What It Takes To Develop The Leader In You

Of all the places I could have found examples, the TV show ‘Survivor’ displayed some good anecdotes of how an ordinary person can become a leader under the right circumstances and when left with no choice. Over the period of a few weeks, I saw a nervous, timid and docile contestant become a passionate and inspiring leader to the rest of his team. It demolished my perspective that leaders have to be born and not made. The task of bringing out the leader in you is precisely what leadership programs aim to do. In this article we will look at some common areas that they focus on.

Leadership Training Programs   are designed to identify, assess and harness the skills and talents of an employee in order to not only bring out the best in them but to be the catalyst in paving the way for future leaders as well.

  •  Self-Confidence – This is primarily what companies want to tap into. If a candidate has zero to low self-esteem, building that up to a point where he or she can be equipped to do more things can be very challenging and require a longer curve of training and investment. A healthy self-confidence or self-esteem is a great foundation to build upon other skills that anyone can rely upon.
  •  Emotional Intelligence – Another leadership skill that organizations are very interested in developing is ‘Emotional Intelligence’, a soft skill that is worth its weight in gold in the corporate arena. The ability to sense the pulse of oneself and the team that one is working with is a tremendous skill to have in working closely with people in the workplace environment. ‘One Simple Concept that will infuse your Leadership with Success’  is an article to help you let the leader in you emerge.
  •  Role Model – Any team is only as good as its own leader. Companies look to examine the character, values and ethic of a person to assess any possible leadership potential. A leader who can think right, lead right and serve right, can always be counted upon to be the right influence and inspiration for his or her team. While leadership style is often emphasized over anything else today, the intangible force of being a good leader over a charismatic one far outweighs any style aspect.

For more information on Leadership Training Programs, please refer to the following links:

What to look for in Future Leaders  

Essential Differences Between Leaders and Managers

What Should Leadership Training Focus On? 

Exemplification of Leadership

How Business Etiquette Really Matters

Professional etiquette is an important part of a cohesively healthy functioning model within a business environment. With advancements in technology changing the way people and businesses communicate and interact with each other, management has begun to understand raising the need for an appropriate mode or medium of communicating and doing business. Hence, Business Etiquette Training should be an important aspect of the managerial training and soft skills training programs. It provides smooth and efficient functioning of business dynamics in the modern times our society lives in today.

Professional etiquette can be as simple or complex as multicultural social etiquette, where there may be profound differences in the way people dress, speak, listen, address or interact with each other. This is important because it provides the catalyst for seamless interaction in a professional and courteous manner. It reduces the risk of disturbing relationships within the workplace via ignorance or negligence.

Professional Etiquette can encompass a wide spectrum of issues. These may range from verbal or non-verbal communication, eye contact, body language, gestures, etc. With the large-scale globalization of industries and markets, understanding these key elements are crucial to the efficient functioning of personnel between diverse social or corporate cultures. Conglomerates that operate internationally are especially vulnerable to this and must be aware of local norms, customs and values before venturing into the foreign market. Another category of employees who fall into this segment are sales people who, by virtue of the nature of their job, may end up interacting with diverse groups of people requiring specific awareness of sensitivities and tact according to the situation. . ‘Business Etiquette and Social Media’   is an article emphasizing the importance of having the necessary tools for being comfortable in a social scenario.

 Professional etiquette however is not reserved only for senior or higher level administration in companies. In today’s world of virtual interactions and social media, business etiquette is an ever-increasing need that requires corporate etiquette training to be facilitated across multiple levels and departments of a company or business. Businesses must first gain first hand knowledge of existing standards and norms before these are incorporated into large scale training for their employees.

For more information on Business Etiquette Training, please refer to these articles/blogs:

 Etiquette Training for Multi Nationals 

Etiquette is a Major Focus of Corporate Training 

3 Tips to Good Business Etiquette 

 5 Invaluable Soft Skills in the Workplace

 

 

 

 

 

3 Tips To Preparing For A Good Presentation

There are numerous books and resources on ‘How to give a presentation’ and mastering effective presentation skills. While these are extremely good and useful, there are numerous things that a speaker can do ahead of his or her presentation that will help tremendously in setting them up for success in giving a good presentation. In this blog we will look at some vital preparatory work that needs to be done to pull off an effective presentation.

 Presentation Skills Training  is an important aspect of corporate function that deals with equipping their employees with the right skills sets to be good and engaging communicators. Below are some techniques used by organisations for effective presentations:

Holding Attention

It is important to remember that getting the audience’s attention right at the beginning of the presentation is a vital aspect to sustaining their attention. Most people within the first 30 seconds of a speech have already subconsciously decided whether they’re going to enjoy what the speaker has to say or not based on his or her opening statements, enthusiasm, conviction, voice modulation and body language. When preparing your notes, make sure to start with an engaging story, illustration or anecdote to grab their attention. Starting with a ‘bang’ is always the best way to start.

