass exodus from cities to villages of the labour class, daily wage workers, and owners of small businesses. The working middle class was also affected with many losing jobs, or dealing with reduced pays.

The already reduced consumption due the deceleration reached its lowest numbers ever due to the pandemic. This will create a long lasting impact on how business will be run going forward, but for now this was a race against time for survival. Businesses have to not only deal with the economic slowdown but also with the changing shopping behaviour of the customer.

Customer behavior & engagement during the crisis

A Mckinsey report suggests that the customers have responded to the crisis and its associated disruption to normal customer behavior by trying different shopping behaviors and expressing a high intent (65 percent or more) to incorporate these behaviors going forward.

Let us all for a few minutes ask ourselves, how the pandemic and the lockdown has impacted us as customers. How has this pandemic affected our spending capacity, our priority of purchases? How has the pandemic altered our buying behavior; has it introduced us to newer ways of buying and spending and has it created new habits as a customer? If the answer is a yes, then we can safely assume that we are a set of transformed customers. Our needs and expectations have changed considerably in a short span of time.

Businesses who have understood this shift in the customer behavior have re-invented their customer engagement strategy, reframed their message to the customer, aligned processes and leveraged on technology to adapt and thrive in this post Covid 19 world. These businesses are now looking at creating value (price sensitivity), and offering quality. Also, they are stressing on factors like access, convenience, safety (hygiene), and purpose (support local).

So if you are leading a business and responsible for sales, service or operations, how are you going to ensure that you have a profitable business in these trying times? What are the changes you will need to make to fit into this changing paradigm of customer engagement?

Struggling on how to improve your customer engagement, let us help, contact us for more information

Collaboration: Purpose and communication

Its’ interesting to note that fish species found in the open ocean are especially in need of some protection, as they don’t have the cracks and crevices that fish in coastal or coral reef habitats have to hide away. Instead, they hide behind one another to form a spherical bait ball, a shape which allows for the protection of the most fish.

This bait ball shows how small fish can react when larger predators are nearby gathering tightly together in a ball-like formation that exposes the least number of fish.

They collaborate towards a common larger purpose.

Collaboration needs a purpose and its communication. Team members must have a common goal and vision (or a common predator).

Learning from Nature, moving to us Humans-Amateurs vs The Expert

You’ve probably never heard of Langley but in the 1890’s and early 1900’s he wanted to be the first man to fly an airplane. Langley was very well connected, with access to the best technology and the brightest minds of the day. He even received a $ 50,000 grant from the War Department.

At the same time and not very far away, Oliver & Wilbur Wright were working on their own airplane. The Wright brothers didn’t have much money and didn’t have very good materials. Famously, they worked out of a bicycle shop. You could also make the case they didn’t have as much talent as the Langley team; no one working with the Wright brothers had a college education. What they did well was they teamed up with their friends.

Since you’ve heard of the Wright brothers, you probably know how this story ends: On December 17, 1903 they were the first to fly an airplane.

So, how did the Wright brothers succeed against a better-funded and a more talented team? The difference was they could help the team to see their purpose and collaborate.

The Wright brothers “were able to motivate those around them and truly lead their team to create something that would change the world.”

The easiest way to build collaboration is to create an awareness in a team about our interconnectedness.

Self-awareness leads to a realisation that I am just a part of a bigger power and everything that affects this planet will in turn affect me.

From individual to team, teams to organisation, organisation to nation, nations to planet and planet to universe.

The fictional lone genius is mythical,

The best leaders know that they can’t do it all alone hence they encourage collaboration to achieve desired goals.

Collaboration is the essence of nature.

Lessons from the Young and the Newly Young (Elderly): Acceptance & Grace

I live with my octogenarian parents, and at 80 years old, they’re like children in every way; therefore the term the Newly Young.

The circle of life does come around for all of us!

Observing the actions, behaviors, attitudes, and actions of Young kids and Elders has always been a great source of reflection and learning for me. And I continue to make mistakes and continue to unlearn and learn.

This, therefore, is an attempt to capture some of those moments frozen in time and share them through a series of write-ups 1 observation/lesson at a time.

Lesson from the Newly Young: Acceptance and Grace

I had the privilege to acquaint with a newly young gentleman, Mr. M aged 90.

My fond memories remember him as this quiet person with the most serene smile I’ve ever seen. His smile was consistent every time I met him. His energy could rival that of youngsters today, perhaps chasing his grandchildren around played a part.

This lovely soul moved on, after being diagnosed with throat cancer last year. I wish I’d made the effort and time to get to know him earlier.

Mr M is a great inspiration to me personally, at 90 with all the possible age related concerns he might have had, not to mention being diagnosed with the Big C; never once did I see him lose that serene smile. He had trouble speaking during his final days and yet he made an attempt to speak when I met him; little did I know back then; it’d be the last time I’d see him smile back at me.

Seems to me like our biggest challenge has always been to accept the way things are, the way our life is, the way our work is, the way people are etc etc.

This has become even more prominent today with our anxiety ridden lives worrying about the other Big C prevalent in the world today.

Our worries, fears, anxieties, troubles are always much bigger than anyone else’! Or so we think until we encounter someone like Mr M in my case.

Mr. M taught me Acceptance and Grace while dealing with what most of us would consider extremely difficult circumstances.

If we were to begin and end our day with positive energy driven by ONE positive thought of Gratitude, we’d see a marked difference in how we feel, behave, connect with each other and LIVE

I believe Einstein once said, ”Everything is Energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the Frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is NOT Philosophy, This is PHYSICS’!

Communication skill training

Drive Successful Change with Effective Communication Skill Training

A high percentage of business initiatives fail to make a mark due to the absence of effective communication.

Ask business gurus and they will assure effective communication as a critical component to an organization. Whether it’s updating employees about a new project, preparing an action plan, engaging clients, or motivating the workforce, communication forms the cornerstone of effective management.

No wonder, greater emphasis is being given on building versatile communication strategies and imparting communication skills training to achieve better productivity and harmonious business relations.

Communication skill training

Faced with the daily challenges of newer working styles, the transformation of initiatives, distributed teams, and shift to matrix structures, the managers today need to champion effective communication skills.

Communication is an integral part of any leadership training program that aims to empower leaders for influencing clients, team members, and stakeholders. It helps them transcend the habitual, ‘one size fits all’ type of communication and develop more purposeful communication & presentation skills, to stay relevant and impactful that could drive success.

Well-defined communication training focuses on the building following skills that every expert communicator is expected to possess:

  1. Active listening
  2. Being Empathetic and amiable
  3. Being direct, clear, and precise
  4. Confident and assertive

 

Objectives of communication skill training

More and more organizations are opting for leadership development programs for fostering a healthy and productive work environment.  Let’s glance through some of the benefits that the right communication training program can offer you:

  • Harmonious Relations – Effective communication skills help to promote better mutual understanding & harmony at work. Improved morale and satisfied employees are linked to healthy communication between higher authorities and the working staff.
  • Enhanced Performance – Communication skills training also aims to enhance performance at work. Right communication boosts self-confidence and results in better performance.
  • Facilitates Leadership – Leaders with strong communication skills are better placed when it comes to engaging, influencing, and motivating team members. They are able to carry out other leadership functions also effectively.
  • Smoothes out decision making –Decision making is a crucial and tricky task that can impact your business progress. Training in communication skills plays an instrumental role in helping leaders and their team members to share &understand opinions and take decisions collectively.
  • Cooperation & Collaboration – Cooperation and collaboration are important for the sound functioning of any organization. Communication skills training help employees to express themselves in an assertive way in a collaborative environment and make their voices heard.

 

Building influence and bringing positive change are essential to survive and grow in today’s evolving business landscape. Use the right communication approach or hire a proficient corporate trainer for creating a team that can drive actions, meet objectives, and stands out with its exceptional influencing skills.

Pragati leadership offers learning solutions like none other.  We work collaboratively with our clients to understand their objectives and identify the skill gaps. Accordingly, we customize our approach to optimize communication training outcomes. We offer a wide range of blended communication training options that create excellent communicators, capable of driving positive change.

Don’t leave the business of communication to chance. Trust our professionals and they will ensure communication becomes effortless for you!

Life Lessons from the Young & the Newly Young!

Life Lessons from the Young & the Newly Young!

I live with my octogenarian parents, and while it might seem like I take care of them; truth be told, more often than not it’s the other way around. Every single day, they end up teaching me something about myself, life itself and the world we share.

At 80 years old, they’re like children in every way; therefore, the term the Newly Young.

The circle of life does come around for all of us!

Observing the actions, behaviors, attitudes, and actions of Young kids and Elders has always been a great source of reflection and learning for me. And I continue to make mistakes and continue to unlearn and learn.

This, therefore, is an attempt to capture some of those moments frozen in time and share them through a series of write-ups, 1 observation/lesson at a time.

Observation / Lesson from the Young: 1 Being Genuine

Ever observed a young child, he/she won’t laugh or smile if they don’t feel it. Doesn’t matter what you might try to gain their attention. They just don’t care until they can genuinely feel it.

A series of studies published in Evolution and Human Behaviour conducted by

Ruiting Song (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology), Harriet Oliver (University of York), and Malinda Carpenter (University of St Andrews) show that this evolutionarily important ability to discriminate between trustworthy and dishonest individuals appears early in development.

The results of the study showed that from the age of 4 children can identify genuine smiles and can discriminate between genuine and fake smiles by the age of 3. Additionally, 4-5-year-old children associate a genuine smile with prosocial meaning; they expect people with genuine smiles to be nicer.

This expectation was most clearly observed in older children and girls in particular. The results build on our understanding of a child’s ability to make appropriate choices when deciding who to trust and interact with. (Source: PsyPost)

Begs the question, what do we do with that ability once we’re fully grown adults. Sure social conditioning takes it’s toll and our social environments (work, home, friends, etc) also dictate a courteous exterior.

However:

  • When do the masks come off? Do they ever come off?
  • Have we got so used to the social norms that they’ve subconsciously numbed down any intuitive or true emotional response/way of being.
  • The larger question is; do we give ourselves the breathing space, to be honest with ourselves:
  • Who am I, really? Not in an existential crisis kind of way; more of what kind of person am I today, how am I perceived by people who know me? Do they think I’m genuine? Do I think I’m genuine?

 

  • Is the person I am at home really the honest me or do I carry over the burden from my social interactions (work, friends, etc)?

 

  • Am I happy doing what I am doing at work?
  • Do my colleagues, bosses who I work with like me? Do they think I’m genuine?
  • Do my customers think I’m genuine?
  • Does this perception affect my work/profession/business?
  • Am I happy/content with the way my life looks today?

Being genuine is the bedrock to building Trust in any relationship; and as Robert C Solomon once said, “Trust opens up new and unimagined possibilities”!

For more information on how we at Pragati Leadership can help in discovering and developing the true hidden gem inside you, and build a stronger trust bank; thereby opening up new and unimagined possibilities.

Please feel free to reach out to us at:

Krishnendu.sen@pragatileadership.com / Raj.pillai@pragatileadership.com

women leadership program

Challenges Blocking Women’s Career Graph

Women are making remarkable strides in every sphere including the corporate world. Top business magazines with successful stories of master projects being led by ladies are highly encouraging. But, a greater women representation at leadership ranks and other senior line positions is still a far-away goal. Men continue to outpace women at every level across the industry spectrums.

Inhospitable corporate culture, lack of proper mentoring and women leadership program, outdated norms and biases, absence of role models, commitments to personal or family responsibilities, etc are some of the factors that are often attributed to gender disparity.

