CEE Handout for Key Note Briefing MMA 'Result-based Leadership' 11 Sept 2013


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CEE Handout for Key Note Briefing MMA 'Result-based Leadership' 11 Sept 2013

  1. 1. MADRAS MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION “Leaders Speak Series” On “Result-based Leadership for Sustainability during Turbulent Times” Wednesday, 11th September 2013 at 6.00 pm President Hotel & Towers, 25, Dr Radhakrishnan Road, Chennai-4 Key Note Speaker: Prof Sattar Bawany CEO & Master Coach/Facilitator, CEE Strategic Advisor, IPMA Asia Pacific Senior Advisor, Eduquest International Institute © 2013 Centre for Executive Education Pte Ltd (Strategic Partner of Eduquest India) www.ipma.com.sg/cee.php
  2. 2. THE NEW BUSINESS REALITIES Business leaders face huge challenges during turbulent times including period of prolonged economic recession. Qualities such as courage, self-confidence and the ability to make tough commercial decisions under pressure all come to the fore. Less widely appreciated and understood is the crucial psychological and emotional role that leaders must play during periods of acute uncertainty if they are to optimize the long-term performance of their business. Leaders must understand the dynamics that lie "below the surface" of their organisations and skilfully address the unspoken needs of their staff. This takes maturity and skill but will maximize the chances of weathering the economic storm and emerging strengthened when times improve. Those businesses that do not achieve this will find their commercial problems compounded by destructive internal dynamics and underperformance. While leaders may have had setbacks during their career, most will not have experienced a global downturn. They face a steep learning curve if they are to succeed in the new business environment. Managers who harness this unprecedented opportunity for growth, development, and collaboration, and build bridges between different generations of employees as well as leveraging on the repertoire of the various effective leadership styles, will thrive in particular in today’s turbulent economic landscape. Many managers mistakenly assume that leadership style is a function of personality rather than strategic choice. Instead of choosing the one style that suits their temperament, they should ask which style best addresses the demands of a particular situation. Daniel Goleman brought the notion of "Emotional Intelligence” (EI) and “Emotional Quotient” (EQ) to prominence as an alternative to more traditional measures of IQ with his 1995 mega-best-seller Emotional Intelligence. According to Goleman, "A leader's singular job is to get results”. But even with all the leadership training programs and "expert" advice available, effective leadership still eludes many people and organisations. One reason, says Goleman, is that such experts offer advice based on inference, experience, and instinct, not on quantitative data. Research has shown that the most successful leaders have strengths in the following emotional intelligence competencies: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. There are six basic styles of leadership; each makes use of the key components of emotional intelligence in different combinations. The best leaders don’t know just one style of leadership— they’re skilled at several, and have the flexibility to switch between styles as the circumstances dictate. Each style has a distinct effect on the working atmosphere of a company, division, or team, and, in turn, on its financial performance. The styles, by name and brief description alone, will resonate with anyone who leads, is led, or, as is the case with most of us, does both. Commanding leaders demand immediate compliance. Visionary leaders mobilize people toward a vision. Participative leaders create emotional bonds and harmony. Democratic leaders build consensus through participation. Pacesetting leaders expect excellence and self-direction. And coaching leaders develop people for the future. Managers often fail to appreciate how profoundly the organizational climate can influence financial results. It can account for nearly a third of financial performance. Organizational climate, in turn, is influenced by leadership style—by the way that managers motivate direct reports, gather and use © 2013 Centre for Executive Education Pte Ltd (Strategic Partner of Eduquest India) www.ipma.com.sg/cee.php Page | 2
  3. 3. information, make decisions, manage change initiatives, and handle crises. There are six basic leadership styles. Each derives from different emotional intelligence competencies, works best in particular situations, and affects the organizational climate in different ways. The Leader need to enhance their understanding of generational characteristics and the impact of their own management practices on each of these groups. They need to leverage on the strengths of each generation. Taking full advantage of the multi-generational workforce will enable employers to effectively attract and retain employees, build teams, deal with change, and increase employee engagement (Bawany, 2013)1. Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to assess or capacity to perceive and manage the emotions of one’s self and others around you. The diversity of a multi-generational workforce demands that leaders adapt their communication style and methods for their message to be understood. The ability to empathize, put yourself in someone else’s situation allows leaders to tailor compelling messages that resonate with each unique generational perspective to inspire action. Hour to hour, day to day, week to week, executives must play their leadership styles like a pro— using the right one at just the right time and in the right measure. The payoff is in the results. Figure 1 – Results-Based Leadership Framework Organisational Results • • • Profitability ROI Cost Optimisation Customer Engagement • • Customer Satisfaction/Loyalty Service Value/ Relationship Employee Engagement • • Employee Satisfaction/Loyalty Employee Turnover Rate Organisational Climate • • • Company Culture, Policies Rewards and Flexibility Employee Value Proposition Leadership Effectiveness • • • • EQ/EI Competencies Leadership Styles Ontological Humility Level 5/Servant Leadership 1 Sattar Bawany (2013), “Making Results-based Leadership Work in Singapore” Singapore Business Review, 12 February 2013, http://sbr.com.sg/hr-education/commentary/making-results-based-leadership-work-in-singapore © 2013 Centre for Executive Education Pte Ltd (Strategic Partner of Eduquest India) www.ipma.com.sg/cee.php Page | 3
  4. 4. WHAT HAPPENS TO ORGANISATIONS DURING TURBULENT TIMES? The suddenness and severity of the current economic downturn has inevitably generated a shared sense of shock and foreboding. The media's relentless reporting of the latest bad news fuels this mood. The loss of household names like Woolworths and Wedgewood only adds to of a sense of insecurity and lack of confidence in the future. In 2008, a leading psychologist linked the endless flow of economic bad news to a widespread sense of helplessness, also blaming the recession for an increased risk of injury and stroke (Devlin, 2008). Within organisations, negative feelings are compounded as colleagues interact. Research and experience demonstrate that feelings and states of mind are highly contagious. Daniel Goleman, who developed the concept of emotional intelligence, recounts experiments showing just how quickly a strongly-expressed emotional state is transferred from one person to another (Goleman et al., 2001). In the workplace, all employees can be influenced by a prevailing mood of anxiety, which gradually dominates the organisational "system". Negative thoughts and feelings predominate while more positive views become subtly excluded or difficult to express. This creates an intangible but powerful emotional backdrop that can be termed "systemic anxiety". This negative dynamic is exacerbated by pressure on staff to work longer and harder. Many organisations control costs by cutting resources and jobs but aim to maintain output. Extra demands are placed on the remaining employees who generally feel unable to refuse. Frequently they are also expected to demonstrate new levels of flexibility, covering the work of former colleagues or adapting to new working methods. This fuels longer working hours and associated problems. During a recession, workers are also likely to undergo repeated experiences of loss. This is an inevitable consequence of the cutbacks, project cancellations, job freezes, redundancies and retrenchment businesses engage in to survive. In his book Managing Transitions, Bridges emphasizes that change - even when desired - always involves a loss (Bridges, 2003). This is more significant when change is unwelcome and imposed from outside. Feelings of sadness, anger and guilt prevail. ORGANISATIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE 'TOXIC COCKTAIL' Combined, the powerful dynamics described above form a "toxic cocktail" that threatens morale and performance. It generates damaging behavioural and attitudinal changes within organisations. Among other things, this leads to more:        Short-term thinking Presenteeism Absenteeism through sickness, stress and depression Addictive behaviours Rumours Politics Defection of valuable employees © 2013 Centre for Executive Education Pte Ltd (Strategic Partner of Eduquest India) www.ipma.com.sg/cee.php Page | 4
  5. 5. There is likely to be a decrease in the following:        Morale Motivation Clarity around task priorities Work-Life Balance Productivity Innovation and risk-taking Long-term and reflective thinking THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ROLE OF LEADERS DURING TURBULENT TIMES This toxic cocktail means that in times of great uncertainty it is not enough for leaders to address strategic and operational tasks. They must also address the emotional needs of their workforce if they are to improve morale and productivity. There are four key behaviours that leaders must master in order to provide the workforce with the best possible sense of psychological "containment". This set of behaviours takes considerable insight, resourcefulness and maturity on the leaders' part but the stakes are high. If achieved, they will:    Reduce anxiety, fear and anger Build trust, loyalty and commitment Generate resilience and optimism Behaviour 1: Prompt and considered action When an organisation enters turbulent times, the first behaviour its leaders must demonstrate is a prompt and energetic response to the difficulties facing it. The workforce needs to know that its leaders recognize the seriousness of the situation and are addressing it. However, the leaders' actions must not be the result of impulse or panic. Leaders should immediately announce that they are making the problems their absolute priority while explaining that they need time to finalize the best course of action. While a proactive response reassures the workforce, a lack of swift and visible action from the top increases anxiety, anger and blame. Leaders who demonstrate this first behaviour will understand this and have the courage and confidence to take responsibility. Failure to act may reflect a paralysing level of anxiety in the leaders themselves. Equally, it may arise from a misguided belief that responding with alacrity to a crisis will create more problems than refusing to engage. This latter policy, often favoured by political leaders, is almost always disastrous. Behaviour 2: Honest and consistent communication Though reassured by seeing their leaders "in action," employees will inevitably be preoccupied with what the downturn means for them. In the absence of reliable information, rumours and speculation flourish. To reduce these and build trust, leaders should provide honest and timely information (within appropriate constraints) about the challenges facing their business and the measures that may need to be taken as a result. © 2013 Centre for Executive Education Pte Ltd (Strategic Partner of Eduquest India) www.ipma.com.sg/cee.php Page | 5
