Remember the Case Study I shared previously on Shackleton?
In this post, I would like to share the summary – 4 leadership lessons from Shackleton. Even though we may not face life-and-death situation like Shackleton did, but the lessons can help us to better ourselves in our leadership journey.
As we can see here, Shackleton managed to easily toggle his focus on daily operations and also leading the mission. He also takes full responsibility, visionary in the humanity and also has the discipline to continually move forward. These 4 are very important leadership values in order for us to be successful in achieving our goals.
How do you see these values impact in your daily life as a leader?
One of the case study on leadership is on Polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
It’s an interesting story, of how a journey to explore and walk across the continent of antartica, became a journey to survive. He needed to manage his team’s energy to ensure that they survive the perilous journey.
It’s a story full of leadership and management lessons. The 3 practices esstial to Shackleton’s success as a leader:
He continuously assess and reasses his approach to the changing mission. This allows him to reflect and see the best approach to achieve the mission’s objective.
He showed relentless commitment to his primary objective – the safe return of his tem – while being entirely flexible about how to achieve it. This allows him to find the best way on how to achieve the objective, rather than stick to one method only.
He maintained his team’s belief in the mission by managing both collective and individual energy. By having good team’s energy, they are able to work together to achieve the missions, and avoid giving up on the objectives.
Shackleton also practiced “keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer”. He identified the team members who may be threat to keeping up the team’s energy to stay in the same tent as him, so that he can manage them closely. This shows that you have to manage the enemies of change so that they do not take the mission off course.
A lot of leadership and management lessons can be learned through this Case Study.
I have shared 3 main forces in my previous posts, today I would like to share 5 more main forces on this topic. These are some of the points that I learned in the MBA class I am taking currently – People, Work and Organisations. The book that we use in this class is Organisational Behavior by Ian Brooks (Fifth Edition).
Firstly, you need to have purpose, goals to achieve. When the company or organization set clear goals for their team, the team will be more energized and focused on the same goals.
Then, understand that each individual is different. They are a part of a team – but the factors for their motivation differs from one another. Some may like the challenge, some may like the financial motivator, and more. You cannot use one size fits all in managing each person’s motivation.
Of course, one of the most important aspect in building your team is the hiring part. It can make or break your team. Ensure that you hire those with positive attitude, grit and positive outlooks.
Then, by having cross-functional teams that fosters collaboration – you can achieve better results, and increase the team’s energy. Marketing and design teams, design and engineering / development teams, sales and customer success teams, and a variety of other teams that find mutual advantage in collaborating and working toward a similar objective are examples of cross functional teams.
And last but not least is the team cohesion and bonding. This is one of the topic I discussed with one of my teammates today. We were talking about some historical stories about the company, team and improvements over the years. My teammate brought up that good bonding we have in the company helps to solve a lot of problems. It makes the work more fun and enjoyable. By having good team cohesion and bonding, many problems can be solved easily – as this allows better communication and teamwork. That is why teambuilding activities are actually important (it’s not just for fun) and the team members should be encouraged to work closely with one another and build bonds through projects, learning and helping out each other.
I am glad I had a good chat with him today – I felt, this too is a part of building bonds. It was quite enjoyable and let us learn more about each other too.
One of the main forces that affect the most on a team’s energy, is involving people in sorting out and dealing with situations.
The wording is quite straightforward and I believe that most understand what it means.
So in this post, let me share my story.
I am a problem solver – and I like to move fast. So usually if I / we face with certain problems and I know how to solve it – I usually just proceed with it without much discussion.
So what I did previously, is I always try to solve everything by myself – unless it is something that I really don’t know how to solve it (Usually if I had issues with very deeply technical things – I would let my brother/sister to solve them).
Even though I managed to solve the problems fast, but a few issues arised:
Of course I felt tired and frustrated because I felt that I have to do everything by myself (this is so plain negative thinking actually – other people wanted to help, but I didn’t give them the opportunity).
Non inclusive community – my team would feel that I am the one who call all the shots, and they felt like they were not included in decision making process. This makes them felt like they are not part of the team. So here, it becomes like receiving instructions and carrying them – this lowered team energy level.
The solution may not be the best – As I proceed with my own knowledge and experience without taking into consideration others’ knowledge and experiences.