We often hear of the ‘glass ceiling’ metaphor and rightly so. Most women find it difficult to break through the invisible existing barriers that stop their career to take off. At any given point in a woman’s career, she is likely to witness one or more of these barriers. Sometimes the barrier is explicit, and other times it’s hidden behind different agendas. Either way, it’s a tough journey to reach the top of the organizational ladder.

From time to time surveys and researches have been conducted to study the causes that hinder the growth of women in the corporate space. The outcomes suggest that a multitude of individual, cultural, and organizational factors interplay to limit their career graph.

Interestingly, some studies reveal significant disparities between female executives’ and CEOs’ perceptions about the hurdles to women’s advancement. Many women executives have cited issues like exclusion from informal networks, stereotyping, lack of mentoring, lack of accountability on the part of senior leadership, limited opportunities, etc as hurdles to their career growth. While in most cases the respective CEOs agreed with the above factors, they considered ineffective women leadership style and lack of talent and commitment among women as the key issues.

Even the top business experts, leadership coaches, and corporate trainers agree that the failure of senior leadership to accept accountability for the advancement of women to top authority roles is a major barrier that cannot be undermined. Men are the preferred lot for positions with profit-and-loss responsibility, while equally capable women counterparts are channeled for the support roles.

Solutions to leadership barriers

The institutional, structural, and individual barriers are now changing for the better, thanks to the dynamic organizations that are redefining the existing norms and mindsets.  Addressing the underlying causes of the leadership gender gap is the right way to promote a corporation’s diversity and inclusive & balanced leadership.

To bring the desired change at the organizational level mindsets and biases need to be rightly shaped. Companies must be more responsive to women employee’s needs and emphasize developing programs that promote leadership skills amongst them.

Leadership training programs that refine leadership talent, develop application-based workshops, create training reinforcement, and educate employees about the existing barriers can play pivotal roles in bringing significant results.

At Pragati Leadership, we create strategic training programs that promote the growth and development of deserving talent. Regardless of culture, industry, or sector, we believe that women should be empowered to take up leadership roles everywhere. Our training programs are tailored to improve the strategic thinking of top leaders and help them build a vision that supports inclusive, diverse, and productive approaches.

If you are seeking any guidance or assistance regarding women leadership training programs then you can trust us completely. Contact us for more details.

leadership training

Presentation Skills & Public Speaking: Key Skills

There are countless articles on Presentation Skills & Public Speaking.  The internet is full of them. There are so many methods and techniques that are spoken about. And then there are highly passionate ‘motivational speakers’ spread all over YouTube persuading viewers to join their online leadership training and become a master speaker themselves. All this variety of choices only ensures that a beginner gets confused about what one really needs to develop to become good at this skill.  This article explores a simple way of what is important and what are the things one needs to do and not do.

We have looked at hundreds of things one can do to become a presenter.  We have then broken them into these self-explanatory buckets of eliminating, must-have, and good to have.

ELIMINATE Things that you must remove so that you can speak well.

  • Unnecessary wandering on the stage
  • Filler words & sounds
  • Gesturing for no reason
  • Monotonous speaking
  • Looking down or not having eye contact with the audience

MUST HAVE:  These are the things which are of paramount importance

  • Authenticity
  • Knowledge of your subject/topic
  • Structure
  • Eye contact
  • Purposeful gesturing
  • Pauses
  • Body postures, gestures, facial expression, eye, and voice be in complete sync

GOOD TO HAVE:  There are hundreds of things which we can do here. But some of the important ones are

  • Changing the intensity of your voice, gestures, and body postures
  • Stories
  • Humor
  • Rhetoric
  • Facial expressions

If you would focus on the above you would be able to significantly improve on your Presentation & Public speaking skills.  You need not worry about the others, to begin with. If you need help to see how you can improve on the above please do contact us.

Importance of negotiation skills training

Negotiation skills – an Art Every Business Should Master

Ever went street-shopping and bargained with the seller to finally come down to a price that is a fair deal for both of you? – well that’s a simple case of negotiation.

  • Two kids arguing over who gets to play the swing first.
  • An employee making a suggestion to his manager
  • A couple deciding what to do on their anniversary
  • A sales representative trying to arrange an appointment, All these are also examples of negotiation.

Negotiation then is a method by which adjustment or compromise is reached while avoiding quarrel or conflict. It is a process of settling differences through mutual give and take – a skill that comes extremely handy in both, business and personal life. It is in fact, one of the most desirable life skills that can be acquired by any individual.

In business, negotiation skills are particularly important in both informal day-to-day interactions and formal transactions such as negotiating conditions of sale, lease, service delivery, and other legal contracts. Whether you are seeking project resources, deciding on a new hire’s salary, or inking a high-stakes deal for your company, good negotiations contribute significantly to business success. Someone with ‘killer’ negotiation skills is always sought after by passionate employers looking to expand their business. Even though this skill can be an inherent character trait with some people, for many others, it has to be developed. Negotiation skills training is all about developing the skill and tuning the performance of executives to become an efficient negotiator – a quality of an efficient leader.

The 3 common types of negotiator personalities you will come across

If we have to categorize the negotiation styles, there would primarily be 3 tonalities – aggressive, passive, and assertive.

Aggressive negotiators, as the name suggests, adopt an attacking stance when communicating with others. They may get slightly overboard while convincing their point to the extent that it might destroy the negotiation altogether.

Passive negotiators on the other hand are the exact opposite. They are low in confidence, are submissive to other’s opinions, and display very little resistance to ideas imposed by the others. Their own views can be very ambiguous as their energies are more invested in avoiding an argument. Such a style of negotiation does not work in business.

The moderate path then is to adopt an assertive style of negotiation. Assertive negotiators are confident yet considerate who are better at keeping up with the discussion and actually work towards a mutually beneficial outcome. With a strong & steady voice, they support their arguments with facts and data and never directly criticize or blame the opposite party in a conversation. This is what corporate trainers at Pragati Leadership teach you to become in their leadership development programs.

How to achieve the best Negotiation skills

The art of ‘negotiation’ is rooted in the study of human behavior and is applicable in all life situations. In business, you need effective negotiation skills training to succeed in the world today. To attain the best negotiation skills training you need an experienced and certified program that can help you sharpen your skills to the core. Pragati Leadership is one such leading and trusted leadership training institute that offers an online negotiation skills training program that gives you the opportunity to study negotiation techniques from where it’s convenient for you. Contact Pragati Leadership today to experience a wave of change in your personal and professional life!

communication skills training

Why Corporate Communication Training is Important

Communication has always been at the core of human society to the extent that there would be no relationships without communication. Without language, human society itself would cease to exist. Human beings are innately social animals, and how we connect with one another defines us – right from our development as children to our relationships as adults. Human communication is complex, it transcends beyond sounds & words to include bodily gestures and facial expressions as well. In fact, researchers at Ohio State University have found that humans can make 21 different facial expressions – the 6 basic emotions being happy, sad, fearful, angry, disgusted, and surprised. Our ability to communicate enriches our lives and makes it much more meaningful. So if communication is a natural & inherent trait of humans, what is the need for communication skills training?

Well, to begin with, communication is so much more than just a basic ability to give and take essential information. It is what sets us apart from each other and forms the basis of our personalities. Let me ask you this – what do politicians, actors & motivational speakers share in common – they are great communicators – which is also why they attract a huge fan following. I mean, how many quiet leaders do you know. In business, communication may mean the difference between losing and winning a client. It is the first criterion for hiring someone and the last part of salary negotiation. Even within departments, there is a need for effective communication at every level. It will be safe to say that communication forms the core of every business.

Ok, so why should companies invest in training their employees with communication skills?

Communication skills training most of the time comes as a part of leadership programs in India instead of buying a separate module. Company-wide communications training given by certified corporate trainers can truly transform an organization at several levels, but here are three of the biggest outcomes:

  • Clearer business communication – Communication skills in business are a little different from your everyday communication. It is critical to the growth of an organization to understand a potential customer and empathize with the existing one. A winning business script involves the use of jargon, phrases, and expressions delivered using an apt body language. Every employee of your company (especially those at the front desk) is a representative of your company – they need to be presentable and responsible. This also includes written communication where writing letters and emails to the client or customer may either close a deal or open a dispute! This is more true today than ever as we head to a digital era where there is less physical contact, staggered working resources and most of the communication takes place virtually & textually. Remember, spoken words are like arrows, once sent can never be retrieved back – it wouldn’t hurt to use them carefully!
  • Improved workplace environment – In between the good mornings and the goodbyes, employees in any organization spend much of their time communicating with each other. People love to work for organizations where open and clear communication is encouraged even though communication may not be their personal best feature. While the purpose of communication skills training vis-à-vis leadership training is not to change the innate quality of a person – it can surely make subtle to major improvements in the existing one. It can promote healthy work relations and develop attributes such as empathy, listening to others, usage of the right words, body language & expressions while talking to your co-worker, manager and your client. At a granular level, it also includes writing formal emails, social etiquettes, etc. These fundamental changes create a better and more productive workplace environment.
  • Better Decision Making – Decision making is one of the most important aspects of any business or organization. Training in communication skills plays an important role as it helps leaders as well as followers express their opinions and take decisions collectively, in a participative manner. When you are able to understand your client and make them understand you in a clear and concise manner, you are actually setting the groundwork for a transparent work environment. This way, you are able to set expectations right at the beginning of your deal.

There is no doubt about the importance of communication skills training, not just for business but also in your daily interactions. At Pragati leadership, we take communication to perfection by covering all the aspects of business communication.

Roles of Leaders in Managing Remote Teams

3 Key Roles of a Leader to Support & Manage the Work from Home Virtual Teams

There is little left to dispute the fact that Covid-19 has taken the definition of “work from home” to the next level. While a few employees were already accustomed to working from home, at least part of their times, the new reformation has now extended this (in)convenience of working from home to all of us, almost making it the new standard. But contrary to how one would expect at the beginning of it all, working from home has actually made things quite challenging – of course, things would have been different had it been a well-planned and pre-trained work-from-home leadership training exercise. Typical challenges inherent in remote work include:

  • Lack of access to information
  • Less focus due to distractions at home
  • Technical issues – system errors, electricity, internet connectivity, etc.
  • Absence of an ergonomic setup leading to health issues
  • Depression due to lack of interaction
  • Declining attachment towards the company and the job in general
  • No clear work-life demarcation
  • No physical supervision

Nevertheless, there are specific, research-based steps that leaders can take without much effort to improve the engagement and productivity of remote employees, even when there is little time to prepare. Pragati leadership – a leading virtual teams training organisation, brings you 3 key pointers that leaders can adopt to make a difference in the mundane WFH lives of their employees and maintain productivity

The role of leaders in supporting remote employees

As much as the challenges working from home may seem to bring, there are a few quick and effective ways on how to prepare your virtual teams for the long haul:

  1. Regularly Connecting with Employees

Leaders should regularly connect with their team members on a call – either one-on-one or a group call – and make it one of their daily habits to promote remote working. Explore more options than simply sticking to WhatsApp and email alone. Make use of video conferencing tools and software available to overcome the lack of face to face communication and enrich the call with as many visual cues as possible. This is the closest resemblance to an actual physical meeting. This call should be a forum for employees to place their concerns and questions and to know that you are aware of them. In situations where listening to the person takes much precedence than watching them, resort to other audio platforms that do not divide bandwidth between voice and video, giving you a much clearer communication experience.