  6. 6. Being rigorously honest takes considerable maturity on the leader's part, particularly if they are people-focused and find conflict difficult. Many choose to delay or dilute bad news in order to "avoid worrying and demotivating" the workforce. This view often reflects (and rationalizes) the leader's own discomfort, anxiety or guilt at being the bearer of negative messages. However, employees read the economic signs and will almost invariably expect some bad news. During a downturn, managers are continually asked about possible redundancies even when there is no intention of cutting jobs. People suffer most from uncertainty and would prefer to know the worst than to imagine it. Leaders of course cannot always be completely open, for example when information is share-price sensitive. Often they will not know the answers to questions such as “are these job cuts the last?" It is best to explain honestly what they do not know or cannot share. This builds trust and reassures the workforce that they will be told as soon as possible. An example of good practice is the CEO who provides a regular weekly update to staff, even when the update consists of stating that there is no new information this week. Simply receiving this message tells the workforce that their leader understands their need for information and will provide it when he or she can. Methods of communication can range from one-to-one conversations, small team meetings, "townhalls" and carefully planned road shows for large groups of staff to intranets and house magazines. There is considerable value in adopting multiple methods as long as the message is consistent. Leaders frequently express surprise that the same questions are asked repeatedly, even when answers have been provided. This is because anxiety significantly reduces the capacity to listen and absorb information. Leaders must prepare themselves to remain calm, resist becoming irritated and patiently repeat their message. Behaviour 3: Emotional connection A speedy response and honest communication are not enough to maximize "containment". Leaders must also maintain an emotional connection with their workforce. They must:    Acknowledge the painful impact of bad news on their workforce and resist moving on too quickly to something more positive out of discomfort, guilt or insensitivity. Find an authentic way of disclosing some of their own sadness, concern or disappointment so employees know they genuinely care. Let staff vent their feelings, listen and empathize - even though they cannot make the bad news go away. An example of excellent practice was the manager of a manufacturing company tasked with telling his staff that popular and longstanding colleagues were being made redundant. He announced this at an off-site meeting the following day, cancelling the entire morning's agenda in order to allow staff to absorb this news, discuss it in small groups, express their feelings and ask questions. He also shared his own sadness that these redundancies were necessary (though without blaming head office or disassociating himself from the decision). He offered particularly affected individuals one-to-one meetings, listening to and acknowledging their feelings. This leader's respect for his staff's need to process bad news, express their emotions and feel heard was deeply appreciated. His actions generated great loyalty and people were able to recover more quickly as a result. © 2013 Centre for Executive Education Pte Ltd (Strategic Partner of Eduquest India) www.ipma.com.sg/cee.php Page | 6
  7. 7. The range of meetings and media mentioned above, through which leaders communicate to their workforce, should also be made available for staff to express their thoughts and feelings in response. This presents a major challenge to leaders who have to show great restraint and self-management in order to listen to their employees' expressions of distress and anger without becoming defensive, irritable, impatient or overwhelmed. For many, this critical aspect of staying emotionally connected with their people is also the most difficult as they must absorb a great deal of negative emotion without necessarily being able to make things better. However, it is also the most important as the "simple" process of listening and empathizing is tremendously powerful and will in due course create real appreciation and loyalty. Behaviour 4: Inspiration The most impressive leaders go one step further. While remaining realistic about tough conditions, they find a way to motivate and inspire their followers to perform. To achieve this, they must draw on deep reservoirs of leadership energy, fuelled by a powerful combination of self-confidence, personal humility, passion and belief in the future. This fourth behaviour must be founded upon the three previous leadership behaviours action, honesty and empathy. It is only when a leader has demonstrated these that their "call to arms" will be experienced as truly authentic and compelling. A female CEO in the banking