Freedom of expression at work

Freedom of expression is a human right. At work, concern about how well an idea can be described and if it will be accepted will inhibit the sharing of ideas. The expression allows the communication of ideas, the development of concepts through constructive interaction and questioning that is free of embarrassment. Ideas often can be challenging to conceive. The expression of those ideas may threaten those individuals who cannot separate idea from the person – leading to rejection of both.

If you are leading a team or business, it is your responsibility to ensure that freedom of expression is maintained well. If you are in a place where you believe the freedom of expression is questionable, you have an opportunity to catalyze a fundamental change. It’s your right. An essential element of success – of your company and yourself.

be a #dreamerdoer

Finding and nurturing the potential

What do you know about a subject before taking it in your course? What do you know about the feel of driving your dream car without getting in one and really driving it? What do you know about the terrain and the taste of firmness on the ground while climbing a mountain, without stepping on one? What do you know about the potential of a person in your team without assigning that task, job or a challenge and letting them perform at their best?

Potential of a person can be seen through their willingness to perform, ability to learn,  adaptability to changes, ability to work with ambiguity, ability to provide clarity in the context of complexity, ability to work with the resources available and ability to challenge the status-quo subtly by results than talk.

You will be able to identify high-potential people in the team easily. If you have to put a lot of effort to find it, maybe you are looking at a wrong person or using a wrong lens. Change the frame-of-reference from what they are doing today or what they did yesterday, to how they will be doing the next level task. You will see the best in people. But to nurture that, you need to get this potential show-up in regular work. Treat them the way they will be functioning at the next level. You may be pleasantly surprised with how they perform.

When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.

~ Johanna Wolfgang von Goethe

People who are willing to perform will always find a way to deliver best results irrespective of their capability and context. You should make yourself assume/accept challenges of doing what you have not done so far, routinely and deliver the best. As an intrapreneur, you will need your potential converted to kinetic act and have the ability to find and make-use-of potential of others too. This makes you resourceful and effective. Your craft becomes remarkable.

be a #dreamerdoer

Servant leadership in the knowledge era

We have been trained to respect and follow those who are knowledgeable. At work, there was a time when many shrewd men mustered power through their knowledge, earned over years of learning and practice. Several folks became leaders through the knowledge they used, to serve others. The first generation of communication networks ensured the fall of the barrier to information access. The second generation of networks over internet enabled free access to information. Digital tools of today make learning, building and applying knowledge on any subject, very seamless. In this context, how valuable is Knowledge and those knowledgeable?

Traditional “top-of-the-pyramid” leadership that generally involves the accumulation and exercise of the power is becoming irrelevant with the abundance of knowledge and knowledge-workforce. This, in turn, is pushing – sharing of power, putting the needs of others first and adoption of inclusive business models. Servant leadership is taking center-stage without any fanfare.

Any business or project you are part of today will have a significant part of knowledge-based work. All stakeholders and customers are also equally knowledgeable or have access to relevant knowledge. Note the frustration of doctors working with patients who meet them with own knowledge acquired through online research and public opinion about their possible disease, conditions, and course of action. To be on the top-of-your-practice, you have to quickly assess how much of knowledge the person already possesses and build/ correct the same to help them with the problem they are facing. Practice servant leadership more actively to be effective in this free-knowledge-era.

be a #dreamerdoer

Being a leader where there is a need

Situations at work demand leaders of various sizes and capabilities. Most of them need ones without leadership titles. They need people who make a difference, then and there. Those who contribute in these situations go-a-long-way with the company and people who benefited.

It is not opportunism. It is genuine interest to be part of the company and its need is what counts. Pure-play opportunistic pursuits become easily visible to everyone around. Genuine efforts yield better results and garner peer-support. It is a nice feeling to be wanted, at work. This sets you free and puts you in an orbit of being at the right place. A dream-job-zone. Raise your hand where there’s a need. Build small wins and set yourself free, at work!

be a #dreamerdoer