 Clarity

Most audiences want to know what they’re getting into or what to expect at the beginning of a speech or presentation. Indulge them accordingly. Prepare notes that clearly outline the objective, highlights, vision and summary of the presentation so the audience knows what to expect. Dragging on endlessly into a body of unending monotone lecture is a sure way to lose your audience. Keep it simple, clear and to the point. ‘Captivate Audiences with Powerful Presentations’  is an article which will help you have your audience enthralled.

 Visual Aids

People tend to think in pictures or images. It is an intuitive action that happens almost subconsciously within the mind of the listener. A good presenter must tap into that. Telling them that the annual revenues ‘far exceeded’ that of the competition is not as effective as showing them a strikingly visual and colorful graph or chart that depicts the scenario. Visual aids go a long ways in emphasizing or enhancing the poignancy of the message or fact that is being conveyed in the presentation.

For more information on Presentation Skills Training, please refer to the following link:

How Effective are your Presentation Skills? 

Presentation Training – A Key Component of Corporate Coaching

 

 

 

The Paradigm of Indian Leadership

The land of colors, exotic silk sarees, wild tigers, incense sticks, curry spices, magnificent temples and bustling traffic. There is no other place on earth like it – India. This country has produced some of the world’s greatest talents in leading fields – sports, politics, business, etc. For all the wealth of intellect and leadership available in this nation of over a billion people, one would think that leadership training programs were just a formality in it’s corporate landscape. But surprisingly this is not the case.

The Paradigm of Indian Leadership

A recent poll showed that the gap between the skilled/expertise group and upcoming qualified graduates from every field was increasing dramatically. The next generation, despite passing from their respective fields in flying colors and as state toppers, were ill-equipped to step into the daunting world of leadership in India. Numerous culprits are to blame for this – the educational system, which mostly does not encourage independent thinking, the socio-economic status that tends to pre-determine one’s success potential and the lack of attention to emotional intelligence that one is raised with from early on in their homes. These circumstances tend to cripple otherwise talented individuals with potential from possibly thriving in the arena of executive leadership.

 

Corporations today have tapped into this glaring deficiency and have taken the initiative to start up leadership programs that focus on reversing the very circumstantial factors that limit these individuals. The Indian talent pool is brimming with confidence and screaming to be tapped into. These programs focus on training candidates to think on their feet and out of the box, to take risks by being bold and encouraging them to break out of the introverted and passive trappings of culture. Our Emotional Intelligence training and soft skills training is done with the     intent purpose of producing the next wave of leaders that this incredible country so desperately needs.

 

Below are some related blogs on Leadership:

 

What To Look For In Future Leaders

Leadership never operates in a vacuum. There are always leaders and then there are always leaders in the making. Companies operate and rely heavily on the wisdom, experience and tenacity that leaders bring to the table. And it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that this trend must continue for the greater good of the company and all its employees. But spotting a candidate that is ‘leadership material’ and than investing and grooming him or her for such a role is easier said than done. This is primarily what Leadership Training are for – to train and equip managers in their respective departments with the right tools to help identify, assess and groom candidates that have the potential to be leaders in order to fill the void that their predecessors will someday leave. So what does this process look like? Here are three key questions that managers must ask themselves before they begin:

What To Look For In Future Leaders

• Does the candidate have the essential competencies to be a leader? In other words, does he have what it takes? It is important that this potential candidate have not only the qualifications or knowledge but also the fundamental understanding of key concepts, facts and dynamics as they exist within the business.

• Does the candidate have the commitment to be a leader? While it may be true that they have great ambition or desire to be a leader, are they prepared to put in the hard work, perseverance and durability to not only survive through tough times but in fact thrive in it? Leaders need to have the ability to ‘weather the storm’ when the going gets tough. This is a foundational aspect of leadership skills training.

• Lastly does the candidate have the character to not only be a good leader but even a better leader? Do they have the principles and values necessary to help them lead their team or company with honesty and integrity? And will this character stay consistent during times of stress or challenge? Character is ultimately the foundation upon which the leader must stand. This is crucial to organizational leadership.

Leadership Programs are constantly in the process of fine-tuning individuals with the skills necessary to identify and develop talent. For more info on how this is done, please refer to the following article:What It Takes To Be A Successful Business Leader

Leadership – Asking the Tough Questions

Leadership – Asking the tough questions

Being a leadership coach I often have the privilege to be in the presence of future leaders. There is one question that I ask in every session, “Who is the leader that you emulate?” I get answers like, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and disappointingly………… Hitler. It happens session after session.