This happened due to I felt the need to be in control in every different aspects in the business. However, by doing this, I was also becoming the bottleneck in the company.
Along the way, I tried to learn how to let go. It’s hard, but it is required for us to grow.
Letting go does not mean not caring. It is actually putting trust in your team.
By letting go, I am actually giving opportunities to the team members to sort out the problems we faced and deal with situations. This gives opportunities for them to learn, sharpen their problem solving skills, and also leverage on knowledge and experiences of more people – thus, getting to much better solutions in the long run.
Sometimes, I need to be the facilitator in the problem solving process, but most of the time, they actually know how to solve them. Not only this free up my time to focus on growth, but also the team members felt a part of the team, and have a stronger bond.
All these years, I see that those who I let them be involved in sorting out and deal with situations by themselves / among the team – they grow faster, they can level up much better and I can rely on them more, than those who don’t.
Currently I am going through my MBA course, Organizational Behaviour.
I believe taking MBA will greatly help me improving myself so that I can be a better leader, and help us to improve our company to greater heights.
I decide to start writing about the course(s) that I take throughout this MBA program so that it can become a way for me to write again the things that I read, and learned – It helps me to understand the materials more and how to apply it in real life situations. I will also share some of my experiences from time to time as well. And hopefully some of the knowledge and sharing will also be able to help you as well.
Team is the most valuable resource a leader has.
One of the most importact aspect of a leader is to manage the energy, outlook, engagement and cohesion of your team.
With these qualities, you and the team will become stronger and more resilient to achieve your goals and overcome the challenges.
So now, let’s look at the energy. It’s easier to work with a team full of energy than those who have less energy such as less motivation.
What are the main forces that affect the most on team’s energy? Today, I will share two of the main forces. Insya Allah, I will share more in the next post(s).
Your energy as the leader
You yourself need to have the energy in order for your team to have the energy. Build your energy and grit so that your teammates can see how energized you are and be more motivated too. Demotivated leaders will also bred demotivated team.
I have been in situations where I myself became demotivated and weak. It’s very stressful for myself, and possibly more stressful for my teammates as well. I tried hard to mask my tiredness and lack of motivation – but that also becomes stressful for me as I had to act unnaturally – which is going against my emotional state at that point of time.
However, it’s very important to manage your energy and emotions too. This is one of the things I need to learn and improve myself as well.
So, what to do in this situation? Different people may have different ways to overcome the challenges. Sometimes I will take a break or holiday leave, so that I can get a way a bit to re-energize. However, most of the time if I have too much on my plate, I am unable to turn my brain off – so what I do is, I try to find a change of environment by doing my work somewhere else besides my normal workstation.
What would you do in this situation? Please share with us =)
2. Constant Communication
Next, miscommunication or lack of communication will also impact of the team’s energy. This is especially a delicate matter due to the needs of communication may differ from one person to another.
Some may need more communications and some may need less. Some people may treat more communications as something annoying, but some may treat lack of communication as not caring enough towards them.
Especially now that many of us are working from home due to the pandemic, this has become bigger issue across many different teams.
I myself faced this issue as well. This is something I try to constantly learn, but this is also the area I regularly failed. Some people may feel I communicated too much and may be tired of answering my phone calls and emails. But some people may feel I communicated way less, and they felt being left out. It’s a delicate balance which I am still trying to work on.
For you, what are the amount of communications that you think is good?
Hope to hear some sharing from you too so that we can help improve each other and better ourselves in overcoming the challenges.
Assalamualaikum wbt,How are you guys doing? Hope everyone is doing great!
In my Count Your Blessings story today, I would like to share about one of my schools, where I learned about a lot new things in my life, especially in life skills.
Most of the things I learned in SMKA Maahad Hamidiah can be designate as my first time in a lot of things in my life.
Truth to be told, when I finished my UPSR, I had actually planned to go free hair when I join secondary school. However, of course I couldn’t do it when I joined Maahad. Haha. Entering Maahad, instead of going free hair, I had to wear “Tudung labuh”. This is a blessing for me. I learned to wear tudung more properly and started to enjoy wearing tudung instead.
If you know me since I was young, we always had a maid at home. So, at that time, I had very little life skills.