sector recently delivered just such a message to her top 100 executives. It was honest and bracing in its acknowledgement of the tough economic times to come and she made clear how much she was expecting from her top team. She also shared, with real passion, her belief that the organisation she led had the capability and will - through relentlessly focusing on the needs of its customers - to weather this challenging period with results and reputation intact and to emerge as "one of the winners". The palpable buzz and enthusiasm that infused the room illuminated what can happen when a leader gets this fourth behaviour right. THE ROLE OF HR IN TURBULENT TIMES Few leaders find that these four behaviours come naturally. For most, they must be learned and practiced. This can be particularly challenging during tough times, as leaders themselves are not immune to the toxic cocktail of negative organisational dynamics and many feel anxious, burdened and exposed. HR partners who enjoy their leaders' trust can play a central role here. HR should remember that leaders risk reverting to earlier, less skilful versions of themselves under pressure. The task-focused leader who has learnt the importance of maintaining good relationships may revert to "tell" mode under pressure and become impervious to the feelings of others. The people-focused leader who has learnt to confront difficult interpersonal situations may revert to avoiding tough conversations. Some may find their working hours spiralling out of control in the maelstrom of task demands and be unable to switch off. This in turn erodes their capacity to mobilize the emotional intelligence necessary to deliver the leadership that turbulent times demand (Loehr and Schwarz, 2001). © 2013 Centre for Executive Education Pte Ltd (Strategic Partner of Eduquest India) www.ipma.com.sg/cee.php Page | 7
  8. 8. Specific ways in which HR professionals can help include:      Presenting leaders with an analysis of the psychological, emotional and behavioural impact of the downturn on their organisation. Emphasizing the leaders' role in helping staff feel contained in the midst of the toxic cocktail of negative dynamics. Identifying, coaching and supporting those leaders best able to demonstrate the four key behaviours. Identifying those who are struggling and, where possible, coaching them to gain insight and behave more effectively, and Providing an emotional outlet for leaders to offload their own negative emotions, whether distress, anxiety, anger or guilt. One organisation has addressed these needs by having a dedicated, senior HR professional supporting and coaching the board around these issues. This was achieved through other, less strategically-critical HR projects being put on hold. Another executive team has asked a trusted coach for specific, focused consultancy in this area. Both approaches appear to be paying dividends in terms of leadership performance and the morale and productivity of the workforce. Looking after the needs of HR HR professionals usually have to juggle powerful competing demands on their time and attention and this is even truer in turbulent times. As well as supporting leadership behaviour, they have a central role in planning and implementing cutbacks, redundancies or closures with all the emotional strain and sheer hard work this involves. If the organisation cracks down on poor performance, HR is expected to help with the difficult conversations as well as dealing with the human aftermath. The HR team members are expected to be emotional "sponges" on the one hand and policy and procedure experts on the other, providing everything from a shoulder to cry on to legal advice. If HR professionals are to remain effective in the face of these demands, they must attend to their own needs. While colleagues use them to unload concerns and frustrations, the impact on HR partners themselves can easily go unnoticed. However seasoned and competent, they too are subject to the toxic cocktail. They must find ways to resource themselves and each other so that they can recover quickly from the negative experiences that tough times inevitably bring. This will enable them to model the balanced, insightful and containing leadership in their own sphere that the leaders of their business need to demonstrate in theirs. Looking to the future Together, the leadership behaviours described will provide a sense of psychological safety and emotional containment in organisations undergoing great uncertainty, instability and often painful change. Leaders cannot avoid or prevent painful events affecting their people. However, with the support of HR, they can take charge of threatening situations with alacrity and resolve. They can deal honestly with their people, convey genuine empathy and create a powerful sense of hope in the future. Leaders who achieve this will help staff deal more effectively with difficult experiences and inspire tremendous loyalty and trust. They will also succeed in focusing the energy of the workforce on the job in hand, helping their organisations to emerge successfully from recession when the conditions for economic growth return. © 2013 Centre for Executive Education Pte Ltd (Strategic Partner of Eduquest India) www.ipma.com.sg/cee.php Page | 8
