Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vision, Team, Leadership and Business

For the last few days Nitesh and myself were discussing team building, work, processes, leadership, business and everything in between. As a full time team leader and an entrepreneur at heart these topics play in my mind every once a while. What does it take to deliver a quality product? How do you ask people to buy your vision? Do you keep everyone monitored or let them be free and come up with solutions for the problems?

Well in our case it is a mixed bag of so many things. Leadership, I believe, is always by example. My being a full time 24x7 product leader should ideally help everyone else in the team. And it is more than just my work that counts, it is also the guidance. A good leader is a cushion too. You can fall back on the leader when all else fails. But what drives the leader? Vision. And staying focused to it is of utmost importance. A vision has to be set out as achievable deadlines. Then the team chases them and finishes each milestone.

But what keeps the team together and motivated? Good processes. Freedom is necessary but to repeatedly provide outcome that takes a business towards more growth needs some base rules in place. The most important of them is discipline. To be on time, to understand the value of the work and to make sure my part gets completed. To understand I am part of a whole and my not completing my responsibilities makes the whole look like a fool. Thus respect for oneself, for the work and the team is also necessary. After that I believe it is the spirit which drives you into crazy hours. The wish to do something worth remembering is what makes you focus at work. At the end of the day we are all incentive oriented. And incentives are great motivation.

Will each member of the team prove as equal? No, that is just not possible. But everyone should believe in the vision, everyone should work towards it. Yes bad days here are there are OK. Although losing track of those milestones could be fatal. And that is where you need a minimum control. It is difficult to monitor brilliant minds but we should also understand that brilliant minds sway a lot too. So someone should be looking at the progress meter every once a while. Just remind the team that things are going slow, and things will move. And yes make favorites. To cheer those who are performing brilliantly gives others something to work harder for. And keep small personal goals which if achieved are rewarded. Like being earliest at office should have a bonus.

Even with all these there are no guarantees in a business (or life). Only when all good points come together do we have empires growing out of them, empires than shine bright. If that is your goal then work hard, because there are no short cuts.

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