To lead u have to be multidimensional
In the fast changing world everyday a new crisis and new complexity arises. Leaders need to stay objectively alert in order to make strategic decisions with reference to circumstances and variables. Leaders’ objective changes according to the situation, like if oil spills in the ocean, what are the factors that one needs to take care of ?
Will it be a military response?
Military response is a kind of chain response where one orders and other have to follow it. In a disaster one cannot wait for order. Everyone has to take action on its own according to the situation that comes up. There should be unity of effort instead of unity of order.
How will you use your past experience to manage your current situation?
Being in the national disaster management team, there were several times when military forces experienced such situations. How to mitigate losses. Use of resources was something they are trained with. But when one reaches site the situation can vary and one cannot rely on what is being taught. There were other things that needed to deal with where mostly leadership was required.
How to keep the interest of government, business entities and public simultaneously?
To be effective at work you have to understand problems in every dimension and also have to communicate with others. You have to create a value system that involves everyone. For example in case of typhoons you are not just dealing with disaster but an area which is no longer visible. If it was just a disaster one can involve the local government but even contact with the government has been lost. Now the job was not only restricted to involve the public but also to involve business entities for resources, house to house search team and many more.
Going off book is ok?
There are times when you cannot rely on a template prepared by authorities. You have to change your strategy as per the need. One cannot just rely on many resources.
Taking the lead when the government falls short in making connections with people. Leading a team at a time of such huge disaster you have to be responsible for your action as well as the action of your team. You need to build trust with them. Like gather your team and send them messages like:
1. Everyone has to treat all the affected people like their own family.
2. And if someone doesn’t like what you are doing, their problem is with me not with you.
This effective message can build trust among your team to perform more efficiently.
From where one should lead the team front or from the back?
One leader needs to lead from everywhere. You have to be present with the public, media, your team and administrative department. If you are not present at the place where your people need you, you are not a credible leader.You have to manage your schedule so that you can be present where one needs you.
Today where everything is publicly available does it affect leading style?
We are living in a cyber connected world, where everyone is connected. You need to adapt to this else suffer.But this connectivity has also increased the public participation which is a positive aspect too. If we do not adapt to the current situation we will suffer.
Is it true that military training is good for business managers?
Military people are well trained but you should not be dogmatic or rigid. Good leadership requires flexibility and curiosity to learn more, give more and are more adaptable to changes.
What one learns about leadership and yourself in crisis?
Leadership is innate and sometimes you learn from surroundings. You can’t be too emotional or two practical while dealing with the situation. Being too emotional will decrease your performance and you will not be able to take decisions practically. At the time of crisis you need to manage several things like:
- Who to call?
- How to manage?
- How to get feedback?
Are people born leaders or they learn through experience?
Anyone can be a good leader with his or her skills, talents and continuous practice. One needs to be curious to learn more and develop better leading techniques, so when opportunity comes they can easily recognize it. Always grab the opportunity with whatever skills you have and you can give.