 

Regardless of how consistently it happens, it still saddens me to think that mankind can see something remarkable in a human like Hitler. It takes me a while to re-center myself but after I do, I ask a simple question, “Are you aware of how Hitler died?” There is a pregnant silence after which they say, “Suicide.”

 

Leadership is action, not position.” – Donald H. McGannon

 

After this awareness is created, the participants always reconsider their stance that Hitler is a leader to be emulated. I heave a sigh of relief; there is hope for mankind ………..

 

Being a leader is about asking the tough questions – it is not about providing the answers but it is about the asking the questions that stimulate thinking. It is about knowing that your opinions go through continuous change as you enhance your awareness and learning through your journey in life.

 

A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there. – David R. Gergen

 

Leadership Traits of The Legendary Leader William Wallace

Leadership is one of the most admirable traits in the long history of mankind. Almost every nation and era has seen the rise (and sometimes fall) of great leaders; men and women who changed history for the better, who made a dent in the universe, who irreversibly had a lasting impact on all mankind. In the great nation of Scotland, lived the 11th century legend of William Wallace, who though being an ordinary landowner at one time went on to become one of the leading persons in the revolutionary Wars of Scotland. Wallace’s remarkable tenure in the War was portrayed magnificently by Mel Gibson in the 1995 Academy Award winning movie, ‘Braveheart’. Although a historical depiction, the movie is full of enduring illustrations in leadership skills. For our purposes however, we will look at one of my most favourite scenes that exemplifies this.

Before an intimidating array of English forces, stand the Scottish army, weary, low-spirited and reluctant to fight the English for fear of loss and death. Wallace rides from atop the hill, blue war paint streaked across his face, with his eye on the English forces on the horizon. He faces the battered Scots and begins talking to them. Several features of his leadership skills emerge from this breathtaking dialogue which leadership can incorporate even today:

“If this is your army, why do you go?”

Wallace asks the forces what their purpose is amidst their identity as an army. This is a crucial first step in helping people see the bigger picture – who are they? What are they here for? What drives them? Before focusing on the objective at hand, he gets to the heart of their personhood. Leaders must first learn to get to the hearts of the people they lead.

“I see my countrymen as an army…here in defiance against tyranny”

To the bickering and skepticism of the Scots, Wallace reminds them of the significance of why they are really here. People, including employees within a company, can easily be intimidated or skeptical of the task ahead of them. It is then when leaders must remind them to stand strong, face down the challenges that stare them in the face and stand for something bigger than their fears. It is when the odds are against them that true leaders find the strength within themselves to lift everyone else up.

“They may take our lives but they will never take our freedom!”

Wallace reminds the Scots of what is on the line here – not their comforts, happiness or even their lives but their legacy, their destiny, their freedom. Leaders must always be ready to remind their followers of those things that are bigger than them or their challenges. There is more at stake than just a job, a paycheque or profits. There is integrity, effort and excellence. And when the day is long gone and the problems are far behind, one can rest in the fact that they gave it their all, for the greater good.

Leadership Training Program focus on developing such intangible qualities that help their managers and leaders, not only achieve their goals and targets, but strive to empower everyone around them to reach greater heights as well. Here is an article on 10 qualities of superior leaders: 10 Qualities of Superior Leaders   

For more information on Leadership Training Programs refer to this article : Is Intuition an Important Leadership Trait?

 

 

Authenticity – A Leadership Essential

Authenticity - A Leadership Essential
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nelson Mandela’s life is perfect story of authenticity………..

Mandela spent the best years of his life in prison. When he was released from prison he rose to the highest level becoming the President of the country. What a wonderful opportunity to take revenge on the people who imprisoned him because he demanded equality! But instead of taking revenge he displayed forgiveness and the first act of his presidency was to support the ‘all white’ rugby team to win in the world cup. This win was a much needed morale booster for the country. Color did not matter to Mandela; people mattered.

This is a powerful example of the power of authenticity as Mandela did what he expected others to do if they needed to leave the past behind and move forward as a nation.Being an Executive Coach I am constantly challenging myself in this area.

Recently I ran a leadership training session with a co-facilitator, Maria (this is a fictitious name). One of the topics that we were training on was ‘Conducting Performance Appraisals’ – as a leader how can you give empowering feedback to your team about their performance.

In this article I would like to reflect upon a short incident that happened during the session. I want to say upfront that I do not want to insinuate that I am perfect. It so happens that in this one incident the spotlight is on the other trainer.

We were working with a group of 60 people. Prior to the start of the session we talked about how each of us would like to run our sessions. One of the requests I had was that when I am facilitating I would not like to be interrupted by the other facilitator. The lead facilitator should hold the major space and the supporting facilitator only comes in if there is something very important. We both agreed to honor this expectation.