  1. Hold Virtual Social Gatherings

Corporate trainers suggest that the best way to promote team interaction is to reserve some time at the beginning of a team call for non-work related discussions with phrases such as “Let’s spend the first few minutes of the meeting catching up with each other” or simply “how was your weekend?”. You can hold virtual tea breaks and snacks party where everyone gets some items to eat simultaneously and share (the visuals) online mimicking an actual get together. Note that there is a high scope to get carried away with such events or end up feeling forced or artificial – in which case it is up to the leader to gauge the spirit of the team and set the level & frequency accordingly. Remember, the whole idea is to keep the team connected to each other, reduce social isolation, and to potentially improve the engagement and productivity of employees.

  1. Empathize with your teammates

The abrupt shift from office to home has been difficult to embrace for many employees – especially those whose nature of work heavily involved interacting with team-mates, co-ordination with the clients, and other things of similar nature. Then there are those who do not have a suitable environment at home or constantly have kids and family around who naturally divide a lot of attention. Also, not to mention the non-availability of ergonomic furniture, internet connection, electricity fluctuations, and many other things which make it tremendously challenging to work smoothly. Despite that, many employees are expected to work anytime they are summoned merely by the fact that they are home. On the other hand, they are also blamed for being less productive than expected. While there might be some truth to this, its not always the case. A leader can take into account these factors to exercise a certain level of leniency and frequently get a check on them to empathizing with them and appreciating them for delivering despite the challenges. This would make a great increment in the attitude & productivity of the employee when they know that their efforts are being recognized.

Conducting leadership development programs to address the issues of virtual team management in detail can go a long way in running an organization remotely and yeilding successful output from your employees. It can not only help tackle the issues caused by working virtually but also train them to tackle unprecedented events in the future. Contact Pragati Leadership, today at 9730466890!

Reasons Company Should Invest in Leadership Training in 2020

4 Reasons Your Company Should Invest in Leadership Training in 2020

If you have worked enough in the corporate sector, you must have by now come across the term “leadership training program”. And if you are fortunate, you might have as well been through one of these programs yourself. If you have already been there and done that, there is no need for me to emphasize how beneficial it is for an employee and how important it is for an organization. For the uninitiated one, a leadership development program is designed to train individuals within a company to take ownership of their jobs and the tasks required of them. Apart from training employees to become more efficient & productive individuals, they develop employees into strong leaders of tomorrow. This, in turn, heavily reflects in the management and growth of the company and promotes a healthy, competent yet stress-free environment. The benefits of leadership development programs are immense, limiting not just to the employee or company, but encompassing the society in general. Here are only 4 such reasons that your company should invest in a program yourself.

  • Culture motivates talent & retains employees

    A company’s culture is a representation of the company’s leadership. Leaders hold the power to influence the vision, mission, and values of an organization and have the authority to ensure the employees abide by their effect. Employees look towards the characters of their leaders as a source of inspiration and learning. Much of their imagination is shaped by those governing these key positions. As such, having strong leadership is fundamental to the culture of an organization. It pervades every department of a company and affects employee motivation and well-being. A strong leader can churn out the desired behaviors, give employees a clear purpose, align their values, and hold people accountable for their actions. This, in turn, empowers the soul of the company.

  • High performance, higher returns

    Companies that invest in corporate trainers for developing their human capital are found to deliver higher stock market returns than those companies that put less importance on their employees. This is because an efficient leader placed at a strategic post works their way towards a reduction in costs, is capable of pushing new lines of revenue, and knows how to retain existing customers and attract new customers. After all, its humans who run a company and take it to the next level, and what better than efficient leaders driving your company.

  • Retain & attract top performers

    There are many examples of entire companies falling apart not due to lack of funds but due to good talent feeling unrecognized and leaving the company one after another, breaking it down to pieces. Your employees are your most important asset, and investing in them wisely will benefit your company in various areas. For instance, a trained employee will feel more respected, work more efficiently, and happily give more returns as opposed to an untrained employee. Not only will the leader feel more responsible for their work, but they will also exude and pass on this confidence to their subordinates creating a chain effect. Knowing that their company cares about their growth will subconsciously create loyalty and affection towards the company and would spread the good word outside the organization. In no time, this will help attract a host of talent automatically like flowers attract bees.

  • Respond positively to unprecedented changes

    The year 2020 has been a harbinger of change like no other year before. The recent times of COVID-19 global pandemic have really challenged the way things work. We have been forced to change our conventions and quickly adjust to sudden arrangements such as work from home or social distancing. Nothing could have really prepared us for this overnight change but at the same time, we cannot also remain fully ignorant about the possibility of such events in the future. Leadership training is specifically designed to increase people’s ability to respond rapidly in unpredictable business environments. When organizations look beyond developing senior executives and high potentials to unlock the full potential of their talent pools, agility is magnified. In an environment where employees are not connected to the organization except at a superficial level, things are easy to go loose and the entire management can go haywire.

Implementing leadership programs will impact not only the development of great leaders but also a sustainable economy. Leadership development can, and does, power sustained success for organizations around the world, but only when it’s done the right way.

How Leaders live in the present and give it their very best

Leadership and Living in the Now

In my brief vacations from conducting leadership development programs and sometimes even as a part of it, I have travelled several tourist destinations in India and across the globe mostly with tourist groups. Time and again I have noticed during these trips, that many of my fellow tourists on reaching a destination will immediately ask the Leader – where do we go next? I realized that achieving Goals is like reaching a Destination. Once you reach one, you start planning for the next. This continuous quest of what next, while is useful to keep moving on, many times comes in the way of taking a pause and soaking in the beauty of where you are and what you have. I realized the same formula is applicable to the leadership training programs I conduct in the corporate world.

Reaching the Goals can make life meaningful but it is the quality of the journey that can make it joyful.

If being joyful itself is life’s Goal, then the journey becomes of primary importance and the Goals we set are mere mechanisms to make the journey meaningful. This is the reason why Living in the Now is such an important ingredient in the recipe of joyful living. When you are perpetually living in the present moment and giving it your very best, amazing level of focus and productivity will result with sustained practice. The resultant sense of achievement itself is the reward which keeps our intrinsic levels of motivation on the rise. You then slowly cease to look outward for a pat on the back as the source that motivates you.

So, as a Leader, if you want a formula for being highly productive and joyful, start enjoying the task you are doing at every moment and give it your very best. Success is guaranteed!

Also Read: Mindful and Wholesome Leadership – How Can You Practice It?

The Agility Imperative

The Agility Imperative

Speculation about what the post-COVID world will look like is on the rise. Will business and life in general go back to normal, with COVID-19 being just another event in human history to be turned into a case study for business and medical schools? Or will the new normal be as different from what was before as the factory was from the farm?

While no one can sketch the business world of the future with accuracy, all of us are busy preparing ourselves for what may lie ahead.

In the last three months, both offline and online spaces have been inundated with “How-Tos” for our professional and personal lives: how to manage working from home, how to manage our finances in these uncertain times, how to take care of our wellbeing, how to engage our teams and employees at large, how to build skills for the future, and so on.

An interesting phenomenon to notice is that almost everyone is engaging in some form of self-care and self-improvement these days.

What does this tell us?

To me, this is a reconfirmation of the fact that humans are infinitely adaptable. Then why do we need change-management interventions? I believe it is because change needs to happen at a certain pace (more often faster than slower), and this is where the idea of agility comes in. Agility is the speed at which the change is adapted to. It is what helps you take action at the right pace and time in the face of new conditions in order to survive and thrive. No matter where we are personally and professionally, we need to exhibit agility to cope with the challenges that we face.

For instance, an athlete requires both physical agility and mental agility to achieve peak performance. Similarly, leaders need to be taught via leadership training programs, to exhibit different types of agilities for continued performance in turbulent times.

Let us examine a few types of agilities:

People Agility:  Any change initiative will have its stakeholders, that is, people who have an emotional and/or financial stake in what you are proposing. How do you handle the different perspectives and needs that will arise? Understanding the perspectives of the various stakeholders and ensuring greater alignment is the key to success. This also involved being emotionally intelligent, that comes under emotional intelligence training.

Contextual Agility: This is something corporate trainers focus on the most. This is the ability to decide which change initiatives are the worthiest of your time and effort by focusing on the larger systemic context of your initiatives in order to influence stakeholders. It is the capacity to focus your attention on the broader perspective of your endeavours.

Learning Agility: How open are you to feedback and developing your skills. How often do you step back and reflect on your abilities and limitations?

Innovation Agility: In order to lead in an era where not only do we not have answers to some very important questions, we are not even sure whether we are asking the right questions, we must become comfortable in not knowing and engage the creative capacities of the key stakeholders in problem solving.

What are the strengths and limitations of your leaders as they relate to these four types of agilities? Are the strengths being leveraged and limitations being overcome to steer your organization through this crisis?

What do you react to?

We react at many different levels in our day-to-day interactions.

2 incidences of strong reactions are still etched in my memory. One was about my own reaction. The other incident involved other people driving on the road.

In the event of the first incident, I was taken unaware!  I had just come out of a meeting and was still thinking about the implications of the policies being discussed.

Just then, my senior, who was standing along with my team member called out to me saying “Suresh has been out for 3 hours when he was supposed to be working! He says you have given him permission! Is this true?”

I was totally taken aback! Suresh had not asked for permission and now he was misquoting me. I was furious – not only because I was misquoted, but also because there was so much of work to be done on the project with tight timelines! I confronted Suresh there and then. In the heat of the moment, my voice pitch had gone up. I brought the whole house down attracting a lot of attention from colleagues since this incident happened in a central place. I was indignant too! How could someone just use my name and do whatever they pleased? My credibility was at stake!

The other incident involved another traveller. My son and I were on our way to a family get together.  We cruised along and talking.  Both of us were relaxed. At a juncture, we stopped at the signal and then I proceeded to take a right turn to cruise at a relaxed pace.

Out of the blue, my serene mindset was rudely interrupted by an elderly gentleman. He cut into the path of the car, aggressively signalling for me to stop. I was quite surprised! I pulled up to the side and asked “what’s the matter? “He started raising his voice and said “do you know when you took the turn, you were almost going to knock me off!  Totally unaware of what he said I just kept saying “I am extremely sorry” In a bid to pacify him. After 5 to 7 minutes of expressing his anxiety, the gentleman calmed down.  We both went our way.

Upon reflection of the above incidents, it dawned upon me that an elderly gentleman and I in the earlier case had just experienced an amygdala hijack!

I recalled what Josh – my emotional intelligence teacher told me during my leadership training, saying “there is small almond-shaped part of the brain called the amygdala. It is a part of the brain that works like nature’s alarm system whenever we perceive some kind of threat. In the event of the hijack, we stop thinking rationally and overreact.”

What could be the impact of understanding this aspect of neuroscience? This is where I believe my emotional intelligence training gets useful. Firstly, it helps me understand why I react. Secondly, it helps me become more aware of my perceived threats and helps me remain calm in the face reaction. When I see others reacting, I simply tell myself “he/she is being emotionally Hijacked.” I do whatever is in my control at that point of time and pacify the person or ask questions by which the other person would engage their rational brain. Knowledge gives us the gift of choice – react or respond.

What do you react to?

Emotional Intelligence is more significant than ever in today’s time where colleagues, peers and team-members hail from diverse cultures and backgrounds, creating a very dynamic work environment. It helps you explore the complex interactions of emotions, that generally go unnoticed during various verbal interactions, and make sense of what they mean and how they can be controlled and expressed in a healthier manner. Essentially, emotional intelligence in the workplace comes down to understanding, managing good relationships and solving problems under pressure.

