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Many of us would not dare to comment about something we do not know, especially in the company of those who may know more. But stepping out of comfort zone is no way less exhibiting leadership.

It is an assumption that skills you need to be as a leader are transferrable, because the way you inspire and motivate are good enough skills to establish you as an Leader.

But some researches have been contrary to the above notion.

Having domain expertise make you far more superior and technical competency makes you successful even in a management role. Hospitals managed by doctors are for more reliable and deliver well vis-à-vis those managed by other backgrounds.

 

leader with no expertise

 

Let us decipher the core elements to be a successful leader.

They may include but are not limited to :

  • ability to motivate self and others
  • effective oral and written communication
  • critical thinking skills, problem solving ability, and skills at working with teams and delegating tasks.

Some others equally important and critical are :

  • Take in large volume of information and break it into essential elements which define the core problem
  • Organize teams towards a common shared vision
  • Help in establish trust in the group

However, all the above skills alone will not make a great leader, one would also need expertise in a particular domain.

Illustrating above statement critical information a doctor needs to diagnose a patient or critical information needed by a lawyer to save his client are needed to negotiate a good business deal with the dual combination of domain knowledge and good leadership requirement.

Even effective communication differs from one domain to another. Doctors talking to patients must communicate information differently than politicians reacting to a natural disaster.

When one starts identifying core skills that leaders have it quietly becomes clear that domain specific expertise is bound up in all of them; because business is not really a single domain.

Some leaders may feel that having people with specific skill sets will solve their issues and allow them flexibility with respect to sound decisions, however, the problem is that without actual expertise, how would leaders even know they have the right people with right information and equally right skills to deliver ?

If managers cannot evaluate the information they are getting for themselves, then they cannot lead effectively.

Hence one can definitely state that leadership has two implications –

First, when we teach people about leadership, we need to be more explicit that domain expertise matters.

Second, when we train people to take on leadership roles, we need to give them practice solving domain-specific problems so that they can prepare to integrate information in the arena in which they are being asked to lead. For example, it isn’t enough just to teach people about how to resolve generic conflicts between employees, we must create scenarios derived from real time cases so that people have to grapple with all of the ambiguities that come from the conflicts that arise within particular industries.

This is particularly important because of modern workplace challenges, higher mobility, younger employees, multicultural workforce and workplace diversity.

At Employwise we have a vibrant and ever growing community of professionals who love to share ideas and keep growing better through various articles and interventions.

It’s a perennial debate. What is coaching and how does it differ from other modalities or ways of being in a corporate context such as mentoring, leading and managing?

You will love this - manager leader or coach leader.

Ram or Krishna

What’s your managerial style: like Lord Ram or Lord Krishna?

In Hindu mythology there are two great epics. One is called Ramayan and other is called Mahabharata. The centre story of both these books is around victory of good on evil. In one story Lord Ram leads his army to defeat Ravana in his land, While in the second Lord Krishna oversees Pandavas defeat Kauravas in the battle at Kurukshetra.

managing leader vs coaching leader

In Ramayan, Lord Ram is the best yodhaa of his side. He leads his army from the front. Strategies & directs different people to do things which will meet the objectives. His people are happy to follow orders & want to get all the appreciation for being the best executors. Lord Ram set direction & also tells people what to do during difficult times.

Ultimately they won the war & the final outcome was achieved.

On the other hand Lord Krishna told Arjuna, I won’t fight the battle. I won’t pick up any weapon; I would only be there on your chariot as a charioteer. And he did what he said. He never picked up the weapon & he never fought.

Still, Pandavas won the war & final outcome was achieved.

So, what was different? It was their managerial style & it was also the type of people who were being lead. Lord Ram was leading an army of ‘MONKEYS’ who were not skilled fighters & they were looking for direction. While on other hand, Lord Krishna was leading Arjuna who was one of the best archer of his time. While Lord Ram’s role was to show it & lead from the front, Krishna played the role of a coach whose job was to remove cobwebs from his protégée’s mind. Krishna couldn't teach Arjuna archery but he could definitely help him see things from a very different perspective.

Here are some of the basic differences in two styles: Lord Ram- A skilled warrior, lead monkeys, was emotional, gave precise roles & instructions, motivated the army to fight for his cause

Lord Krishna: works with best the professionals, provides strategic clarity, allows team members to take lead, fights for the cause of the team, did not depict his true emotions

Look at your team/family & reflect what type of leader/parent you are, One who keeps answering/solving problems for people/kids Or Who asks relevant questions from their people/kids so that they can find their own solution.

Are you someone who tells/directs all the time Or Someone who clarifies doubts & allows their people/kids to find their own ways.

Are you someone who has monkeys in the team & the way you deal with it Or you have the brightest experts in their area getting stuck with issues?

Younger generation doesn't want you to tell or show how things are done, they want to know the meaning of their task and how it makes a difference in this world.

They are Arjuna’s who don’t necessarily seek more skill/knowledge but they need someone to clarify the cobwebs in their mind, if you still apply Lord Ram’s style on them, you are bound to fail as a manager.

On the other hand if there are people who aren't skilled enough but rely on ur expertise to sail you through Lord Ram’s style is appropriate.

Isn't it good for us to reflect & think what managerial style will bring the best result for you and your team/family ?

Is it Lord Ram or Lord Krishna?

Both are needed

Just because they’re different, one isn’t necessarily better than the other -- both leadership and coaching are important parts of development. Outside advice and insights from a mentor can help leaders to see new ways of proceeding and learn from the experience of others. The opportunity to reflect on their own experiences and get help setting specific plans for improvement helps those same leaders improve their practical leadership skills.

At Employwise we like to hone these skills through various initiatives for the betterment of employees and organizations likewise.

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