Maria opened the session and I played the agreed role of the supporting facilitator. In the next session I was the lead facilitator. I was winding down my interaction when Maria stepped in and took over the session. We then announced a 15 minute break. As the participants were leaving Maria turned to me and said, “I think the way you handled the session stifled the sharing and the energy in the group.” I felt that someone had knocked the wind out of my sail. All my excitement and exhilaration suddenly vanished.

Maria was oblivious of the impact that her words had on me. She continued to get ready for the next session and put up the power point slide titled ‘Proactive Language vs Reactive Language’. I could not help notice the irony in the situation – she was going to train the leaders on the importance of using Proactive Language (and avoiding Reactive Language), while giving feedback, when she had just used Reactive Language to me.

I took a few minutes to gather my thoughts and then, pointing to the slide, I told Maria, “I wished you had used proactive rather than reactive language”. I also informed her that I did not feel that she kept her commitment of giving me the space as the lead facilitator.

She was very upset with me and said that she felt stifled if she did not speak whenever she felt the need to. A couple of days later she informed the co-coordinator of the network that she did not work with me anymore as my style was not comfortable for her. I was devastated. I hoped that we could have worked it out. We are leadership trainers who encourage people to climb mountains and not go around them.

The word authenticity came to mind…………….

As a leadership coach Maria is training leaders to treat each member of their team based on their individual style and needs. However, she has decided not to work with me because my style caused her discomfort.

As a leadership coach Maria is training leaders to give feedback by asking questions and intently listening so that the situation can be understood from all perspectives. In other words, the feedback should be based on facts rather than feelings. This makes it proactive and not reactive. Was her feedback to me reactive?

“Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

The critical question for me is, “Can we be effective as a trainer in an area where we have not mastered ourselves?” I agree that we are all on a journey of continuous improvement but does walking away indicate that we feel that we have reached the destination or we are not interested in continuing our difficulty journey?

Team Building Training for Optimal Corporate Growth

Recently we conducted a corporate training program for a large multi-national company. The topic was team building training for the new joinees. The objective of the program was to get the new comers ready for the disciplined life of a working professional.

There were about 200 trainees around the average age of 25. Within the first few minutes of the training we understood that a lot of them did not feel that they needed the training. Even though their supervisors were part of the training they were offensive in their directness and lack of commitment. They clearly lacked the hunger for growth and development. The learning was lack luster.

I asked myself, “What have we done to our next generation? Did the parents not have time to trigger the hunger pangs? Did they not romanticize achievement and hard work? Where did the education system go wrong?”

But I did not have the time to explore the root cause as the team building training was not going the way I envisioned. Something needed to be done and this needed to be bold and shocking. So in the midst of an activity I stopped the activity and asked everybody to think of an experience that was life changing. We then asked 4 volunteers to share. Suddenly the fighting energy was transformed to a pensive energy and the teams started to function more seamlessly.

When conducting corporate training it is important not to be rigid about covering the content but to sense the need of the group and provide accordingly.

Online Training – A Platform for Leadership Development?

After 25 years of conducting face-to-face leadership training, one day I was introspecting on the new buzzword ‘Adaptive Leadership’. So I asked myself, “Am I an adaptive leader? With all the technological advances, am I hiding behind face-to-face training because it is in my comfort zone?”

So what are the issues that businesses are faced with today? Rapidly changing environments, overworked staff, attrition and the lack of time for leadership development. Online training………… I pondered; it will be able to provide the training amidst these challenges. But the thought of online training invoked a lot of negative emotions in me. I shrugged away the thought instantly. But as soon as I did this I quietly questioned the flexibility of my leadership.

But the universe has an amazing way of pushing you into your areas of discomfort. Two days later I was in my office when I got a call from a French woman who wanted to explore the feasibility of conducting online training for her staff from USA, Europe, Asia Pacific and India. I was candid about my fears about the efficacy. But she had done her homework and encouraged me to conduct a pilot.

And we did……. And I am glad we did because the audience thoroughly enjoyed it and could not stop talking about the benefits. This outstanding success led MMM Training Solutions to launch soft skills training using the online platform. The advantages are many and the most significant are: short sessions, lower training costs, trainees can do it from their desks, they can interact with their peers sitting in different parts of the world.

The main challenge is that the topics have to carefully chosen and the content has to be designed with careful attention to the fact that there is no video available. But as we ran the programs we saw clearly that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Our French client summed it up when she simply said, “Superb”.

Come join us for our second free online training session, which we will be conducting on April 16th at 7pm Indian Standard Time. Space is limited so sign up at the earliest by sending your name and email id to administration@mmmts.com.