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06 September 2010

Real Test Of (your) Leadership

One of my colleagues used to say that leading an informal group is bit challenging than leading a team where hierarchy is already put in place. I would go one step further to say that leading an informal group is litmus test for one's leadership skills. What do you mean by informal group? By informal group, i mean that there are no rules set in favor of you and you have deal everything on your own. You have to stretch, bend, set standards, be flexible, listen with one thing in mind - achieving the vision of the informal group.

Unlike in traditional team setup where the lead/manager has naturally rules set in his favor either by organization or by himself, in informal group/initiatives, there are no rules set in favor of you. At every point of time, when you are leading an informal group, you got to make sure that you take consensus from everyone and be as democratic as possible. You got to really use your brain, sharpen your thinking, impress the group and win confidence of the group. Improvement is daily ritual. There is no wonder why my friend said, "leading an informal group is challenging". The work is quite involved, no wishy-washy :-).

In order for a someone to acquire some leadership skills, i feel that it is quite important for him to lead a diverse and informal group. This skill is more relevant in today's context where as more young people join the workforce who ask more questions, who are more inclined towards being democratic, who cannot be bound within a boundary, who cannot work with constraints, it is quite essential for the guys who lead teams to lead like leading an informal group. In an informal group, there are no power centers. The group favors who add value to the group. You cannot win the confidence of group just by words or by past action but got to show that in action every second. Leading an informal group is more about action at present.

So, the real test of leadership starts when you lead informal group.

What do you think?

4 comments:

Guru said...

Leading an informal group always tough.. even I have a thought like leading a team that don't know who is the leader it's really tough :-)

shankar ganesh said...

Very true, experiencing it.

Lakshmi Narayanan N said...

@Guru
what is your experience? can you plz add more insights?

@Shankar
Welcome to Unstuck. Glad to get your first thoughts in Unstuck.

Can plz share ur thoughts too?

Guru said...

Will send you a Direct Message in Twitter.