As we move ahead into each successive year, cut-throat competition and pressure to succeed in organizational environments only seems to increase.
This is especially true in current scenarios that are marked by disruptions and innovations in technologies, crosscountry and cross-cultural challenges, attitudinal differences between workforce, poor work-life balance and fluctuating productivity.
These organizational and workforce problems are encountered most by the Leadership and Top Management in any firm. Be it a CEO or a COO. Or any leader managing multiple responsibilities and a diverse workforce.
The last few years have seen a considerable rise in the number of younger leaders taking charge as CEOs, COO and other C-level positions in companies. With a sudden rise in startups and a tendency of the managements in bigger corporates to hand over more charge to emerging leaders, the number of C-level positions has multiplied across sectors and companies.
Though the average age of a CEO (in a country like India) seems to be 56 years according to research, we have countless startups and emerging enterprises started by young management grads who have appointed themselves to C-level roles and are shepherding teams across locations and time-zones to confront competition and meet success.
A C-level leader might be leading a 100 year old conglomerate, or a 3 month old startup. He or she might be a silver-haired soul with 30 years’ work experience, or a 30 year old MBA grad running his or her first show.
But the need to know what best to do and implement to perform better seems more than ever before. The top management might be on the playing field, having their share of practical experience, but getting a sound piece of advice on a range of aspects that assist in charting out business strategies and impact and influence professional decisions is always welcomed.
So what’s it that I want to share?
A peek into the 10-12 chapters promise to dole out interesting and insightful information, that will provide a rounded picture on how best to build new approaches and address workplace scenarios in an effort to succeed.
Real bits of advice and experiences shared by successful C-level leaders would definitely help other existing and emerging CEOs and COOs chalk out strategies to meet their goals and those of their co-workers and company.
Importance of EQ: What distinguishes a C-level executive who is also a charismatic leader to his/her team members is Emotional Quotient (EQ). The ability to understand and manage emotions of not just oneself, but also those of associates and teams can work wonders in overcoming barriers in a smooth manner and in producing tangible results.
What should a C-level leader do to pump up his or her EQ? It could be practicing meditation and other tips to stay calm. Or maybe incorporating some other methods.
Vision for Employees: Similar to having a vision for oneself and the company, it’s necessary to have a vision for people working alongside you. Building a vision with your co-workers and colleagues not just increases motivation levels, but also enhances mutual respect and admiration, besides encouraging employees to give their very best to their jobs. Employees can feel they are actually a crucial component of their companies.
Clarity of Thought: A clear thought process on what the targets and goals are, and streamlining of methodologies to be used to attain these targets and goals is an imperative step for the top brass to chart out to meet organizational success.
Employee Engagement: Extremely critical given the boundary-less workforces that leaders need to steer ahead. With attrition levels forever in oscillation, and getting the right talent still a problem; retaining existing talent assumes importance.
Employees today look for more from a job than just the type of work and salaries. What they seek are valuable experiences that provide some meaning to their lives. In their managers and bosses, they seek a mentor and guide who can help them walk the pathway towards goals.
Therefore CEOs and CXOs need to tread the extra mile by working out fruitful interactions and relations with their colleagues. By engaging them in crucial decision-making, applauding their achievements, correcting their mistakes, providing guidance; besides boosting their enthusiasm towards their work.
Building a Leadership Pipeline: Also critical towards the success of a C-level leader is the ability to build a team of budding leaders who can enact crucial roles in steering ahead the company.
In today’s highly technologically disruptive and forever innovative era, no company is a One Man or One Woman led army. Success depends on the collective efforts of multiple leaders across levels in the company. Being able to select the candidate who can be molded into a future leader, providing mentorship to that candidate are important considerations for today’s CEOs.
Boosting workplace culture and team spirit: A superb office ambience doesn’t simply mean making provisions for a gym, food court and table tennis. It’s more defined by the level of ‘positivity’ bursting across cubicles.
Employees of today look for beyond merely increments and CTC. An engaging atmosphere where access to colleagues and leaders is easy, where there is scope for understanding and learning, and where work gets lauded is much more appreciated by one and all.
The need for leaders to inspire and encourage colleagues and teams is highest in these competitive times. Likewise, building cohesiveness amongst team members by simple exercises such as team outings and team lunches can positively impact profits and margins of a company.
A CEO or leader who manages to create a positive atmosphere and build great team spirit is far more successful than one who is not. As a great workplace culture translates into less attrition, more productivity, zest to attain individual and team goals, and a better growth rate for the company.
What’s more, a friendly workplace culture very often means colleagues and associates transforming into great friends for a long time to come.
Managing one’s own health: The higher one inches up the corporate ladder, more is the level of work related stress. And more stress often converts into a multitude of health ailments, including life-threatening problems.
Physical and emotional exertion can significantly alter behavior in workplace, impact input and output, and result in a descent in performance. Managing health and fitness is therefore imperative for today’s leaders. Whether its meditation and yoga for curbing stress levels, or cycling or swimming for physical fitness, finding time and managing a health schedule is equally important.
It also boosts the desire to attain goals in the office setup. Imagine what happens to a person’s confidence if he or she realizes that they have successfully shed 8-10 kgs over two months, a task that seemed impossible for so long.
It automatically convinces oneself that if one can attain a much awaited goal on the health front, then one has the capacity to also attain goals on the professional front that they have only been dreaming about. If I can shed 8-10 kgs, then I can also double margins or sales.
No matter what leaders learn in their MBA schools, or what they experience in their day-to-day professional lives, the need for some amount of re-learning is often felt by those at the top. If a simple, easy to comprehend book can provide that, all the more better!