We will take it up from where we left the last week. How to be a Thought Leader in your professional and personal life? Last week we learnt 6 tenets, today we will check out the remaining 6. So, fasten your belts and get ready for the ride.
7. Teach your team how to think, not what to think
Leading thinkers and influencers will always tell you that it is important to know how to think independently. If someone is telling you what to think, then you are just being his follower. If you want to make a change in your work place, then you need to encourage people to think and come up with ideas. This way, you will increase your team’s productivity and reduce the churn as well. Renowned Management Strategist, CK Prahalad, always challenged CEOs of leading global organizations to use this technique.
8. Find the flowers among the weeds
Thought leaders are excellent at spotting talent from the crowd. When there are a variety of activities and processes happening at the work place, one needs to separate the productive activities from the non-value added ones. Separating the non-value added activities enhances the productivity and minimizes the downtime. Specialty Consultants, HB Maynard and Company, has developed a successful business model by specializing in this technique.
9. Always conduct pilot tests before implementation
Strategic thinkers and influencers know it well that one gets the rewards only after their product (example – new car) performs successfully in the real world (example – pot holed roads). In the test labs, it is a simulated, accident free environment. This is far different than the real world. Success in the lab environment does not guarantee success on the road with pot holes, reckless drivers and traffic mess. Ford Motor Company CEO, Alan Mulally, has made it a mandatory practice to conduct extensive, rigorous pilot tests on all their new models in multiple regions across the globe before launching them in the market place.
10. Matching your people to your strategy
Leading influencers across the globe follow the saying – different strokes, different people. In today’s market place of extreme specialization, one cannot expect a generalist to get work done effectively. One needs to have an operations expert in the manufacturing plant while a technology major is the right person for R&D. Do ensure that the overall strategy/vision does not change to match the people requirements. It should be the other way round. Ex-CEO Gucci Group, Robert Polet, was well known in the fashion industry for his skills in matching the right person to the right job.
11. Satisfy your customer, Always
A happy customer is a profitable customer. Thought leaders firmly believe in this mantra. For this, one needs to take diligent efforts to understand the exact needs of the customer (example – your boss, your peers, your friends). If your product (example – your Project, your deliverables) matches or exceeds the customer requirements then the customer is going to be happy. Then, he will happily shell out the money. British Airport Authority, that manages the world’s busiest passenger airport at Heathrow, London, has always lived by this principle.
12. Be Yourself
A true leader or influencer practices this mantra intuitively – be yourself. By being yourself not only are you true to your own self, but you are true to your customers, both, internal and external. People know what you stand for and they see you as open, approachable and transparent. As the leader, when you are being yourself, your team’s unity gets stronger and their productivity goes higher. Global spiritual proponents from Gautam Buddha to Dalai Lama to Deepak Chopra have practiced this philosophy. I, for one, swear by its benefits too J
Now that you are equipped with the 12 tenets of Thought Leadership, go ahead and practice them at your work and your home. Don’t forget to share your experiences.
Have a smashing week!