  9. 9. REFERENCES 1. Bawany, S. (2013), “Making Results-based Leadership Work in Singapore” Singapore Business Review, 12 February 2013, http://sbr.com.sg/hr-education/commentary/makingresults-based-leadership-work-in-singapore 2. Bawany, S. (2010), ‘Leadership That Gets Results’, Human Capital, Vol. 10, Issue 4. E-copy of the Chapter is available as a download from: http://www.ipma.com.sg/publications.php 3. Bridges, W. (2003), Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, 2nd ed., Basic Books, New York, NY. 4. Cavallo, K. & Brienza, D. (2002). Emotional competence and leadership excellence at Johnson & Johnson: The emotional intelligence and leadership study. Paper downloaded on May 2, 2002, from http://www.eiconsortium.org/ 5. Devlin, K. (2008), "Economic climate can increase the risk of a stroke", quoting views of Dr A. Sigman, associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, Daily Telegraph, 26 November. 6. Goleman, D. (1988) ‘What Makes a Leader’. Harvard Business Review. November– December. 7. Goleman, D. (2000) ‘Leadership That Gets Results’ Harvard Business Review. March–April. 8. Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. and McKee, A. (2001), "Primal leadership: the hidden driver of great performance", Harvard Business Review. December. 9. Goleman, D. (1998) ‘Working with Emotional Intelligence’, Bantam Books, New York. 10. Loehr, J. and Schwarz, T. (2001), "The making of a corporate athlete", Harvard Business Review. January 11. Sandler, C. (2009), “The psychological role of the leader in turbulent times”, Strategic HR Review, May © 2013 Centre for Executive Education Pte Ltd (Strategic Partner of Eduquest India) www.ipma.com.sg/cee.php Page | 9
  10. 10. APPENDIX – SPEAKER’S PROFILE – PROF SATTAR BAWANY Professor Sattar Bawany is the Senior Advisor to Eduquest International Institute and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Executive Education (CEE). He is also the Managing Director as well as Master Executive Coach & Facilitator with EDA Asia Pacific. EDA is a global leader in executive development including executive coaching solutions to Fortune 500 organisations. Prof Bawany is also concurrently the Strategic Advisor & Member of International Professional Managers Association (IPMA) Board of Trustees and Governing Council. Prof Bawany is also the immediate past Co-Chair of the Human Capital Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham Singapore). He is also a member of Frontier Strategy Group’s Expert Advisory Network (EAN) for Human Capital and Talent Management issues in Asia Pacific advising CEOs and CHROs of global and regional organisations. Prof Bawany has assumed various senior management roles including Managing Director/Country Head and Talent Development/Coaching Practice Leader for DBM Asia Pacific as well as Business Leader, Organisational Effectiveness/Leadership Development Consultant and Executive Coach with Mercer HR Consulting, The Hay Group, The Forum Corporation and Mercuri International. Prof Bawany is an astute advisor to executives who need to know how they are perceived and want to focus on what is most important in their professional and personal lives. He has coached a range of leaders, from CEOs, to senior vice presidents, and high potential managers. Prof Bawany’s passion for people and culture is about creating an environment where employees are valued and emotionally engaged in the business. He has successfully worked with extensive number of public and private organisations regionally and internationally specialising in people and culture through transformational change, starting with the ‘end’ in mind! He is an experienced facilitator and has spent many years developing leadership capability through the delivery of structured talent management, leadership development programs including executive coaching. He is a Graduate of Corporate Coach U and a Licensed Coaching Clinic Facilitator. He is certified in the administration and application of various psychometric instruments including the Extended DISC®, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator™ (MBTI), Bar-On EQ 360™ and EQ-i™. He is also certified in the administration and application of the MRG’s suite of instruments including “Leadership Effectiveness Analysis™” (LEA 360 Assessment tool) and “Strategic Leadership Development”. He is also accredited in the administration and application of the Benchmarks® and Skillscope® Profiling Instruments. He holds an Executive MBA and a Bachelor in Business Administration (Marketing). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Business Administration and his Doctoral Research is on ‘The Impact of Executive Coaching on the Personal & Professional Development of Leaders”. Prof Bawany is a Fellow of International Professional Managers Association (IPMA) and The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). He is a Professional Member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). He is also a Practicing Member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and International Association of Coaching (IAC). © 2013 Centre for Executive Education Pte Ltd (Strategic Partner of Eduquest India) www.ipma.com.sg/cee.php Page | 10
  11. 11. Thought Leaders FOUNTAINHEAD OF EXCELLENCE DEVELOPING RESULTS-BASED LEADERSHIP Prof Sattar Bawany Senior Advisor of EduquestIndia Institute Pvt Ltd and CEO of Centre for Executive Education “Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization.When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning”. - Warren G. Bennis, an American scholar, and Author of ‘On Becoming a Leader’ and widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of Leadership studies. I n essence, the heart of the leadership challenge that confronts today’s leaders is learning how to lead in situations of ever greater volatility and uncertainty in a globalised business environment, allied with the needs to deal with scale, complexity and new organisational forms that often break with the traditional organisational models and structures within which many have learned their ‘leadership trade’. So the basic assumption that past experience is the key for future