By Sanjeev Vashishta, MD & CEO, PathKind Labs
A leader must have the requisite professional knowledge, competence, people connect, empathy, highest level of integrity, ability to judiciously use resources in the most effective and efficient manner and many other attributes that would ensure she/he is able to take the organisation forward and also groom leaders under them. It is absolutely essential for a leader to be magnanimous and trust her/his team members. People can make or break the organisations, and therefore it is very important to nurture teams with the utmost zeal, compassion, and give them the wings to fly. More often than not, a good leader is able to create a team that inspires the leader herself/ himself.
If I have to allude to my learnings from my career spanning over 3 decades, the three most important lessons / attributes on leadership, following will be my take:
Big Picture & Execution
One of the most important aspects of running any business is its sustainability and growth, it’s impact on the economy, environment, and the relevance of the business for the betterment of the mankind. Apart from setting a clear-cut vision for the organisation and casting strategies to achieve the same, it is equally important to have the ability to execute the plans and the vision. A good leader would never miss the woods for the trees, and therefore would always keep at the back of the mind the long term impact of the actions being taken in the present. However, he/ she should also show results in the short run and thus a good leader should always “lead from the front” and should not shy away from rolling up his or her sleeves and soiling their hands if the situation so demands. At times, it is better to micro-manage than under manage, and therefore a leader must always have ears to the ground.
Just & Impartial
One of the coveted traits of a good leader is that of being just and impartial, and should also be perceived as a person who is above board. Being transparent in spirit and conduct should be integral to him/her for earning the respect of his team members. This doesn’t mean that a leader has to pander to the team members to keep them in good spirits.
On the contrary, the ability to say “No” on the matters that are not in the interest of the company is a must for a good leader. Leaders have to display firmness by adjudicating conflicting claims and taking decisions effectively. Apart from having a good sense of justice and equity, a good leader should be compassionate and must take responsibility of the team and sacrifice his/ her own interests for the greater good.
A good leader hates to procrastinate any decision and would never land into a situation where “excessive analysis leads to paralysis”. There is a difference between taking a hasty decision and taking a quick decision. For a good leader, the precision and speed of taking decisions are both equally important, and for that reason he/she must create an ecosystem where information is shared with the team members on a regular basis and the teams are encouraged to participate in the decision-making process. Sharing the information and keeping everybody’s focus on speed and precision simultaneously is quite critical to the decision-making process. Bringing to the fore those most qualified to make the decisions, regardless of background or obligation, aids decision-making.