Monday, January 23, 2012

LEADERSHIP AND FOLLOWERSHIP - Research paper published by ISTD

Dear Friends

I feel great and thanks everyone for there appreciate and love showered over for my research paper in Leadership and Followership, which has acclaimed great appreciation and published in ISTD journal, the very same was highlighted in ISTD Convention 20-21 Jan 2012 in Kolkata too and with the demand from my friends, near and dear once, pleasure to put it on my blog.

Leadership Development for Competitive edge
Wise leaders know that it is not an effortless task to magnetize and then retain great employees but tough task is to build leaders. Sometimes even seniors keep discussing where we should we start from to develop leaders?” There is a great belief that leaders grow leaders and interestingly these leaders were followers some point of time. This statement if you read carefully, you will realize the importance of followers – we followed our parents, gurus, mentors, teachers or our admirers and enhanced our own leadership skills.  There is no wrong to say that at some point of time we all were followers. If an organization is going to build a succession effort which includes a robust leader development approach, you begin by finding your best leaders. Interesting is under the centralization system, subordinates follows their boss or super boss and its not surprising that Value, Belief, Behaviors describe effective leaders  also describe followers too.
What we want our future leaders to be like, at their core, to behave like, to be able to do, and how their priorities should change as they move from individual contributor, to team leader or first level supervisor or senior leader in an organization and by aligning personal goal to corporate goal.
Lets understand “What” leaders focus on following growing leaders and the answer is “The 3Cs”—Confidence, Care and Coach (i.e how leaders use their own effective time for nurturing his/her people), was the analysis implies all the leaders practicing and showing Confidence, Care and Coach, creates followers and able to align organization goal to self goal.
Research Methodology:
This paper is the brief research project which was carried out after research on primary data. The study involved exploring various current leaders and their subordinates also how subordinates imitates there leaders in service . Assessment was individually administered in the form of standard questionnaire and responses were elicited.
In current study individuals was measured on three criteria:
Coach (how much seniors work with their subordinates and invest their time on them),
Care (Understanding the concern and resolving it),
Confidence (Positive approach and relying on own team members).

A very problem you create when you begin with the premise that leaders grow leaders — does the senior leader make the time to do the thought work it requires to put together a good leader development effort? It was observed, the best leaders do this and in-fact those carry it passionately has seen great results from his/her team. The next important aspect gets highlighted, why we need to focus on Coach when most people including leaders are concerned about Competency, Character, Ability, which was also the part of research? It was observed in the experience of many, the most in implementing leadership development turns out to be Coach—how leaders use their time, and particularly is one of their key responsibilities—growing other leaders i.e nurturing them for next higher role by making them follow you. Interesting is there can be no leader without followers. The effort on leadership development efforts that produce the best leaders need senior leaders not only to plan the initiative, but also to take an active part as coaches, mentors or as examples. Interesting question again arises, how can we differentiate between Mentor and Coach?
For Coach both role has to be played by leader for developing leader and that to with Care. The basic difference between them is:
Under the said state, when we ask a question, would you like to become follower?  and the answer is why anyone would want to be follower, but with Coach, existing leaders don’t specify the same to  his subordinates, it is subordinate start following his leader for the time his leader invest on him. Evolutionary psychology hypothesis that people follow because the benefit of doing so outweigh the cost of going it alone or fighting to become the leader of a group. The famous Milgram experiments of 1950 demonstrated that people follow orders. Coaching doesn’t only means guiding but also showing direction to people with care approach.
A lot of leaders are uncomfortable with the word “Care.” Does a manager really have to care about subordinates or followers to get them to do the job they are paid to do? The level of care is lacking because of their limited relationship with subordinates as sometimes find them difficult to engage. It was evaluated if we engage subordinates with care, high effort, enthusiasm, energy gets reflected for performance and drive them to achieve results. Un-care subordinates are just keep on doing task in hand rather than showing their own capability, skills and creativity.
Employees’ shows great performance when likely cared deeply about you and your success. Team / subordinates were probably never more motivated and dedicated in entire career and start following own Boss / seniors when care is shown. If you have felt dedicated and motivated, you can most likely pass on the same feelings to your peers and the people who reports to you.
After discussion with senior employees cum leaders, we identified following suggestion which can will help to demonstrate that you really do care about people or can be used to show care for own people.
·         Listen and understand concerns of people : Indirectly tell your employees you are concerned for them. Elton Mayo - “Human Relations” approach (to 1950’s). Mayo’s views lead to the construction of manager as a leader focuses on listening and understanding concern of subordinates.
·         Ongoing constructive feedback : If you really care about someone, you give them constructive feedback–both positive and negative comments on continuous basis. Act as a coach.
·         Acknowledge the greatness within your employees :  Everyone is capable of accomplishing extraordinary tasks. Part of the role of the leader believes that their people are capable of doing great things. When you believe in people, the results are very positive.
·         Identify Creativity intentions : People usually have positive intentions for any idea they suggest, even if the idea doesn’t work. Managers who care about their people look for their positive intentions rather than what went wrong or what is wrong. Everyone makes mistakes. Accept creative idea and look for the opportunity for improving when things go wrong.
·         Support peoples growth and development on ongoing basis : If you really do care about someone, you want the very best for that person. This means providing him or her with an opportunity to grow. Although this initially appears to be a win-lose scenario, with the employee winning and the manager losing or vice-versa, ultimately has resulted in a win-win situation.
Another perspective is, it’s much easier to give someone a challenging assignment outside their comfort zone and throw them in the water - sink or swim - rather than taking the time to coach them beforehand or during the process. The experienced leaders also teach not only by coaching but also with the lessons of experience they share informally at work (and also formally in the classroom), it’s another thing to take the leap to get up in front of a classroom and possibly be transparent about yourself as a leader who made mistakes in the past or who doesn’t know everything. Interestingly the Leaders use both the Cognitive and Behaviorist approach for making new leaders.
Cognitive approach is a powerful mechanism that provides the means of knowledge and goes well beyond simple imitation of others.  "It is the result of listening, watching, touching or experiencing".
Whereas the behaviorist approach in psychology has looked to the use of experimental procedures to study behavior in relation to the environment. Behavioral theory in psychology is a very substantial field, how people learn in the real world. To make both Cognitive and behaviorist aspect has been described in gist.