leadership success is more open to scrutiny than ever. Leadership is an art and a science. It is an art because it continually evolves, changes form, and requires creativity. It is a science because there are certain essential principles and techniques required. A good leader knows when it is time to change shape because they are highly attentive to those around them. Coming from a position of strength, a great leader takes risks by freeing up the creative genius in their followers to build their capability and multiply the talents of the organization. This leads to community and greatness. By powerfully communicating a vision that animates, motivates, and inspires followers, a great leader is able to transform his or her organization. The New Realities: Results-Based Leadership We are operating in a hypercompetitive business environment. The world moves faster today when compared to 10 years ago. Companies feel the pressure to decrease time to market and improve the quality of products while delivering on ever-changing customer expectations to maintain competitive posture – that is, be adaptive and nimble. Driving results is difficult even for companies who have the benefit of dedicated and knowledgeable employees and business leaders to leverage. In the early years leadership studies, the so-called “trait theory” took the view that there is a set of traits that separates the leader from the pack. Traits purported to be characteristic of leaders included intelligence, a drive to dominate others, being extroverted and having charisma. Today, people often point to the importance of emotional intelligence in achieving leadership effectiveness. There is growing evidence that the range of abilities that constitute what is now commonly known as emotional intelligence plays a key role in determining success in life and in the workplace. Recent research has uncovered links between specific elements of emotional intelligence and specific behaviors associated with leadership effectiveness and ineffectiveness. 8 BUSINESS MANDATE | SEP-OCT 2013 Flexible leadership, however, involves being able to adapt your leadership style according to the situation and the state of the team - e.g.: taking charge when a team is forming but playing the role of coach when a team is managing itself well. This is critical in developing and sustaining employee engagement. There are six distinct leadership styles, each one springing from different components of emotional intelligence. Organizations need leaders to visualize the future, motivate and inspire employees, and adapt to changing needs. On-going research indicates that, with the right leadership development support including executive coaching, those with leadership potential can be developed into outstanding leaders. Emotional Intelligence competencies are perhaps the most challenging for leaders to develop effectively and yet it is the one that often has the most impact. As emotionally intelligent leaders rise through the ranks of an organization, their profile becomes more visible to employees and their increased power can have greater impact. Conclusion: Connecting leadership and communication A leader must be able to communicate effectively. When CEOs and other senior executives in all industries and countries are asked to list the most important skills a manager must possess, the answer consistently includes good communication skills. Effective communication is an essential element of leadership. Leaders are communication champions who inspire and unite people around a common sense of purpose and identity. They lead strategic conversations that get people talking across boundaries about the vision, key strategic themes, and the values that can help the group or organization achieve desired outcomes. Leader communication is purpose-directed, and an important element is persuading others to act in ways that achieve goals and accomplish vision. Four steps for practicing the art of persuasion are to establish credibility, build goals on common ground, make your position compelling, and connect with others on an emotional level. As an effective leader, communication is the primary and most important tool. There is no substitute for good judgement, and change leaders need to be reflective and thoughtful about the ways they communicate. There is also no substitute for ‘Active Listening’, and receiving feedback from the staff and colleagues about how the leader communicates. The Author can be contacted at sattar@eduquest.com.sg
  12. 12. FOUNTAINHEAD OF EXCELLENCE HARNESSING THE POTENTIAL OF TODAY’S MULTI GENERATIONAL WORKFORCE IN INDIA The New Realities diverse needs, expectations and priorities. Simultaneously, the composition of the workforce is also changing significantly across the Globe. After World War II, the Traditionalist generation, born 1922 to 1945, tended to work at the same employer for an entire career. Beginning with the Boomers, born 1946–64, women and ethnic Changes in the demographic characteristics of the Indian workforce deserve more attention from academics, employers, employees, and policy makers. Today many organisations have four generations worked side by-side in the workplace. A generation of employees, according to Kupperschmidt (2000), consists of individuals born Table 1: The Multi-Generational Workforce approximately within the same time span of two decades each. He explains that a Generation Years Born Work Perspectives generation is an, “…identifiable group Traditionalists 1922 - 1945 “Company loyalty” - Believed they’d work for that shares birth, years, age, location, the same company their entire career. and significant life events at critical Boomers 1946 - 1964 “Live to work” - Believe in putting in