By | Anand Bhaskar | Jt. President & CHRO Adani Airports
When I used to work for HUL around 20 years ago, I was given feedback during my performance cycle that I had a directive leadership style and I should learn to moderate the same to build a more inclusive participative & coaching leadership style. In all honesty, it was very hard for me to make this change. I struggled for a few years and tended to lean back on my default style.
After years of conscious practise, huge amount of discomfort that I underwent; I gradually started building a more inclusive and also a coaching style. In 2012-13, I did a one-year ICF certification to become a coach. Post my certification, when I worked with various leaders as a Coach, I realised how powerful an inclusive coaching style was over the typical directive style. The best part I learnt was that it allowed people the space to make mistakes, forgive themselves (be empathetic to self) and allowed them to grow/learn as human beings.
Over the years I thought I had seen it all. I guess I was wrong. There are people and businesses that have build legacies over decades using extreme directive styles bordering on micro-management. These leaders and businesses have been immensely successful, if the measure of success is financial in nature. However, if the measure was enablement of human potential & capability; which translates to developing great leaders from within; there would be many open questions. In my reflection, micro-management suffocates the oxygen out of the brain of people (who are micro-managed). It does not allow them to think. It kills the innate ability of the human mind to make sound decisions and stifles leadership development.
The interesting learning for me has been the very definition of the word success. Such a tricky word. Is success – (a) how much money one makes, (b) a great institution that is built to last, (c) is great work environment & culture, (d) or something else.
The best thing about life is that there are always new learnings. If one keeps an open mind, there is so much to observe, reflect and learn from. I am ever grateful to everyone around me, who are my undesignated teachers, who allow me to remain a student of life. Sharing my musings to hear your perspective. I am sure, there is more learning in store for me.