Col Sen MP, Ph.D
Faculty, Apar India(for TISS), Author, Leadership Trainer, Consultant in Biz Conflict Management
New Delhi, Delhi, India
As a CEO or a Manager (at all levels), I think that managing expectations of people is most challenging. It is not difficult to do a job or meet timelines or say the bottom-line (i.e. profit) provided your people oriented skills are sound. I as a Circle CEO of a telecom tower company with huge portfolio in a most difficult terrain of Uttar Pradesh (East) in India found that it was definitely challenging to meet the professional delivery to the clients month- after-month or y-o-y but not impossible. What was almost impossible to keep everybody happy : like when you are trying to meet the demands of clients, your team gets over stretched and keeping that kind of momentum for 24X7, 365 days is not sustainable. If you fail in that your boss as well as clients will be unhappy. Imagine, out of 48 districts, 42 was under severe floods, yet the expectation from one of the clients was like that of summers. When you can not do any construction, movement of material is just not happening, ware houses are flooded with stocks, everything is stuck as rains/floods are just not relenting, trucks are standing on the highways with the goods for days and labours are not ready to work, climbing on the towers or poles are risky..and so on...but demand has to be met or else you are a fall guy. Escalations will not be liked by senior bosses but that will continue pouring. Every meeting/reviews will be like an one sided war wherein you and your team is shredded into pieces without mercy....as a leader you can not lower your guard. You might be crying your heart inside but the sound of that cry has to buried deep down within you else your team will break...morale will go for a toss...which will take serious toll on your overall performance. Nobody accepts failure....come what may! You have to stand firm on your ground that may be shaky or even sinking, but never say "Die". I think this is the challenge. Fighting the battle everyday with smile is a challenge. Mind you, when you are at the top, you are very lonely! So, you need to have very strong family, friends and colleague's support and lastly, not the least, you have to have faith in you. Like Swami Vivekananda said: "Faith, Faith, Faith in yourself. Then Faith in GOD! " Meaning thereby that you have to have strongest possible belief in yourself more than even god, as saying goes: God helps those, who helps themselves!
One must remember that your team is the one which delivers, but you are the driver, who is driving them to success or failure. Responsibility lies on you, not on them. Thus, work hard, develop your team, train and mentor them and give adequate support so that they succeed. It is also important to remember that "Success is theirs but Failure is Yours"! Thank you!
Last updated Nov 18 '17 at 06:13