Pragati leadership is a prominent organization that offers premium business coaching services, including emotional intelligence training, business excellence training and executive training. The Pragati leadership team comprises of veteran-grade industry experts and professionals, who are certified corporate trainers for various industry verticals.  To learn more about Pragati leadership and its offerings, kindly visit www.pragatileadership.com

How to Improve Your Negotiation Skills by Pragati Leadership

How to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is a surviving skill in every phase of life. Be it shopping or working – understanding the science behind negotiation is really necessary. In this competitive era, skills and hard-work are incomplete if you don’t ace the negotiation skills. It all depends on who closes the deal. Today the definition of success also depends on smooth negotiation skills. Be it an individual or a business organization, the transformation into a successful business player depends on the basic communication and negotiation skills.

So, what are the important aspects to winning the deal? How to close a deal at a win-win situation?

How to Improve Your Negotiation Skills by Pragati Leadership

Well, keep your dilemmas aside. Through detailed research and careful study, we at Pragati Leadership – a top leadership development programs and executive coaching institute in India, present to you a few points that can help you improve your negotiation skills.

    • Listen Carefully. Discuss Wisely.
      A common mistake that we all do is we don’t listen carefully. We listen to reply. Rather, we should listen carefully and understand the perspective of the other person.Also, if you think negotiation is all about selling then you are wrong. Negotiation needs to be a discussion to achieve a win-win outcome. Communicating with direct and straightforward lines – can turn-off a good opportunity. Rather ask them how you can help them in a proposed offer.

      Always keep the discussion open-ended and be forthcoming so that you can negotiate the deservedly amount.

    • Take Your TimeThere are times when we reply back immediately without thinking thoroughly and regret later.
      Even in our daily life, there are instances where we take our time to invest in a product. We take a break and think thoroughly from all aspects. Similar is the concept with negotiating.When negotiating, it’s not obligatory to announce the decision right away. Take a break to collect your own thoughts. Reconsider your decision from all aspects without closing any deal.

      Always remember that it’s okay to take a break and reply back after some time.

    • Prepare MeticulouslyDon’t underestimate the power of thorough research. Reading and researching will help you avoid unnecessary concessions and adverse deals. Create a list of points that you need to make sure while negotiating.Also, when you attend any meeting be prepared with the best alternative options – always look prepared.Make sure to do your homework, research and prepare yourself.
    • Build Better RelationshipsWe cannot forget that this is a digital era. We are collaborating leaving behind the geographical barrier. So, acing both the approaches to connect digitally and face-to-face is important. But, what is the difference?Connecting face-to-face helps you build a trust level effortlessly. But, studies show that when we connect digitally we share less information and thus, trust is not built. Don’t make such mistake and rather keep in mind to build a bond.
  • Professional HelpAsking for help is never a bad idea. Go for formal leadership training programs and learn the best techniques to ace the art of negotiation.Understand the tips to negotiate on-line and off-line. Excel at implementing the techniques by learning from experienced leaders.Practice a lot. Research a lot. Sure you will make mistakes but that’s how you will excel at the skill. Learn to negotiate so that the ball is always in your court!
leadership training in India by Pragati Leadership

Leadership Training in India

A global study on leadership by Korn Ferry which takes in consideration the view of investors and experts on leadership of companies states that only 26% of business leaders are equipped to lead future businesses in India.[1]

Such study shows the real challenge India is facing while training the next gen leaders. To move up in the business ladder, it is essential for an individual to develop leadership skills. Old and traditional way of training is no more going to build strong leaders who can empower the company and India.

leadership training in India by Pragati LeadershipIndia spends less than 2% on leadership training and skills whereas developed countries spend 10 to 15 percent on leadership qualities. India shows a huge scope of growth in the leadership training in the coming 15 years.

To understand the leadership training scenario in India, let’s first comprehend the basics.

WHAT IS LEADERSHIP TRAINING?

To run a successful firm it is important to have leaders in the team who directs and motivates the flow of action. Not every employee is blessed with in-born leadership qualities. Thus, the training that transforms an employee into a leader through learning and practising required skills is leadership training.

WHY IS IT NECESSARY?

In a survey, 89% of executives said that the strengthening of the organizational leadership is top priority.[2]

Not every business stands on the path of success. The element that differentiates each firm is their leadership skills. These skills are essential for the organizational transformation of a successful business.

  • INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
    Through effective leadership training, the productivity of the workforce increases as the leader directs the performance of the staff and assesses glitches by providing practical solutions.
  • ENCOURAGES INTROSPECTION
    These leadership training aim at employee’s strengths. Leadership training develops confidence and emotional intelligence which helps them to become successful leaders.
  • CLEAR VISION
    Throughout the training, employees are surrounded by level-headed and successful business leaders. They help them understand the importance of having a sound vision to become a successful leader. Leadership training also teaches them to communicate their vision confidently.
  • TEAM BUILDING
    A leader is someone who knows how to work in a team and how to build a strong team to complete the vision. Leadership training helps employees learn to influence people and motivate the team.

Businesses organize different leadership development programs for employees where they are offered clear trails that teach them managerial roles and are guided and mentored by existing leaders to enhance their abilities.

WHAT IS THE LEADERSHIP TRAINING SCENARIO IN INDIA?

Studies show that US spends 160 billion USD for the training and development of leaders per year. And despite having 4 times more population, India spends less than 1 billion USD[2].

Why despite having 12 million employees annually India only has the capacity to train 3 million?

Despite having the maximum growth potential India is still lacking behind. Indian Government have taken appropriate steps such as “Skill India Project” to improve the skills and leadership quality of India. This project aims to train 500 million people by 2022.

    • Not only government but also corporate organizations are working to fuel the huge demand for

leadership training in India

    . Already transforming at a great speed, the young talent and the next-gen leaders are surely about to quiver the world.

HOW PRAGATI LEADERSHIP HELP YOU REACH NEXT LEVEL?

To cover the huge gap that India is facing, Pragati Leadership experts offer their skills and trainings to various individuals and organizations and transform next-gen leaders.

Through different leadership programs and courses, Pragati leadership experts are developing future leaders who help the organization escalate growth and sustainable development. Taking individuals to the next level in the professional arena, Pragati offers myriad training programs such as executive leadership, leading thy self, first time manager training, leading in VUCA world, leader of leaders and many more.

References:

  1. Only 26 pc leaders in India fit to lead future businesses
  2. 7 Statistics You Can’t Ignore About Leadership Development

Mindful and Wholesome Leadership – How Can You Practice It?

Mindful leader development practices are prevalent everywhere. One of the top leadership development programs launched by Google called “Search Inside Yourself” is a popular course which revolves around wholesome leadership wherein the employees learn about emotional intelligence and meditation. The course teaches you to master your emotions, train your mind and more importantly, gives you a ‘balanced awareness’ of activities happening around you.

Renowned institutions from Asana to Starbuck and Aetna are also including private yoga and meditation classes in their offices. These companies believe in the positive impact of incorporating mindfulness in their day to day work life and want to offer their employees the best office culture.

But adopting mindfulness and providing a wholesome leadership training is still limited to big-name companies. Why aren’t these practices cohesive in the leadership programs in India?

What is Mindful and Wholesome Leadership?

Technically, it is a survival skill which trains the mind to be more focused and cognizant in a healthy and nutritious way. It means to be wide-awake, gentle and reverent in all aspects of life. Such an approach requires efficient training of the mind.

Steve Jobs was well-known for his mindful approaches. The practice requires meditation, prayer, exercise or journaling every day which helps in de-cluttering the mind. This, in turn, elevates creativity and motivation.

Why should we include wholesome approach in our leadership programs?

The mindful and wholesome approach helps us connect with our emotions and passions through meditation, yoga or stretching which also releases stress. As a leader, this approach helps to stay composed and motivated. Mindfulness also helps you feel compassionate towards yourself and others.

In a research conducted by Duke University and Aetna Health Insurance Company to study the effects of meditation and yoga on employees, the researchers found that embracing these practices helped decrease stress levels and pain by 28% and 19% and improve sleep quality as well as productivity by 20% and 62 minutes per employee per week respectively.

Sometimes, we all know the benefits and importance but we are lost in the sea of questions about where to start. So, to help you develop a new approach of leadership, below are few practices that you can follow –

How should we include wholesome approach in our leadership programs?

  • Connect and Listen to Others Openly Without Judgements

    Here, let’s take the best real-life example of Mark Bertolini who is the CEO of Aetna. During his initial days, he travelled around the world to meet his employees and understand their hardships. After carefully observing their struggles and doomed circumstances, he decided to shift his leadership approach to more mindful and wholesome mode.

    He slowly made amendments in the business and increased the minimum wage, started student loans and health and wellness programs for employees which include meditation, yoga, sleep, diet, and nutrition. His compassionate approach to leadership helped him develop the company from $30 per share in 2010 to $153 per share in 2017.

  • Create A Positive Ambience

    Controlling others always leaves a negative impact on productivity and business. Rather, create and maintain a positive attitude. This approach will help you solve complications in a more productive tactic.Approach things in a positive manner and compliment every employee on smallest of the achievements. This will increase their faith and improve the relationship between a leader and employee, eventually creating a positive and happy vibe.

  • Grow and Encourage Others

    Mindfulness is a recognized approach among successful leaders which helps them cope with stress and creates a better workplace for everyone. Initiatives that support “growing together” take your business on a long journey of success rather than harnessing the feeling of competitiveness.For instance, Google launched gPause – a community where they share problems, solutions, books, resources etc. to help each other out.

    Even you, as a leader, can help others by developing such communities to develop and support them for leading a mindful approach.

Using mindful leadership in the workplace

Practising mindfulness and wholesome approach will help you in business to bring about an research conducted by Duke University and also on the personal front. It clears the chaos and trains the mind to follow the order.

We need a community where productivity, trust and relationship flow effortlessly; where working is more than nine-to-seven; where work and life are always found in a balance.

Just like big institutions, we need to comprehend that for high-quality results and better growth, the amalgamation of the traditional and modern approach is quintessential. The solution to lead a new way of development is by adopting mindful and wholesome leadership.

You can view more information on how Wholesome Leadership can accelerate your business progress here.


Arun Wakhlu –  Arun is a true believer in the concept of One Wholesome World: a world which is joyful, socially just, and healthy for all (including future generations) co-created by communities of people who are living and leading consciously.

What First Time Managers Need to do to Succeed by Pragati Leadership

4 Things Every First Time Manager Should do to Become the Best Boss

Congratulations, you are a manager now! That’s great news, isn’t it? That cabin which you’ve always been vying for is finally yours.

Is the much-awaited promotion making you feel equal parts happy, overwhelmed as well as anxious?

Don’t worry – every first time manager feels this healthy combination of feelings. Your journey until now was defined by the individual contributions you made but moving forward you will be seen as a leader who will coach and motivate a group of people and make their transitions smoother.

We know you must have prepared yourself well for this day. If you haven’t, allow us to help you before the nervousness slides in and grinds your confidence.

Get off on the right foot with these fundamental blocks as you step into a new role.

These are a few things a first-time manager should inculcate to “feel like a best boss”

    • Understand that your relationship has changed

      In the beginning, it might feel awkward to delegate tasks to your own colleagues.

      But it is important to comprehend that now your number one job is not completing tasks rather it is to help employees accomplish their tasks. This shift is usually difficult for first-time managers but it is vital to understand that now your performance will be measured by your team’s performance.

      If they pass, you pass. If they fail, you fail!