Learner role to be Active,  Self Directed and Self Evaluating
Passive and Dependant
Role to be Facilitator and Presenter
Director and Monitor
Task oriented
Subject oriented
Learning climate to be collaborative
Judgmental and competitive
All Instructional activity to be group oriented and interactive
Directive and subject oriented

Confidence, an important perspective used by Leaders to develop leaders or followers. Many motivation experts make the case of positive thinking and self affirmation as a mean of building confidence. Social Psychology also tells us that identification with leaders and trust are two important reasons why people choose to follow. Simply thinking doesn’t make a reality; anyone genuinely gain confidence not by affirmation but one who practices and achieves the same. In this process, leaders while developing expand their abilities and create genuine self confidence by peeling the Leadership Onion. Leaders develop round picture of their talented employees because they tend to focus on the performance of certain task, relying on competencies and keep investigating behavioral characteristics of an individual. With this, other aspect Leaders keep doing is:
·         For positive accomplishment keep recognizing and rewarding  performers
·         Professional development though competencies
·         Empowering them with both authority and responsibility
·         Expressing confidence both Verbally and non-verbally
·         Making them learn the ability to understand organization from both  perspective -  internal and external customer
·         Helps in developing positive self image
It goes without saying that good leadership is crucial to any successful business and there are many factors that contributes to good leadership. Whether someone is naturally a good leader or not, anyone can become a good leader – the debate is never ending. The main thrust on analysis was based on primary research from service industry to identify predictors of followers and how they convert in leader. It is possible to suggest intervention strategy to further boost followers in organization. In short, when we’re developing leaders, the culture change is that it is strategically important to the organization’s future that senior leaders spend a chunk of precious time developing those behind them. Research has consistently shown that more engaged employees are hard working, more productive and more likely to stay in an organization than those who are disengaged & when senior don’t show confidence in them. The organizations actually expect same from their leaders. There is no single standard or correct order to implement 3Cs but need to have balance application of all three and when the right balance is used employees will experience a high degree of efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction in all assignments. In the end, best statement we have read To lead people, walk beside them - A leader is best, when people barely know he exists, When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, They will say: We did it ourselves." Lao-Tzu Lao-Tsu
Reference Work:
Milgram, S. (1963).  Behavioral Study of Obedience.  Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, 371-378.
Milgram, S. (1965).  Some conditions of obedience and disobedience to authority.  Human Relations, 18, 57-76
Gordon Curphy  - Roelling Followership model
Robert Kelley -
Barbara Kellerman presentation in New Delhi
Walumbwe FO Lawler, JJAvilio, BJ (2005) Transformational, leadership and work related attitudes. Journal on Leadership and organizational studies.
The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders, written by Ira Chaleff
Anubha is a prolific trainer and consultant carries more than 14 years of rich experience with blue chip organizations like ICICI Bank, Moodys ICL  having  9000+ hours of training experience to her credit.  Founder for Prism Global specializes in  Behavioral trainings, Quality & Innovation consulting for Workplace transformation. Has numerous accolades to her credit  i.e Train the Trainer (TTT), Six Sigma, Internal & Lead  Auditor, and written research paper on Learning & Talent development  (Merit holder for EHRD THINKER AWARD) and her current paper was accepted by  - AKGIM ICON-ISTD, Creativity and Innovation for Organization Development  2011. Visit for her detail profile at