face developmental stages” (p. 66). Others time at the office. Women enter the workforce in believe that when individuals from the large numbers. same generation share similar historical, Gen Xers 1965 - 1980 “Work to live” - Believe that work should not economic, and social experiences, they define their lives. Dual-earner couples would also have similar work values, become the norm. attitudes, and behaviours (Smola and Sutton, 2002; Zemke et al., 2000). Gen Yers (Millennials) 1981 - 1994 “Work my way” - Devoted to their own careers, not to their companies. Desire The business world is becoming meaningful work. progressively more global. Services and products offered by businesses are also Gen Zers (Linksters) 1995 to present “Living and Working their way” - Their becoming more focused and targeted at struggles in the work environment are tied to specific demographic segments. Besides their youth and inexperience. Desire for many organizations today have customers change, stimulation, learning and promotion all over the world who demand excellent that will conflict with traditional services and products that meet up their organisational hierarchies. 1 4 BUSINESS MANDATE | JULY-AUGUST 2013
  13. 13. FOUNTAINHEAD OF EXCELLENCE groups began entering the workforce in increasing numbers, bringing different needs and perspectives to the workplace. As the Gen Xers entered the workforce, they increased job hopping in an effort to increase their income and/or to balance their lifestyle. Although some employers made accommodations in response to the demographic shifts, the basic work model — top down, command and control, one size fits all, 8–5 workday — did not radically change. Now, the emergence of the digital-savvy Millennials or Gen Yers has the potential to change the face of work to be more collaborative, to use virtual teams, to use social media, and to offer more flexible work hours. The Fifth Generation, Gen Zers or The Linksters. Employers must be prepared for a new breed of employee which is poised to enter the workforce. A whole generation of them indeed known as Generation Z, the highly connected generation who’ve grown up with high-speed internet, smartphones and online shopping. Gen Z are defined as having been born from the mid-1990s onwards, and in the next five years they will enter the workforce. This is a generation that has never known a life without superfast communication and unlimited access to media technologies. The five generations and their birth years are depicted in Table 1. Challenges in Managing a Multigenerational Workforce A major challenge for today’s Traditionalist and Baby Boomer managers is to figure out how to develop younger workers into tomorrow’s managers under a new business environment. A pivotal question for managers is, “Do we want our legacy to be of mentoring and empowering the next generations, or of fighting them tooth and nail?” Organizations that embrace generational differences in values, ways of getting things done, and ways of communicating will thrive. Demographic and social trends will have a significant impact on the workforce in the coming years. In today’s struggling global economy, it is more important than ever for organisations leverage the knowledge, skills and abilities of all workers, from all generations. By capitalising on the strengths and values of different generations, business leaders can create a sustainable competitive advantage for their organisations. Organisations struggle with the challenges of effectively managing a more diverse workforce. These challenges often relate to variation in perspective, values and belief systems as a result of generational differences and are further complicated due to the age differences between managers and employees. The assumption - that people of varying ages will understand each other or have the same perspective and goals, is far from true. In order to be successful, managers need to understand and value the diversity resulting from generational differences, varying perspectives and differing goals. Each generation brings different experiences, perspectives, 1 5 BUSINESS MANDATE | JULY-AUGUST 2013 expectations, work styles and strengths to the workplace. Despite the perceived “generation gap” from differing views and potential conflict, organisations have the opportunity to capitalise on the assets of each generation to achieve competitive advantage. Each brings unique assumptions to the job. As a result, events in the workplace are often interpreted differently by individuals in different generations. What may seem like good news to a Boomer might well be an unsettling and unwelcome development to a member of Generation X. Things that members of Gen Y love often seem unappealing or frivolous to those in older generations. Like any other generation, Gen Z or the Linksters it brings its own mind-set into the workforce. They are called Linksters because no other generation has ever been so linked to each other and to the world through technology. Their struggles in the work environment are tied to their youth and inexperience. They are complete digital natives and cannot function without communicating through social media. They desire for change, stimulation, learning and promotion that will conflict with traditional organisational hierarchies. Leading and Engaging a Multigenerational Workforce When employees join an organization, they’re usually enthusiastic, committed, and ready to be advocates for their new employer. Simply put, they’re engaged. But often, that first year on the job is their best. Gallup Organization research reveals that the longer an employee stays with a company, the less engaged he or she becomes. And that drop costs businesses big