In today’s blog post our ambassador from India Dhron Choudhary gives us his thoughts about responsible leadership. Currently, he studies Material and Supply Chain Management at the Northern College of Applied Arts and Technology.
Among other information, Dhron gives us an insight into the qualities that are in this opinion important for responsible leadership. In the end, he tells us about his own experiences in the world of work in connection with responsible leadership.
The increasingly dynamic and complexity of the business, a variety of lifestyles and decisions about what is right or wrong is making life difficult and complex. On top of this situation have COVID-19, global warming, rising inequality has made businesses to take care of its people and planet. As a consequence leaders are finding this situation very difficult to face and moreover they have to deal with the public as well as stakeholders of companies. NGOs and other societal groups ask for transparency in business. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to have leaders who are very responsible for their task handling and guide their team in these types of situations.
So what is Responsible Leadership?
We tried to find out by surveying many leaders throughout the world and asking many business owners who are facing many challenges of the 21st century. So in simple words, the responsible leader in today’s time is the one who manages the corporate interaction with the public, addresses the concerns of various stakeholders and contribute towards social, environmental and economic issues.
In my opinion these are the qualities that I think are important for today’s responsible leadership.
In today’s time, a business leader will be more appealing to the general public if he is forward-looking, not backwards-looking. Rather than pointing out the unethical behaviour of people, forward-looking leaders prevent this type of scandals and unethical behaviour.
In the coming days, people who can present their facts with reliable data and who are consistent in their work are going to rule the organisation. This will bring the organisation together and reduce workplace anxiety. One other feature that is very important, but which we often ignore is “empathy”. A leader should thrive the skill of empathy in the workplace. Leaders wear many hats and when their employee comes to the workplace then they are changed to be the counsellor. As they sense when the particular employee needs a break or what policies need to be changed in the organisation to fit the organisations normal. If leaders do not have this quality then they need to hang out with people who possess this quality. So that it fills the gap.
One of the bright spots that I have noticed through this unintended break is that many organisations could reduce costs and could develop the environment for employees to work remotely and support the virtual workspace. Many workers got accustomed to the daily commute and could spend quality time with their family. Leaders need to maintain hybrid teams in which they have to bring everyone’s work together. So that no one’s work falls apart.
One personal experience that I have recently faced is that my co-worker is from China and she was facing difficulty in a mix-up with other team members. We were assigned a group project in which she had to present the financials of the project. Deadline of the project was coming nearer day by day. I got news from somewhere that my Chinese’s co-worker did not prepare the report. I took charge of the situation and when I asked her about the problem she was facing she told me that she was finding it difficult to collaborate with other members due to cross-cultural experience. I immediately helped her by organising a virtual meeting with other staff members to make her comfortable. Lastly, we submitted the project on time. But, if this situation was not handled then our project could have been delayed.
Leaders now have to be very flexible in their work as earlier before lockdown companies stick to their policies. But, they have to regularly inspect new data, feedback and have to change course if it is necessary. Leaders do not have to know everything, as leaders who got overconfident on their skills that they know everything and make a decision on the basis of past experience and it could result in failure also. Leaders should not feel humiliated that they don’t know everything. They should say “I don’t know right now, but I will find out”.
Leaders now have to not only collaborate with teams but also they have to listen to them and have to keep their suggestion on board. While leaders have to make the hard decision and it won’t be accepted by everyone, making a well-informed decision will be the key. There is a difference between listening and waiting to talk. They have to change the mode from “listening to respond” to “listening to understand”. This will be the key ingredient for their success. Admittedly, this isn’t the only trait that is necessary, but it is a critical one.
These skills are necessary for leaders to follow during these uncertain times. This type of attribute is not only required at the top level. But also on every level which requires human interaction.
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