    • Deliver constructive response

      As a manager, it is your onus to provide the team with constructive feedback about their performance.
      A research conducted by Zenger/Folkman found that 72% of employees expressed their performance would improve if their managers would deliver a helpful and constructive opinion.
       
      Take time, observe, learn and then make a remark about your team members’ performance. When in doubt, use your observational and communication skills to help the team improve their performance.
      Healthy advice – Keep it as practical and observational as possible. Don’t talk about unconfirmed report or gossip.

    • Express your concerns well

      Top leadership development programs stress on the importance of team building & team bonding. According to a research “54% of employees feel that a strong sense of community kept them at a company longer than it was in their best interest.”
       
      Building stable relationships with the team members require effective communication. When employees feel cherished and appreciated by the leaders, they give more than a hundred percent to their work and thus, production efficiency, resulting in organizational transformation.
       
      First time manager training teaches you to understand your team members. Listen and understand about your team’s requirement and act accordingly because ultimately, it’s all about what you do than what you say.
      Show your concern in the little things which will help you build the trust of your team. For instance – take their opinions seriously to advocate their best interests, show them that you care and it will only help you build a stronger team.

  • Delegation is Necessary

    Excel at the art of delegation because it can make teamwork or break it. Very early in the work, successful first-time managers comprehend that they cannot be involved in everything and thus, have to rely on the team. Such a business environment also increases the team’s skills and perspective.
     
    You can build delegation by letting your team member step up and lead on your behalf. Be updated but let your team members take charge of the work. Such activities will help them understand the significance of their role which in turn will make them feel valuable and cherished.

As a manager, you need to be consistent and make conscious decisions. You can only do that when you learn to listen and focus on what’s really important. Hence, prioritize.
 
Lastly, mistakes happen – don’t beat yourself up. Just resolute to never stop learning and you will have a great time leading your team to the epitome of success!
 
Good luck on your new journey.

How to Have an Incredibly Collaborative Team - First time manager training

How to Have an Incredibly Collaborative Team?

When we think of sports, we think of fun and entertainment; we think of energy and performance. But when you take a closer look, sports are one of the best representations of teamwork and collaboration. A group of individuals come together to accomplish a particular goal.

Legendary Basketball Coach Phil Jackson once said “For a team to succeed, the players have “to surrender the ‘me’ for ‘we.’ Sports is a living example of how many players come together and work with dedication to achieve a single goal which requires teamwork and group effort to make it realistic.

Everyone in the team plays a different role according to their skill set and strength but they collaborate for a single goal.

While a sport inspires and unites people, it is also a guidebook to be applied in the world of corporates. Moreover, it shows us how champions are born through the efforts of talented individuals who join hands towards a common goal.

A survey conducted by psychologist Marjorie E. Shaw proves that a group of people when working together solves the problem much accurately and precisely rather than when an individual work on them.

How to Have an Incredibly Collaborative Team - First time manager training

What do these teams especially do to have remarkable teamwork and collaboration? Where do businesses lack in developing teams? What features are necessary to build a strong team? How to bring about an organizational transformation using leadership training?

Let’s explore the answer more closely to know what does a collaborative team look like –

  • TRUST

For developing confidence and effective work chemistry within the team, trust is a vital element. If you know your teammates better, consequently you will trust them better which increases the probability of successful collaboration.

Therefore, the companies should plan more employee engagement activities and picnics to help the team members connect in a friendly environment.

  • TRANSPARENT COMMUNICATION

An organization must be transparent with their employees and promote open communication.

99.1% prefer a workplace where people identify and discuss issues truthfully and effectively while less than 50 % say their organization discusses issues truthfully and effectively.

Clear conversation throughout the team and organisation will keep every member on the same page and will assist to make a smooth choice just by focusing better on reaching the planned benchmarks.

  • TEACH WHAT YOU PREACH

Do not just tell your team what to do and what not. Rather, show them, become the leader that you wanted when you were an associate employee. Model the uprightness that you are expecting from your team and hold yourself as well as your team accountable.

Arrange for a formal training program for your future managers so that they receive an unbiased and neutral view of the management, which might get missed by your limited vision. The First Time Manager training program by Pragati Leadership prepares new managers for success by providing them with the training and skills needed to make a smooth transition from an employee to a leader.

Lastly, take a stand when required, and have faith in others.

  • FREEDOM TO EXPRESS

What makes a great team? When individuals of different skills and calibre come together and are given the freedom to exercise their skills proficiently.

Many individuals in a team lead to a diverse body of knowledge – this is the pioneer of creative solutions. Use distinctive skills of every individual member of a team to a strategic advantage while moving forward.  Adopt innovative techniques to give every member their creative space.

  • INVITE HEALTHY DISAGREEMENTS

Keep the communication channel open and never be afraid to have conflicts or disagreements in the ideas. Many members will lead to many perceptions but a healthy disclosure only benefits the business.

When 97% employees believe communication is the core foundation of every business and productivity shoots up by 25% with a better-connected employee system, teamwork and communication should form the basis of your company.

Leadership programs in India stress on the idea of creating a collaborative environment in order to build the foundation of a more prosperous endeavour. Business leaders should keep in mind that for collaborations to work it must be reliable and purposeful, with resources and rewards dedicated to its success. When team members sense that they are a part of something remarkable they are more than willing to grind and work together to accomplish the benchmarks.

One is better than one i.e. one team is always better than one player.

Can Leadership Be Taught - Pragati Leadership

Can Leadership Be Taught?

One of the funny things you see in children is how they mimic some of their parent’s actions. When they are small and innocent, it appears funny. However, habits accumulated through such imitation often end up defining the personality of the child.  However, most of the inculcation happens without any formal teaching. These behaviours seem to have been caught by the child. Now transport this to work place and ask how good leadership traits get inculcated into the organization? This significant question has always been asked around and debated in many leadership summits and forum.

Can leadership, a vital skill to steer oneself and organizations, be transmitted through leadership traininalone? What factors would be significant for people to lead to exhibit leadership behaviours? The mind-set of a leader is often an inspiration derived from within but ignited through the inspirational force of another leader.

Can Leadership Be Taught - Pragati Leadership

It is often said

Leadership is better caught than taught.

Simply said, Inspiration is Caught or acquired by admiring at your role models, by observing great leaders and adopting their traits, by actively pursuing habits that a true leader follows.

There’s a growing fear and myth globally that leadership development programs don’t work; that even after investing millions, great and inspiring leaders are in short supply. 85% managers and mid-level executives are still apprehensive and insecure in their leadership capabilities.

If the leadership development programs are not working to the desired extent, what should be the right approach to create a healthy pipeline of leaders? How can leadership qualities be caught by more employees?

The answer is simple – demonstrate it by your actions!!  As the popular saying goes “Actions speak louder than words”. All great leaders have led more by their actions than anything else. The influence they wield is attributable to the exemplary actions they have taken.

As Theodore Roosevelt said “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

What you care about becomes visible to others and if they resonate with your ideology and approach, they are more likely to follow your actions.

Being a role model is not easy. One has to be mindful and aware of one’s actions, howsoever insignificant they might appear. This builds the leader’s personal power and integrity.  The character leaders display is more likely to influence the people around them rather the advice. Values such as patience, integrity, compassion and positivity are not just soft values which can be taught in classrooms. They are the essential building blocks of your character and it is that character which will be inspiring and caught. The rest is mere semantics.

References –

http://www.ddiworld.com/DDI/media/trend-research/global-leadership-forecast-2014-2015_tr_ddi.pdf

https://study.com/academy/lesson/role-models-as-leaders-in-the-workplace.html

Leadership Development Program At Pragati Leadership

How to Design an Effective Leadership Development Program?

Today, the question isn’t whether you should invest in Leadership Development Program or not, many top MNCs like EY, Amazon and Marriott International throughout the globe are investing heavily in their leadership program and reaping the benefits.
The real question is, how can you build an effective leadership program to help your organization and identify the right leaders?
Every company – big or small – understands that to lead an organization from the front, their platoon leader has to be the wisest, sharpest and the most skilled. After all, on his shoulders lies the responsibility of the whole company. Still, 58% of managers confessed they didn’t receive any form of training on becoming a manager!
Although we have often seen that in saving time, energy and resources, leadership programs often get axed. But Organizations need to understand that when you have identified a strong leader, the chain of succession itself becomes easy.

Leadership Development Program At Pragati Leadership

So,how does a leadership development program help the company and its employees?

  • Leaders understand how important it is to appreciate and empower your employees. In fact, 79% employees quit their job because of “lack of appreciation”. Hence, a leadership program fulfils this gap and promises better retention rate among employees along with 114% higher sales, 90% lower absenteeism and 71% higher customer satisfaction.
  • An effective leadership program teaches the leader the significance of “people bias”. He consciously starts learning more about his employees and brings out the best in them by keeping the employees’ interests at heart.
    For instance, if the company is going through a dynamic change, understanding how to steer through that change at a personal level is important. But a good leader will implement strategies that will LEAD people through that change seamlessly.
  • A powerful corporate leadership program empowers the leader by helping him learn various soft skills including building a network, encouraging and engaging employees, improvement in performance management, establishing long-lasting client relationships, formulating and executing strategies among other everyday leadership tasks.

A happy surprise is 81% employees who worked with recently trained managers/leaders felt more engaged at their jobs. Isn’t that proof enough?
Now that we’ve established the efficacy of leadership programs, the next big question is –
 

What does a framework of Leadership Development Program constitute?

  • One Size DOESN’T Fit All – Every individual is different and so is his skillset. A compelling leadership program identifies the qualities a leader possesses, understands his proficiencies and gives him room to self-assess his areas of improvement. Thereafter, it draws everything together to show how can he use his competence to lead the team forward.
  • Focus on Imparting Principle Based Leadership Training – Today, with the young leaders coming in the forefront, you cannot just lecture them about what will make them a good leader. You need to tell them the ‘why’ behind it. An efficient leadership pipeline program makes them aware of the principles and then gives them the space of self-discovery to implement these principles in their own work environment. Moreover, real world examples and autonomy should form the basis of every discussion.
  • Continuous Process Improvement – A leadership program should be a sustainably blended process. The learning should involve constantly implementing tools and techniques to make a swift transition along with measuring the impact at every stage. It should give the participants a morale boost along with an assurance that they are ready to ascend the career ladder.
  • Measure Results – A proficient top leadership development program will offer a positive environment where growth and development are in prime focus. Schedule regular meetings with the leader to check up on the process, growth and how is the individual advancing to the next level. Ensure that the mapped-out outline is thoroughly followed to polish and develop the next leader in-line. Take feedbacks from the team to know if they sense a difference in their lead and work on the pain points.

Only when a leadership development program constitutes these fundamentals can it create a successful leadership pipeline which nurtures the most valuable asset of a company – its employees.
 

Conclusion

Walt Disney’s engaged and happy 201,000-member global staff doesn’t rely on pixie dust to keep the employees happy. They wish it was that simple. They rely on a compelling and internationally recognized leadership program until they discover the pixie dust.
It’s time you do too!
 
Reference –
1) https://www.td.org/insights/the-business-case-for-leadership-development-and-learning
2) https://blog.inspiresoftware.com/7-statistics-leadership-development
3) https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/companies-with-awesome-training-development-programs
4) https://www.fastcompany.com/3042508/how-to-create-a-leadership-development-program-that-actually-works

Why health should be priority for leaders - organizational transformation

Why Health Should be a Priority for Leaders

We grew up learning ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy and wise!”. In the last century though, while we have become wealthier and wiser, we seem to have received a beating on the health front. Many problems like Diabetes, Hypertension, Cholesterol, Thyroid etc. hitting individuals at a very young age. Senior leadership is expressing concern over lack of energy and enthusiasm in team in the second half of the work. They were found to have very poor attention and participation in meetings. Client calls were more like a ‘tick-in-the-box’ lacking much involvement. The main challenge was that all of them were mid-senior level and in their 30s to 40s of age, rather very commonly found in almost most of the organization.