in lost profit and sales, and in lower customer satisfaction. In fact, Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees -- the least productive -- cost the American economy up to US$350 billion per year in lost productivity. Managers who harness this unprecedented opportunity for growth, development, and collaboration, and build bridges between generations, will thrive in particular in today’s turbulent economic landscape. For managers who have four generations of employees sitting in a meeting or working on a project, it can seem like each generation has its own worldviews, priorities, career models, motives and values. They need to enhance their understanding of generational characteristics and the impact of their own management practices on each of these groups, so that they can leverage on the strengths of each generation. Taking full advantage of the multi-generational workforce will enable employers to effectively attract and retain employees, build teams, deal with change, and increase employee engagement. Impact of leadership effectiveness on employee engagement and organisational success Organisations need to deliver service value and build good customer relationships in order to generate sustainable results
  14. 14. FOUNTAINHEAD OF EXCELLENCE through their satisfied and loyal customers. Employees being at the forefront of the service delivery chain hold the key to building this satisfied and loyal customer base (See Figure 1). Employees who are engaged and motivated are instrumental in delivering the service experience for the client which will result in customer engagement. The level of employee engagement is dependent on the “Organisational Climate” (sometimes known as Corporate Climate), which here simply refers to “how employees feel about working in the organisation/business unit/ department/division.” Organisational climate is the process of quantifying the “culture” of an organisation. It is a set of properties of the work environment, perceived directly or indirectly by the employees, that is assumed to be a major force in influencing employee behaviour and engagement. We know that leaders create, transform and manage organisational cultures. The leader’s values, beliefs and leadership styles will impact the organisation’s climate. We need “Level 5 Leaders” who demonstrate ontological humility and possess emotional mastery. They also need to possess essential integrity in discharging their day to day role and responsibilities towards engaging the employees. In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins examines how a good company becomes an exceptional company. The book introduces a new term to the leadership lexicon – Level 5 leadership. Level 5 refers to the highest level in a hierarchy of executive capabilities. Leaders at the other four levels may be successful, but are unable to elevate companies from mediocrity to sustained excellence. Level 5 leadership challenges the assumption that transforming companies from good to great requires larger-than-life-leaders. The leaders that came out on top in Collins’ five-year study were relatively unknown outside their industries. The findings appear to signal a shift of emphasis away from the hero to the anti-hero. According to Collins, humility is a key ingredient of Level 5 leadership. His simple formula is Humility + Will = Level 5. “Level 5 leaders are a study in duality”, notes Collins, “modest and wilful, shy and fearless.” Conclusion Managers who harness this unprecedented opportunity for growth, development, and collaboration, and build bridges between generations, will thrive. For managers who have four or five generations of employees sitting in a meeting or working on a project, it can seem like each generation has its own worldviews, priorities, career models and motives. Managers need to develop an understanding of generational characteristics and the impact of their own management practices on these groups. They also need to leverage the strengths of each generation. Taking full advantage of the multi-generational workforce will enable employers to effectively attract and retain employees, build teams, deal with change, and increase employee engagement. Although it may seem like a monumental task for management to ensure that employees understand and accept the idiosyncrasies of each multi-generational group, it is not an impossible mission. Management must be the first to acknowledge and accept the unique characteristics and expectations of employees from different generational groups. They should also identify the strengths and weaknesses of each group and adopt judicious measures to accommodate their mixed expectations and perceptions. Although every generation of employees is unique, valuable, and special, in reality, each tend to view the other differently based on their own life experiences and expectations. Management should ensure that individuals from different generations perceive each other more positively to avoid any intergenerational disharmony. It is not good enough to know what divides them but it is necessary to correct their misperceptions of each other so that together they can make a big difference in their organisations and industry. Like members of large and happy family, both the older and younger employees should support and build on the strengths of one another. The sooner employees from all the existing generational groups learn to respect and accept one another the easier it would be for them to welcome generation Z employees to the new workforce after the year 2020! (Tay, 2011) Prof Sattar Bawany Senior Advisor of Eduquestindia Institute Pvt Ltd and CEO of Centre for Executive Education (CEE) 1 6 BUSINESS MANDATE | JULY-AUGUST 2013