Leadership Insights – Part Four

Value systems can be the anchor and the guiding force on any journey. What makes you stand apart maybe your skills and competencies, but what makes you stand tall is your values and how you leverage them. For those of you just reading this, this is the last of my four-part leadership insight series where I covered the aspects of leadership that has taught me how to navigate the journey in a direction that I would like… 

The spotlight so far has been on: 

  • Courage and confidence 
  • Exposure experience and teamwork 
  • Failure and resilience 
  • Energy empathy and emotions 
  • Conflict and change 

Today, I’m talking about two more of these value things that are a part of my journey: 

  • Humility and respect 
  • Inclusion and empowerment  

Humility and Respect

A long time ago, my uncle had told me that if I must judge someone and their personality the best way to do it was to observe how they treated those around them who were not as fortunate or as privileged. 

At all points in time, there will be people who have more than we do or less than we do. To stay grounded and humble and to be appreciative of all kinds of people and be respectful of them is a powerful tool in leadership. 

There is a deep connection to humility and dignity of work. I know and I hear a lot of people complain that their bosses only manage work, but don’t really get working or they refuse to do the everyday jobs that they did before they were managers. As a leader, you should be willing and able to do the role of everyone around you and help them with their tasks as well. All jobs are worthwhile learning and doing and spending time, energy and effort on and the best way to teach this is to take the lead yourself.

When you defocus from yourself and put the focus on the people and team around you, your leadership efficiency goes up and your context widens. It also helps keep the ego aside and lets you be a leader versus a manager. 

Respect is the bottom-line of all human interaction, why, its also beyond human interaction and stretches to plant and animal life and nature and the planet too. We have to respect people and the jobs they do and the job that we have in hand. Respect is a no-compromise state of being.

Inclusion and Empowerment

If you get swayed by differences, if you forget that diversity comes linked deeply to inclusion, you can miss the power that being inclusive can unlock for you. I am grateful to have had the upbringing that taught me to not differentiate or judge people. It has been a deep-learning journey for me to understand what and how this works in the larger scheme of being the change. 

Being inclusive helps build trust and trust leads to better performing teams. It also helps free flow of thought and creativity and nurtures better communication. As a leader operating in today’s world, there is no option but to be inclusive. 

In context of empowerment, teams blossom when they are empowered to take decisions, allowed to fail and learn and are free to operate in their specific ranges of expertise. Empowerment is also linked to trust and responsibility and to freedom. 

Empowered people are known to perform better, take on more responsibility, engage better with their peers, have more confidence, are more productive and the list goes on. 

But personally, for me the joy has been in forming and nurturing great teams and getting them to do great work. I don’t see myself as much a leader as I do as an enabler or a catalyst. It is rewarding when your teams come back to you years after they have moved on and tell you how they are where they are in some form credit to you. That is the best you can ask for and the best to live up to. 

With that, I hope you enjoyed these little snippets from my learnings as much as I did writing them out for you. 

I’ll end this series with one of my favourite leadership quotes by Robin Sharma…

“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.”

Shreya Krishnan
Vice President - Marketing and Communications at Aon India Insurance Brokers
Shreya is a CSR Specialist and Corporate Grooming Consultant. Her interests lie in Activism, Dance, Theatre, Poetry, Blogging, Modelling, Acting. She considers herself an Earth Warrior and is an Event Anchor and Trainer. She is a Pageant Winner and public speaker.

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