The best leadership trait: Leading by example!

Getting my hands dirty!

More often than not, people need to be shown that something is possible. Before Roger Bannister, no one had really thought the 4-minute mile was possible! Once Roger did it, others promptly followed, even bettering his record.

Teams and customers, sometimes, adopt the same outlook. They need to be guided and things have to be proved for others to take your example and perform the task.

  • Working overnight, i have solved several Million$ problems that would resulted in losses for my company or the customer. I need not step in and could have just dictated what needs to be done, but when time is of essence you really need to step in.
  • I get pissed off when people rather than adopting a logical approach to problem solving take a ‘spray and pray’ approach to finding the root cause and probable solution. Hence, i dig in deep, get the flows right and uncover the root cause of issues. solving, then, becomes fairly straightforward!

A sample story:

Once, for a customer (a global market leader in manufacturing photocopiers), it was found that the invoices were not flowing through. The person on the customer front wasn’t available owing to a personal issue.

With every hour, the losses were mounting as trucks were waiting for deliveries to be assigned to them. The client VP asked if i could help. It was 8:30 PM. This was new to me and i had moved long ago to management, but decided to give it a go anyway.

Told the offshore team to come early the next day (i was in the UK), and started the grunt work. With a colleague, analysed more than 40 scripts and rule engines to determine the probable causes. At around 2:30 am UK, found that the problem was with a EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport) syntax and its implementation for a particular category of goods. This problem had become a blocker for the rest of the orders as well!

Wrote out the actions for the Offshore team who had just come in at 7:00 AM IST. Went home and in a couple of hours was back at the office to test out the changes! It worked and early UK morning, all stalled trucks made their way out of the warehouse!

No bigger satisfaction than this!

Be the change you want to inspire!

I love such challenges and work with the teams to ensure that things get done. Having a senior person with them also create a really motivated environment, and continuously sharpens your problem solving skills!

Inspire with your actions!