ISB Updates

How to become a Successful Leader

Six Steps to Make You a Successful Leader 

How can you become a successful leader? Someone who is liked, admired and envied by all. Well … while some are born leaders, there are others who work hard to reach there. Professor Dishan Kamdar, Deputy Dean (Academic Programmes), Indian School of Business (ISB), was invited as a speaker at the SpeakIn Conclave 2016 at New Delhi, where he spoke about how successful leaders have the ability to influence people. Below are the excerpts from his speech at the Conclave.
  1. Perfect the Art of Listening: A good leader is a good listener. Most of us don’t listen, but expect others to listen to us. And those of us who do listen… generally listen to respond and not to understand. Good listening happens when we remove distractions - Do not try to work, answer calls or have lunch while you speak. Clear your clutter and make time to listen to people. One important step towards creating time for yourself is by empowering people around you.

    Listening to people helps you to connect with people, build relationships, both professionally and personally, and become a Go-to leader for all.
  2. Delegate and Take Charge: Several leaders complain about lack of time and workload. They are too busy doing things themselves, citing incompetent subordinates and lack of trust. Many a times it is either because they cannot delegate effectively, or do not want to delegate. If you can’t delegate because you don’t have faith in your subordinate’s capabilities then train them. Otherwise, realign them.

    Remember, your job is to think big and not get involved in day to day operational issues
  3. Create Goodwill, Build Your Brand: Trust, commitment and integrity are key to creating goodwill. You can create value and goodwill in an organisation by encouraging people to work on win- win negotiation strategies. Goodwill will only happen when you create valued outcomes for people and these outcomes must be different for different folks.

    Work on generating ‘Goodwill’ among people. This will build your personal brand as a good leader
  4. Value and Embrace Gratitude: Your gratitude shapes your attitude and altitude. If you are earning USD 34,000 per annum you are amongst the top 1% in the world, one among the fortunate!!! Think about how you can make a difference to the others. This does not mean you must become less ambitious, rather groom others to be as capable or better than you. Don’t be hard on yourself or on your subordinates, when you/they fail. We cannot ride a bicycle without falling down. Failures are growth lessons.

    Recalibrate your sense of purpose, and focus on inspiring and motivating others
  5. Spread the Secret of Happiness: You can change the world and the people around you only and only when you emit positivity. Work on energising your team, colleagues, vendors- everyone around you. Happiness is contagious, and hence infuse it into your daily life. Celebrate each day, make the best of each moment and cherish all that you have. It will make you a much better person.

    Happiness is hidden in small things, and probably not in the big ones we are pursuing.
  6. Leverage the Power of Horizontal Influence - As a leader, you must identify the most appropriate channel of influence, and the best way to do this is to harness the power of Horizontal Influence.  How can you do that?  Instead of speaking about your work yourself, allow your allies/ sponsors do the talking for you. It generates more credibility and visibility for your work

    Horizontal Influence is more powerful than vertical influence.