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Rahul Agarwal

Rahul Agarwal, Director, Wealth Discovery Securities (ezwealth.in).

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The Role of Leaders & Employees in an Organization

The biggest challenge that we often face in a leadership position is to find ways to attract and retain the best talent. My strategy in this regard is to focus on younger employees and provide them the best of training, a happy work environment, a healthy work life balance and giving them work that keeps them intellectually challenged.

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To start off, I have to put out a disclaimer that there is nothing pedantic about this article, no established theories or best practices; rather this is an exposition on what life has taught me both in a role of an employee as well as someone who is currently in a leadership position.

In general terms the role of leaders are clearly defined, and it is to provide a blueprint of the vision that an organization wants to follow and the employees are expected to work towards the achievement of these objectives, this synergy is supposed to lead towards the success of the organization.

However, as Ronald Reagan once famously said, "The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." Therefore success of the leadership lies in motivating an average employee to do exceptional things. Few things that I have personally followed in a leadership role is to make my employees comfortable around me, I strive to be close to my employees where I could relate to them and they can come up to me with their problems however a healthy distance should also be maintained so that the mutual respect remains intact and the friendliness is taken for granted and does not affect productivity.

The biggest challenge that we often face in a leadership position is to find ways to attract and retain the best talent. My strategy in this regard is to focus on younger employees and provide them the best of training, a happy work environment, a healthy work life balance and giving them work that keeps them intellectually challenged. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing the skills and personalities of your employees. In Richard Branson’s words, “TRAIN people well enough so they can leave, TREAT them well enough so they don’t want to”. This is a true statement and I have seen it working in my own organization, I really do not fear that if I provide exceptional training to my employees they may leave for better opportunities, in my organization training comes along with treating each employee well, we value their work and appreciate their efforts publicly and in doing that over the years we have seen that employee loyalty automatically sets in leading to drastically reduced attrition rates.

“A Leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” A famous quote by John Maxwell may sound clichéd in this day and age however again from personal experience I can vouch that when your employees see you enter the trenches getting your hands dirty it leads to enhanced productivity, some employees do it out of guilt others, the better ones do it in sheer emulation because they see it as something positive worth emulating.

Speaking from an employee’s perspective, again drawing upon my experiences as an employee in a MNC consulting firm in the USA I have learnt certain things that I would recommend to all budding talented people entering the work force. Always be on time and be cognizant of the deadlines that are given to you. Being on time is simple, it enforces a healthy work ethic a routine that leads to successful careers and reputation, people who are always on time get much more respect then employees who are often late.

Regarding the deadlines sometimes as junior employees we do not realize the gravity of meeting deadlines we often do not realize that the entire organization’s credibility is on line and its bad for business, proper scheduling focused and smart work leads to meeting deadlines

Last but not the least the biggest lesson that I have learnt from my experience is that it’s good to be inquisitive and to question your boss’s decision but do not assume that your boss is a fool and does not know what he is doing. One thing that should always be remembered is that they are in a position to guide you because they have worked hard and definitely have more experience and do know a thing or two more then you know. Therefore, it helps a great deal to respect your boss and not just that you have to respect his position but rather respect his capabilities and experience. Doing that leads to better working relationships, a close bonding and lifelong associations with people whom we have worked with. Maintaining professional relationships are always important because we do not know at what point in our life a professional relationship can help us in a difficult situation. I remember talking to my ex colleagues and bosses often whenever I need some professional help, I am able to do that because I always had a relationship of mutual respect with all of them.

Finally to complete and summarize we all know a chain is as strong as its weakest link, all organizations are like chains with employee, leadership all intertwined working towards a greater goal and that is the success of the organization. Good leadership is to nurture your weakest link and to make them do things well beyond their skill set, help them over achieve their goals. Employees in return should value their jobs, try to continuously work towards enhancing their skillset, try to be positive and happy at their workplaces as its their second home and do understand that their success lies in the success of the organization they are working for.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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