In Maahad, I learned to: 1. Live away from home 2. Wash my own clothes 3. Iron my own clothes 4. How to wear kain batik 5. How to take care of hygiene 6. How to make my own bed 7. How to wake up so early in the morning – haha. 8. Reading Al-Mathurat morning and evening. 9. How to consistently pray without missing the prayer times 10. How to study by myself without my mom keep nagging me to study
… and so many more things that I couldn’t even keep track of them.
And most important of all, SMKA Maahad Hamidiah is the school where I learned to make friends and learned to be compassionate. Here, I learned that we need to respect each other, help each other out and understand each other, and make lifelong friendships.
All my friends in Maahad, doesn’t matter whether they are girls or boys, are very nice people. They helped me a lot. I have so many good memories in Maahad that this post won’t be enough.
Even though I only spent 3 years in Maahad as I moved to another school in Form 4, we keep in touch even until now. I have a lot of Maahad friends here in Facebook. To you, my Maahad friends, thank you for helping me to adjust with the life away from home and thank you for being my friends. You know who you are.
It has been a while since I last shared my stories here. Attending the SME Graduates Program @ UKM has inspired me to start writing (or in this case, typing) again. Hope to be more consistent after this!
Anyway, you must be wondering, what is this SME Graduates program?
Previously this program is known as SME@University. Now rebranded and taken over by HRDF. HRDF works with universities, (I joined the UKM session since it is soooo near to my house), and the universities organize the program with speakers based on modules developed previously. The program was inspired by Tokyo SME Training Institute.
This program is about 9-10 weeks long (and mind you, this time, they make it almost every weekend). It is a bit tiring since you have to work Monday-Friday, and then attend trainings on Saturday and Sunday. But the good thing is, all of the participants are very excited and always full of energy. Most of them did not even take a break in the middle of the week! Salute guys!
Besides learning and getting more knowledge, skills and motivation in growing your business, you can nurture your relationship with other business owners and top management from the other companies. The program really provides us with a lot of opportunities that we may not find elsewhere.
We have just completed the third weekend. And always more and more excited for the upcoming classes. Will share more in the next posts!
Are you a student? Are you currently going through your internship program or thinking to join an internship program?
One thing that I observe, and someone has taught me this too previously, is that when you are a students, all the stress that you undergo such as studying, preparing for exams, etc, is not as big as it seemed once you enter the real working world, especially once you assume more responsibility such as taking care of your family – even more so once you are married.
This is the same as when you undergo your internship program. If you are too stressed out or depressed during the internship duration, that is a sign that you’re not managing your time and stress well enough.
5 reasons why internship program is important to a student (of course, besides getting a pass in the course):
1. This is the time to actually discover your interests
You might think you like what you’re doing or going to do while you were in the university, but it might be a totally different world out there. University’s main point is to teach you how to communicate, think and bring yourself in the real world. Probably not so much on the work hands-on type of experience. Internship program allows you to have a hands-on experience in the area that you are assigned in.
2. Learn to communicate with your colleagues and superiors
Communications between friends, colleagues and superiors might be different depending on the situation(s). This is where you learn how to communicate and express your thoughts and ideas.
3. Learn to manage your time
Trust me, if you think you have too much things to do as an intern, you might not be managing your time well. So if you feel this, it is time to learn and improve your time management skills.
4. Learn to manage your stress
There is almost no company/organization in the world that you can work at that will have absolutely no pressure or stress. Sometimes stress can be a good motivator for you to complete your job.
The most important part is you have to manage your stress and learn how do you de-stress and motivate yourself to achieve more.
5. Opportunity to build your network
Take this opportunity to develop your network in the industry. Get to know people. For your information, besides you learning about the company and the mechanics of business, the company is also learning about you.
If you work hard, successfully give good impression during your internship program and get to know a lot of people whether your company’s employees or customers/suppliers, there’s a very high chance for you to secure employment / other opportunities in the future. And this goes a loooong way.
In the Ventures Internship Program that we have at our company, Authentic Venture Sdn Bhd, we learned a lot about each students that join us. Some of them actually take the good opportunity to learn more and have achieved quite good results in the program. However some also struggled and probably need more guidance in understanding the mechanism and benefits that they get from internship program.
At Authentic Venture, we provide a lot of trainings, learning opportunities and networking opportunities with other companies’ management and CEOs. It really boils down to the interns themselves to make full use of the opportunities provided.
Are you interested in our internship program? Feel free to send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!