Why health should be priority for leaders - organizational transformation

Another observation from HR is a remarkable rise in sick leave, peer-level conflicts over minor topics, short-temper etc. among employees. Now, this again is not unique to a particular organization or geography, but very common across all levels and age. The intention behind sharing the above issues is to get closer to the reality of health challenges and its impact on our daily personal and professional life. This also is a major challenge on desks of leaders, since it will impact the individuals, client, productivity, performance, and business.

So what can the Leader do to address the challenge and bring about an organizational transformation?

The first & foremost step all leaders need to take is to ACCEPT the fact that health is important and needs to be addressed at all levels. Acceptance is the key step in dealing with the challenges. Most of the times, everyone asserts with the words “I am fine, it will not happen to me, my employees are fit” and so on, until one-day reality hits them hard.

Once as a leader you accept that health is a priority and needs to be addressed, 80% of the job is done. So what next after Acceptance, you may ask? Well once we accept, we can then take the next steps to have a Good Health Development. It can be done in a multi-pronged approach.

Create Awareness of Good Health

This can be done by the way of posters, mailers etc. Make individuals realize the advantage of Health and its impact on Personal and Professional life. We have heard of the famous Quote” If you don’t take care of your customers, competitors will”, but “If you don’t take care of your health, who will?”

As a leader, you have the power and ability to impact many, who will further impact many more.

A leader must drive this message followed by his own tangible actions. Everyone should undergo a medical check-up at least once a year. To ensure that we don’t miss, we can make it a habit to do so on our birthdays. We never forget our birthdays and it can also be a gift to ourselves. We can reserve one day like the last Friday or the first Monday of the month, to implement innovative ways to foster good health. We can try implementing basic changes in our lifestyle in simple ways like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, conducting stand-up meetings, avoiding sugar etc.

Today we have such wonderful apps on the smartphone which we can leverage in many ways. Leaders can encourage various individual and group/team/pair challenges. The participants can be rewarded for challenges such as walking the most number of steps in a day, holding a plank position for the longest time, etc. The more the diversity, the higher the participation and the greater the fun.

Good Health is not just about exercise.  Such myths also need to be addressed by creating awareness with the help of experts. What we eat and drink, is what contributes to health.  Leaders can create awareness on the importance of various elements in our diet which impacts good health of all and good health of organization. Rest / Sleep is another very important aspect. It should be encouraged and attention must be drawn to proper and sufficient sleep. For e.g.: 5 min rest after lunch can be made mandatory at a scheduled time.

Individuals look up to the leaders and follow them. As leaders, we lead by example in meetings, executive leadership program, project discussions, client negotiations, business presentations, etc. We should also lead by example in various good health habits. We can share success stories, benefits, and incentives due to good health practice. Leaders can create that ripple effect and initiate it as a movement. I would like to sum it all up on a poetic note by quoting the below:

“If we can’t fly, we must run.

If we can’t run, we must walk.

If we can’t walk, we must crawl.

Whatever it is we must keep moving.”

Leadership Facilitator - Manoj Vanjiri

Pragati Leadership - She is the Real Shero

She is the Real Shero

Women are approximately 50% of the world’s population and therefore should be in a position of tremendous power, responsibility across all sectors. Women should be in major decision-making and influencing roles. Whether to sanction sanctions on another country or create policy changes in the nation or be part of the merger/demerger decisions, they should be in a position to opine and to execute the same. Women are considered ideal teachers. They are highly active in conducting executive leadership program and leadership programs in India and are more popular than men in the corporate training sector.

Pragati Leadership - She is the Real Shero

There is no question that we have seen the tremendous change in the “breaking of the glass-ceiling “over the last 30 years in this. We have a woman Defence Minister and a woman Foreign Minister. We have also many women CEO’s, bureaucrats, athletes, musicians –all making a difference to the nation, the world and to their respective organizations. The question to ask is “Are they enough?. Even today when I go to many corporations who are intrinsically liberal and forward minded, the number of women leaders in decision-making roles are limited. We still need women to come forward to play and work with their full strengths and potential so that we can create a different set of thinking paradigms which can bring about positive and inclusive change.

I think this is the reason that even today we celebrate “Women’s day”. It’s a day to remember and celebrate the contribution of women in nation-building and create a humane world. Celebrating women’s day does not on the ground change any reality for women –but it brings awareness about the strengths of women and acknowledges the same. It’s a day for women to introspect, look at their lives-their aspirations, their strengths and create plans for their future. It’s a day also for organizations to acknowledge the contributions of women and recognise them. Give them opportunities to grow. Give them a challenge. Give them the platforms to perform. Recognise that women play multiple roles both at work and outside of it and have the ability to harmonize this. Be there for them.

Ready and Capable Leaders - Organisational Transformation

How Do You Know Your Leaders are Ready and Capable?

In a recent conversation, the CEO of a well-run organization expressed this question and it got me thinking – is leadership development addressed sufficiently well by organizations and the owners of the organization?

Let’s begin with the CEO’s question. Common sense thinking would be to have a competent person for the job. But in the era we live in, a continuously changing and evolving landscape of business and competition make things very unpredictable. What kind of competencies would really be needed to navigate the maze becomes the single most important question to really bring about new thinking?

Ready and Capable Leaders - Pragati Leadership

Would past experience and knowledge not be sufficient? Think about, explorations of the space. Would knowledge of having been in space be sufficient to travel to Mars? Very unlikely! Important but not sufficient. One has to apply forward thinking of the unknown challenges and risks and yet be bold enough to actually jump into it.   Elon Musk, a very unconventional leader has a penchant to deviate from the normal and take risks. Does every organization need an Elon Musk type leader?  Or can they continue to win with proven horses and strategies? Organizations need a blend of both type of leaders, but it’s evident that we will need a bigger pipeline of leaders equipped to deal with the future.

So how do we approach this problem?   Clearly current day skills and knowledge will get outdated and organizations will have to reshape on a continuous basis.   The question is not when but how? Building agility and strategic mind-sets,  using executive leadership program developing big picture thinking,  encouraging creative problem solving, creating inspiring workplaces, leading strategic change are few things the organization’s leaders will need to develop and demonstrate.

In one business review meeting with a client, I asked leaders if they could think what the business landscape would look like after 3-5 years, and their responses made me shudder.   The inability to foresee new challenges and taking comfort in the known situations could make the organization and the individual vulnerable to the external environment. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is upon us.  Futuristic competitive forces are a good starting point to know if the organizations and it leaders are ready and capable to address them, if not all at least some of them. Having leaders who are not just good in doing what the organization can and wants them to do, but also equipped in doing what its future competitors will do, will define whether the organization will succeed in future or not.

And yes, organizational transformation, leadership and talent development is a continuous journey.   An evolution!  And it has to happen at an increasing pace because the environment is changing faster than what we might prefer.

The Role of Leaders in Creating Happiness

The Role of Leaders in Creating Happiness

All business leaders are expected to deliver results for the organization. However the role of leaders in creating happiness is lesser understood and also contested by many leaders.

Let’s take the conversation to an era, where leaders were essentially rulers of a tribe, clan or a kingdom. There are numerous folk tales where the kings often had a huge task cut out and had to ensure that their subjects were able to live a just and happy life. Of course there were also leaders who did not really care about the citizens and were more focussed on their power, wealth and entertainment.

It was always expected from a benevolent leader to help his/her subjects in times of famines or other crisis. I recently read a story of the king of Mysore who gave up most of his kingly possessions and was ready to even mortgage his palace to fund the incomplete KRS Dam. This dam would have provided succour to the parched regions of Mysore and would have benefitted the farmers significantly. Would a business leader in today’s time go to such length to ensure the happiness of his/her team?

The Role of Leaders in Creating Happiness

Focusing on happiness essentially means showing concern for people. In today’s world with hyper competition and high volatility, a business manager’s focus tends to be largely on reaching one’s goals. One cannot afford to lose business, while a loss in the team is often considered acceptable.  These paradigms perpetuate eventually pushing the leaders’ focus purely on producing results. Produce or perish (ref. Blake and Mouton’s managerial grid) then is the operating Mantra.

What are the drawbacks through the relentless focus only on producing results? In my observations, sustaining an organization in the long run purely through this focus on production is very difficult. Disengagement and attrition are two familiar outcomes. What does it take for a leader to create happiness in the work place? Is it counterproductive to his core objectives of delivering results? Will happy employees be as rewarding as happy investors?

These questions require deep diving into understanding that happiness is important to every individual. The definition of happiness itself can vary vastly from individual to individual. A simplistic approach can often lead organizations and leaders to focus on the external motivators like compensation and other benefits. Once one realizes the short lived outcomes on the benefits of such external motivators, it then forces you to think what brings happiness and joy in people.

One definition which endures is helping people find meaning and pride in one’s work. Great leaders create the intrinsic motivations through instilling purpose and create empowering environments that allow people to discover themselves. And sometimes all it takes is emphatic listening. Simple as it might sound, it is quite another thing to practice and find ways to alleviate people from their current paradigms. Genuine executive coaching conversations can help break these barriers.

Excellence is a hallmark of Joy! Focus on creating joyful and meaningful workplaces can be potential enablers in creating excellence without compromising on the focus to produce. Big picture thinking meshes the ability to take people along and getting results. They are indistinguishable. You are then poised for a huge leap and true organizational transformation. But it all begins with you!

Role of CEO in Learning & Development-Pragati Leadership

Role of CEO in Learning & Development

Role of CEO in Learning & Development-Pragati LeadershipHere is a question to all CEOs. What is your level of involvement and contribution to defining the direction and goals for the Learning and Development in your Organization?

While being part of Pragati Leadership for the last six years, I have encountered very few instances where I saw active on-going involvement from Top Management in the L&D direction and prioritization.

L&D, like any other function / initiative in an Organization needs to be aligned with the Business Goals. Typically for a business enterprise, the business goals are linked to Business Growth (Topline, Bottom-line, Market share…), Customer satisfaction and People Motivation. There may be several additional goals that are enabling goals for the primary business goals.

It is important to drive the L&D initiatives that will directly or indirectly contribute to the achievement of the above three primary areas or the enabling areas. Carrying out L&D initiatives without such conscious and visible correlation is not worth investing in.

If I were to map the business goals to L&D programs, I would think of the following areas:

Business Goal Area Possible L&D Programs
Business growth
Customer Satisfaction
  • Customer Centricity
People Motivation
  • Inspirational Communication
  • Empowerment
  • Diversity and Inclusion

The above mapping is not exhaustive and is only aimed at triggering your thought process in this direction. We can also extend the idea by adding an expected outcome for each of the programs. For example, the outcome from Negotiation Skills program could be – To provide tools and techniques to Sales and Procurement teams to get more profitable deals for the Organization. If an Organization has such a clear mapping, the Leadership is clear and confident that the L&D investments are worthwhile and are directly contributing to business success.

I will be extremely happy to receive your thoughts on this subject.

Leaders as Teachers-Pragati Leadership

Leaders as Teachers

5th September is a special day to honour our teachers, Gurus, Mentors and Coaches and to express our immense Gratitude for making us who we are today. At different phases of our life, we come across a guiding light, a teacher who inspires and transforms us. We evolve and learn to deliver our best.

