Let me start this short blog by listing the typical myths that sometimes unknowingly bog down many people –
• I can’t lead if I am not at the top
• When I get to the top, then I’ll learn to lead
• When I get to the top, I’ll be in control
• I can’t reach my potential if I am not the top leader
• If I can’t get to the top, then I won’t try to lead
I am sure that the above thoughts would have whirled in your head at some point of time, especially when you were feeling low. It is the attitude that differentiates how one dusts off the above thoughts and moves ahead. Many a times, people use above myths as an excuse to give up trying/exploring and continue with their mundane activities.
Did you notice that all above myths seem to be self-centred? Now, do you see how leaders tend to leverage potential of their teams to move ahead together rather than putting their personal interests ahead of the team? This also helps the leader to overcome his own limitations and yet lead the pack.
Interestingly, I have experienced instances where in people who are average in their domain but good in changing perceptions; manage to get going. So, how does one manage perceptions? I would suggest defining what success means to you without getting bogged down by the failure. Although success and failure are context relative, one should be able to clear on what is expected as net result. Ok, rather than putting generic thoughts, let me share some of the thoughts what can be communicated to the team by leaders/managers in IT industry to help change a perception from being a non-performing to a contributing team –
• Let the team know that you are NOT a magician and you are there to ensure smooth deliverables.
• Ensure that intent is to control project/process and NOT people.
• Be well prepared for the meetings to respect every individual’s time. Also, if you are managing onsite-offshore teams, ensure to be ready with smart questions to avoid the wasting next working day.
• Take accountability of assigned tasks. (Accountability is taking ownership of that task rather than coming up with excuses that it was not completed because of others).
Once you ensure that you have set the expectations and taken care of your team, you can rest be assured that they will seldom disappoint you.
How do you know if the team has understood your communication and is ready to change the perception? Well, you can mark the day when team members would start asking what they can do for the organization rather than asking what can the organization do for them.