By Abhishek Mehta:
Leadership is not about managing people to get some specific tasks or thing done. It’s about taking stand for your followers, helping them on both personal and professionals issues. Personally, I have noted and experienced a number of difficulties. It takes a lot of effort to become the people’s face — the face they can rely on and it’s even harder to sustain. Following are some common issues I noticed throughout my professional journey of 3 years.
Salary: If we put passion/interest aside, this is one of the most important factors people work for. Offering right salaries has always been a tough call or offering right salaries to right people. This is one of the most important factors which I came across during managing people. Management thinks giving 5-15% hike to existing employee is fine, though they are never hesitant of hiring someone at higher salary who will be doing the same work. But do organizations ever think about what will happen when they hire new employees on higher salaries?
One simple answer – Frustration, in other words it’s like devaluing your existing team or family for someone new. Employees will start looking for other options for sure and the day they find it, they will kick you with lots of negative reviews in the market. Your organization will become something which is always in a loop of hiring people. I am still not able to understand what’s wrong in moving forward with the existing team on a high salary.
Diplomatic Approach: There are generally several kinds of managers. One is the obvious manager i.e. born managers, their ability to manage and guide people at younger ages or even at junior level hierarchy can easily been spotted. Second are the guys with X numbers of years’ experience, where X can be 5, 10, 15 or even higher. Some of them are really good and some are not. And If I follow the culture around me or other companies which I saw, most of them apply a diplomatic approach. They are same for everyone, it doesn’t matter for them either you are working great or struggling.
This is where the Generation gap comes into play, it means the problems you faced 10 years ago might have changed now and so has the approach. But you are trying to solve/fix things in the similar manner like your manager did 10 years back.
Take the example of appraisals — They still think 5 or 7% hike is still too much but only a manager of your generation knows that this means nothing compared to the amount you are drawing.
Managing Special Talents: There are two types of special talents
1. Calm Minded: Easy to manage, hardly share their emotions. You never know what’s going in their mind. And when they are not paid good or not treated the way they should, they leave you without even intimating. All you will get is a resignation email with no clear reasons.
2. Aggressive Minded: Guys who are extremely talented and most importantly they are aware of that. Generally, they are mavericks – an unorthodox or independent-minded person. I have experienced that they know that they are better than most of the people in the office. They finish things early and do them in a better way. Their ability to think faster and smarter makes them stand out. But what happens when they are treated with normally talented people? Let’s take an example and yeah its appraisals again — special talents work smarter, do the work for other employees as well and their appraisal percentages differ by 3 or 4%. I found most of them turn aggressive in nature and I support this. They rebel after seeing this ordinary number and most of the time organizations lose them.
As a leader, if you can’t backup for the best performers, then you don’t have any right to instruct or lead them. The best managers will tell you that the most effective way to handle such gifted mavericks is to befriend them and offer them with challenges.
Learning Opportunities: This is where organizations should look to move the needle. It’s not about coming at 9.30 and leaving at 6.30 and doing almost the same things for years. Again, this is the problem with company management, how much do they trust their existing employees or will take a chance to give someone a fair run instead of hiring new ones. But hiring people who don’t even know what they will do three or five years down the line will definitely put you and your team in trouble.
In short, leadership is about trusting people, backing them whenever needed, giving ample opportunities and treating special talents in a special manner.