I never realised a recent casual conversation with my friend Meera in a café would actually inspire me to write this blog. Meera’s daughter has enrolled for unschooling and is learning at home. I am neither for nor against home schooling, but am curious to know what has prompted so many of us to look at home schooling as an alternative. To set the context right, let’s understand the evolution of formal schooling in India.

Leaders as Teachers-Pragati Leadership

We have a history of Gurukula – Guru Shishya Parampara. The word gurukula is a combination of the Sanskrit words guru (‘teacher’ or ’master’) and kula (‘family’ or ‘home’). Before the British rule, they served as South Asia’s primary educational system. The term is also used today to refer to residential monasteries or schools operated by modern gurus. Schools have definitely played a very important part in developing and shaping an overall personality of a child.

Now the question arises if schools have been such an important part of our society, why are we debating over unschooling then. Are we being too possessive and overprotective that we don’t want our children to face any adverse situations in life? We are living in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) World where Leaders need to deal with adversities every now and then. The probable solution is not shying away, but working very closely with corporates to understand their requirement so that seeds of Leadership are sown at a very young age. A recent venture, Avasara Academy is a beautiful example of how corporates and educationist are working very closely to develop Future Women Leaders of our country.

Can overprotecting and being over possessive actually help develop our Future Leaders. No! definitely not. We might postpone a situation, but we cannot avoid a situation. Sooner or later your butterfly will come out of its cocoon and fly. Why wait for so long, let them be independent now!

Our corporate journey is not any different from our other learning journeys; I still remember how my boss spent hours coaching me during my initial management trainee days. He, like a teacher of Kindergarten school kids, helped me shape up my thinking, improve focus, use my creative instincts productively and be able to deliver results. A leader as a teacher has to work very closely with his team members to hone their skills and lead them to success.

When we enter the corporate world, we are naïve, unaware of the complex business problems that we are going to handle very soon. To be able to deliver exceptional results, we need laser-sharp focus and crystal clear understanding of the problem statement which is definitely not thought in B-schools but is learnt gradually over the years as we keep graduating from one corporate role/ladder to another. In each role, we come across a Leader, a Mentor, a Coach and a Teacher who educates and empowers us to be successful in handling new challenges.

A Leader as a Teacher inspires trust and acts as a catalyst to enhance the learning. Hence, developing Leaders at all levels is a must for all organisations.

Executive Coaching : The way to create medal winners

Coaching : The way to create medal winners?

Thanks to the quadrennial Asian Games, working professionals all over the world are paying attention to the world outside their cubicles. There’s a lot of excitement in India as many sportspersons are bringing home medals in different disciplines.

If you look at India’s performance at the Asian Games, we have historically been most successful in athletics. Our success in other disciplines has been only a fraction of what we have achieved there.

Executive Coaching : The way to create medal winners

Why is this the case? One reason could be that other disciplines require access to sporting facilities. For instance, at the 2010 Asian GamesIndia had their best-ever haul of 65 medalsA fifth of these were in athletics, more specifically in running events where facilities are less necessary. In events like the high-jump or pole vault where facilities are mandatory, we didn’t win anything.

The other events in which we have won (far fewer) medals are wrestling, boxing, shooting, tennis, rowing and badminton. It’s clear to you that each of these sports requires a facility and skilled coaches.

Take badminton for instance. The frequency with which Indians have won medals in this sport has increased recently. Two women have already won medals for us at back to back Asian Games. Both women are from the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy, where they had access to not just facilities but also highly skilled international coaches. (The academy requires significant investment to hire foreign coaches and could do better if it had access to more funds.

This year too, our medal winners like Neeraj Chopra, Dutee Chand and Muhammad Anas had access to good coaches during their long pursuit of glory.

In sport, we celebrate the winner, often oblivious to the systems that enabled the individual to become a winner. In the corporate world too, we perpetuate the myth of the superstar, never realizing that it is facilities, systems and coaching that actually turns individuals into winners.

If you want more winners, in sport or in your organisation, pay close attention to whether you have systems and coaches that are enabling your players to excel.

In organisations, it is usually the manager that has to play the role of a coach. If you manage people, developing them into stars is your responsibility. If you want to develop skills in executive coaching and enabling people, request your manager to get you trained on the subject. At other times, you might want to engage an Executive Coach to help you increase your impact. Look for a coach who has a track record of helping people discover a new level in their performance.

Aman Zaidi

Freedom at Workplace-Pragati Leadership

Freedom at Workplace!

While we live in a free, independent country, the question of whether we truly live a free life has always remained in my mind? What does it mean to be truly free and liberated? How do we experience that in our lives?

Since we spend most of our awake time at work, freedom at work would be a very important part of the liberation we desire. The TGIF phrase always to denote that somehow most of the people working in organizations seem to see work as a burden, some punishment they have to endure to earn a living, to buy a house, car and other gadgets. The two days of the weekend or a vacation seem like the glow of a faint candle in a dark room.

Why have we come to believe that work is a bondage we have to endure? How can we create workplaces which allow people to experience the freedom to chart their own destiny? Is the leadership team responsible for this state of mind? Or is it something we cultivate subconsciously in some way. I think both play an important role. The early upbringing at home and school can embed a belief system deeply in our minds to ignore the burdens and not challenge the diktat handed over to us by our parents or teachers. Once embedded, this is very hard to reverse, but yes reversal is possible.

That is where leaders can help and employees can participate. There are four things which in my opinion contribute to the experience of feeling freedom at work.

1> Seeing Meaning in work
2> Cultivating Mutual Respect
3> Harnessing individual strengths
4> Making workplace joyful

Freedom at Workplace-Pragati Leadership

A lot of research has shown that human beings need to see that the work they are doing is meaningful and not some obscure irrelevant piece of drudgery they have been handed over. Great leaders take effort to show the context and meaning to the work done by thousands of people in their organization. Once people are able to see the meaning of their work in line with the vision of the organization (read NOT profits), they experience that their contribution is valued and feel responsible and empowered for their actions.

Human beings love to feel respected. With the slightest sense of disrespect, people can feel demotivated and not part of the workplace. This leads to a sense of insecurity and significant disengagement. Leaders have a huge responsibility here.  To disagree or not be happy about someone’s work is ok, but if done respectfully it can help people feel free and continue with the same zeal and enthusiasm which the leaders want in the first place.   Exemplary leaders like JRD Tata cultivated a climate of mutual respect and trust and it was quite common to see how the people working with them felt free and empowered.

Leaders also need to recognize innate strengths and talent of their people and give them opportunities to use their strengths. Rigid organization structures and roles often stymy the ability of the individual to leverage one’s strengths.  This leads to the feeling of chained, bonded and opportunities wasted. This is absolutely contrary to the feeling of free at work. The work on positive psychology and strengths based work has proved that engagement and productivity are directly related to the ability of an individual to contribute meaningfully and using one’s strengths.

Finally, a boring and serious workplace is de-energizing and gives the feeling of a prison. Workplace practices to make it a place to be where joy is a priority too is very important. However, fun at work and joy are quite different while looking synonymous. Doing fun activities bring relief to the monotony but finding joy in the work itself is much more liberating. This is when leaders create excitement about the challenges and how they can learn from them.  Celebrating mini-successes and a culture of appreciation are some of the ways workplaces become joyful. A joyful workplace is freedom from the negativity which surrounds us very often.

If these simple things can be demonstrated at workplaces, I think we can all experience freedom and empowerment and lead happy, fulfilled lives.

Happy Independence Day to all!  Be Free

Vikas Bhatia - Pragati Leadership

achievement-challenge

Strategy at All Levels of Leaders

It is a common belief that Strategic thinking and Strategy development are the privileges of the Top Leadership of an Organization. This arises from the assumption that Strategies are defined to address the high level Corporate and Business Objectives.

achievement-challenge

I follow a simple definition of Strategy – It is a possible pathway or approach to achieve an Objective. With this definition, therefore Strategy becomes relevant and applicable to every Leader who works towards the achievement of Organisational Objectives – that means to Leaders at all levels! The strategy therefore needs to be an integral component of Leadership Development initiatives at all levels.

When every Leader at every level in an Organization routinely starts asking the question – What are the possible approaches to achieve my Objective/s, Strategic innovation starts getting into the DNA of that organization. Every Functional head explores multiple Strategies in her own area – be it People Management, Marketing, Information Technology, Production, Sales and so on. This inculcates a habit of always looking for better approaches for achieving Objectives, encourages challenging the status quo and also enhances the energy levels all around.

One more interesting aspect of Strategy is that the selected strategies at a level of Leadership translate into the Objectives for the next level. Spend some time in reflecting on this – look for examples (I have not given them intentionally!).

Happy Strategizing!

vikas-joshi

The Yogical Leader

The Yogical Leader

Today is the 4th International Yoga day and many organizations catching up with the trend would organize seminars or workshops on Yoga. Leaders would extol the virtues of yoga, people would bend and stretch their bodies and feel rejuvenated to take on the challenges at work!  And like for everything else, the momentary engagement would soon be overshadowed by the daily grind and the commitment to do something around Yoga confined to some pictures on Instagram!

Can the practice of Yoga be extended to something more than the superficial stretching of limbs? And how do we benefit from the yogic practice in our personal and professional lives?  The Asthanga – The eight limbs/paths of Yoga (Asana is only one!)  provide a deeper understanding to lead one’s own life and others in a productive and joyful way.

In today’s world, dominated by technology, the logical mind and the logical leader often occupy center-stage. The Yogical Leader – who blends Logic and Yoga as the way of life demonstrates the highest fruition of outer success and inner joy.   The eight limbs of yoga are innately connected to the principles of leadership and my exploring these aspects, a leader would transform into a Yogical Leader. Let us explore these eight limbs and their relevance for leaders.

The Yogical Leader

Asana –  This is the 3rd limb/path of Yoga, but definitely the most easily understood aspect of  Yoga. Various postures allow the body to become flexible and supple.  The slight pain in the stretch provides the real benefit for the body.   As leaders, we need to accept that pain is part of the learning and growing process. Every now and then, we need to stretch from our comfort zone and take on some pain to reach desired results.   Being good to people always don’t allow for growth to happen.  The absorption of this reality is something we can learn from the practice of Asanas.

Yama – The first limb deals with the ethical framework and a sense of integrity needed to lead life. Of the five Yamas – or conduct, Ahimsa and Satya are two Yamas which provide leaders to become morally powerful.  The Power of Mahatma Gandhi could be attributed to these two Yama’s.   For a corporate leader, the practice of Ahimsa – or non-violence is being objective in giving feedback but not aggressive.   Aggression may provide short term results but erodes long term credibility.   The same applies to the principle of Satya – being true to your purpose and role.  Deviations from the path of Satya  lead to a trust deficit eventually eroding the credibility and power of a leader

Niyama –   Or path of observing disciplines is to help the individual to stay grounded and provide a strong foundation for better execution.  The practice of “5-S” and Saucha – cleanliness have very similar ideology. A clean body, clean workplaces allow us to perform efficiently towards our goal.  Other than the hygiene aspect, other Niyamas direct oneself towards a higher purpose.  The Yogical leader focuses on having a clear vision of why we are doing what we are doing.

Pranayama – The practice of Pranayama – centered on breathing techniques is meant to harness the basic life force of Prana.   The Yogical Leader realizes that it’s the presence of this life-force which brings enthusiasm and energy to life. Organizations without sufficient Prana tend to be dull, lethargic and bureaucratic. In a disruptive VUCA world,  pranayama prepares leaders and organizations to be resilient,  innovative and open to possibilities

Pratyahara  – Withdrawal from the sensory world – might seem contradictory and abstract for a business leader.   The key point for Yogical leader is to pay attention to one’s diet and also the various thought processes in the mind.  Toxic diets do not allow the leader to enhance one’s ability to see things clearly.    Over-indulgence in such foods like excess caffeine, alcohol or even fat heavy food is not recommended.   Similarly, indulgence in gossip, backbiting or talking ill about people doesn’t do well for the leader.  I have seen many successful leaders follow this path and rising out of the worldly clutter. For more reading on Pratyahara – do read the wonderful article by Dr.  David Frawley – https://yogainternational.com/article/view/pratyahara-yogas-forgotten-limb

Dharana – Concentration –  Focus – prepares the leader to be committed to the vision and mission they have for the organization.  It brings the required resilience to counter the various distractions (money, power, fame) which will be always around.  None of the benefits like money should be discarded but Dharana stops the leader from being entrapped by them.

Dhyana – Meditation or Contemplation can provide the platform for the leader to be expansive, future thinking with required clarity.  The ability to deal with ambiguity and complexity is enhanced through the practice of  Dayana.  As the spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar says, meditation brings sharpness, awareness and observation at an intellectual level.

Samadhi – The state of ecstasy, unbounded joy or self-actualization is also described as the ultimate quest of every human being. In Maslow’s hierarchy, this need is the pinnacle of human motivation. The state of Samadhi is also akin to being in the zone or flow as defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Hungarian psychologist. This state is the ultimate flowering in an individual’s life and a leader’s role in enabling self and others to find their flow makes them the true “Yogical Leader” and provides them the ultimate employee engagement tool.

Vikas Bhatia - Pragati Leadership

Yoga and Organizational Performance

Yoga and Organizational Performance

Mention the word “Yoga” and the first image that comes to mind is someone engaged in a special physical asana (or pose). Yoga is much more than stretching the body. It is more about the resonance that comes from being deeply connected with awareness, with other people and with the natural environment.

Leaders working mindfully with a sense of total oneness or wholeness, work with ease and creativity. They are naturally present to the moment and conscious of what is happening inside and around them.  This reduces stress. Besides being a great stress buster, there is evidence to show that  Mindfulness also benefits business. According to survey results captured in a report ( Exploring the Value Proposition for Workplace Health) from the non-profit Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), more than 90 percent of business leaders say that promoting wellness can positively affect employee productivity and performance.

Yoga and Organizational Performance

With our experience of serving in the fields of Leadership Development, Training, Organizational Change and  Executive Coaching for over 33 years, we can state emphatically that happy and healthy leaders are better performers.  They also inspire others to take care of their own health and happiness (e.g. through yoga, exercise and conscious eating). This has a positive impact on the performance and productivity of organizations.

So, if you are not already doing something to take care of your body-mind, begin now.  The payoff for you and your organization are high. Besides it is a great feeling to be fit and healthy.

Happy International Yoga Day!

Author

Leadership Training

Why most Leadership Trainings don’t work?

Leadership TrainingMost organizations realize the importance of leadership development. However, their intention to develop powerful leaders often ends up being a damp squib or an also ran exercise. Clearly, the business leaders have not paid closer attention to the factors which contribute to the success of leadership training programs.
Through my own experience as a recipient of such trainings and also, while running such leadership development workshops for our clients, I have identified five key factors which every organization must keep in mind while developing and designing leadership training programs in their organization.

1. No linkage to business goals or missing context:
Running a leadership intervention for the sake of itself is a sure shot guarantee to failure. It is an imperative to spell out in clear quantifiable objectives as to how this leadership development program will contribute to the organizational goals and help leaders develop key skills to make these goals happen. In the absence of such clear linkages, the buy in of the participants remains weak. Strategic goals must always drive the learning agenda in a leadership development initiative.

2. Inadequate probing into root causes:
Often, behaviours demonstrated by leaders are related to other factors in the organizations such as prevailing culture or DNA, business environment or the industry characteristics, workforce composition etc. Putting them through a training program and expecting them to demonstrate behaviours which don’t fit into the overall environment is akin to planting a coconut tree in a desert. In an organization which was very customer centric, teaching behaviours on efficiency were not aligned to the DNA and eventually didn’t create any further impact.

3. Poor involvement from the participant’s Manager:
The participant’s supervisor plays an important role in reinforcing the learning in the participant. I have seen many managers being dismissive of the new learning experience the participant has gone through or being reluctant to incorporate new ways of working to reap the benefits. HR or L&D department cannot alone make it successful, the role of line managers in this is vital.

4. No clarity on needles to be moved:
Expecting leaders to demonstrate key leadership behaviours or traits also requires the organization to define how these would be measured or evaluated. For example, when I asked the senior in an organization on how would they currently measure behaviour like taking ownership, there were only vague descriptors. Efforts to quantify or make it measurable are often missing leading to vague inputs for making the shift happen.

5. Short term inputs or commitment:
Let’s be clear. Leaders are not made overnight. Organizations often expect miracles through a 2-day workshop. Essentially this becomes a tick box item. While participants do walk back picking up a few insights, making these learnings become their very nature requires serious nurturing. It requires repeated inputs through multiple touch points. A spirit of community learning is also essential for people to learn with each other. Slipping back into one’s work zone and not re-connecting to deepen the learnings is one mistake I see in most organizations. This short-term approach does not allow for maximising the ROI from the inputs. Since the organization has already committed several man days, other means to engage the participants with a long term commitment should be explored.

Oh! Other than these five, there are few others including not selecting the right facilitator that can also contribute to poor outcomes. In my next article, I will outline how to select the right facilitator for your leadership intervention.

Vikas Bhatia - Pragati Leadership

First-Time-Manager

Playing a Role and Not Just Becoming a First Time Manager

First-Time-Manager

So you are about to become a “First Time Manager”?

Well, let’s get a few things straight right at the start. First about “becoming”: You are not going to become a First Time Manager, you will only start playing a new role. You will be the same. Only the role will change. This is exactly like taking on new roles in your life: The role of a Mother or father, when your first child is born; taking the role of a Caregiver when your parents are aging, taking on the role of a spouse if and when you get married…and so on. You remain the same. Only the role you are playing changes from time to time. Next let’s look at “First time”. This moment is seeing a first time “you” that life has never seen before! Our body and mind is changing all the time. Everything is renewing itself. All is flux.

So when we take on a new role, what are a few things to keep in mind to make the transition happen with ease, grace and joyful effectiveness?

Here are a few tips that can apply to the role of First Time Manager, or to any other role that you are taking on for the first time:

  1. Remember, you are not the role. You are playing a role. Do not take the problems or challenges of the new role personally. Stay anchored in who you really are > Pure Potentiality. The way to do this is to take repeated and short moments of Silence several times a day to get in touch with your positive and pure potential;
  2. Understand what others expect from your role. Go out and listen to them. Remember, every role has its “Customers”… people who will receive the outputs of your work or efforts in the role; Do not do this just at the start of playing a new role. Keep doing it regularly. Remember, all is in flux and expectations can, and do change;
  3. In a study of the people who rose to take on increasingly responsible roles in organisations, we have found that those who are self-motivated and life-long learners rise to taking on increasingly more responsible roles; stay with a beginner’s mind. Make learning a lifelong habit. Sumant Moolgaonkar, the creator of Telco (Now Tata Motors) would keep learning about Automobiles at 80 years of age. Bill Veltrop, a 92-year-old leading light in Organisational and Leadership development, learns like a first year college student, diligently making notes and asking questions with the utmost openness and humility. As Eric Hoffer has said,

“In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

All the best for playing your new role! Be sincere, and don’t take it too seriously!

First-Time-Manager

What Keeps CEOs Awake?

I often get asked by colleagues “What do CEO’s worry about?” This is often in the context of facilitating CXO level workshops. Well, just as any other Management personnel, CEOs both worry and are happy! What certainly are things that are on their dashboards are:

Business results

Sustainability of the business

Right talent in the company

Brand visibility/ respect for the company

Governance etc.

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The Always of Leadership

How many of you have participated in a 360 degree feedback process at work?   For leaders, receiving feedback from colleagues feels like report-card day! If you think about it, it is surely a report card of behavior perception i.e. how colleagues perceive their behavior and what conclusions they draw from that (as is evident in the verbatim comments that form a part of such reports). It is very interesting to observe how people respond to feedback that they get and I must say I have really seen it all – from gratitude and enthusiasm, to surprise and shock; from calm and knowing acceptance to utter disbelief and rejection.

THE DREADED RATING SCALE

The design of such instruments is very telling…there are a set of behavior statements and a set of options from which one has to tick the appropriate one e.g.: A statement like “listens patiently to others’ ideas” can be rated as Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Usually or Always. Needless to say, most people rate themselves as Always (5/5) while their colleagues rate them as “Sometimes” or “Usually”..much to their surprise and chagrin.

ALWAYS: THE HALLMARK OF LEADERSHIP

On a recent such assignment, I debriefed about 25-30 people on their feedback reports…and I soon realized that there was magic hidden in the word “Always”. It set my mind in motion and I reflected back to the leaders that I have personally witnessed/ worked with in my career.

It became clear to me that whatever a leader “Always” did, became the “Hallmark” of her Brand of Leadership. For example:

Mr. S was such a time stickler that he “always” insisted on adherence to schedule…Soon his team members knew that if his time was blocked then punctuality was key. I remember once people arrived 50 minutes late for a 60 minute meeting. He spent the remaining 10 minutes with them and that was that!

Ms B “always” greeted visitors with a smile, asked them about their family, offered a cup of tea/coffee and made them feel comfortable. She even ensured that there was no sun in the face, by pulling down the blinds herself, if need be. Only then did she get down to discussing the business matter at hand. She was known for Warmth, for being a good person, “always”.

IS “ALWAYS” ALWAYS POSSIBLE?

Most organizations have an in-house model of leadership competencies i.e. they have a long list of behaviors which leaders in the company are expected to demonstrate. Funnily enough, the underlying assumption is that every Leader must score an “Always” on ALL desirable “Leadership Behaviors.” Is that really possible? Obviously, such an assumption is really not founded in realism of any kind! This is hardly a Class XII board exam where a score of aggregate 95% + seems to have 1000s of claimants. Human behavior is a different ball-game!

Haven’t we all seen Leaders who are very competent at, say, driving initiatives, but not so good in future planning, or colleagues who are excellent at client relationships but maybe not in peer relationships? The more I work with leaders; one thing becomes crystal clear to me – that each leader has her Hallmark, her Brand which is created by consistently demonstrating a certain set of behaviors in multiple interactions with multiple people. By corollary, there are also many things that the same leader will never be able to get an “Always” rating for. And that’s OK.

WHAT IS YOUR HALLMARK STYLE?

Ultimately the key to Success and Excellence for you as a leader is really to pick a few actions/ behaviors that drive your team to be motivated, engaged and performance oriented and then consistently demonstrate that behavior, day in and day out.. like a signature style! On those critical behaviors, you can claim an “Always” blindfolded and soon you will be dancing your way up the business and happiness graphs.

Easier said than done, of course! How you go about building your Signature Style is another article for another day… but the starting point is to look at yourself dispassionately and identify those desirable leadership behaviors that you are automatically drawn to…where moving from a “Usually” to an “Always” seems like no effort at all. As with most things to do with self development, self awareness is the first baby step!

By Yoshita Sharma