Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Keep In Touch

To All Leaders With Love—-Keep In Touch

Managing a large team for a project is as much of an art as science. Most of us already know the principles of science to be followed while managing a large team but more than often we ignore the art. As a result more than often we end up wondering what went wrong as over a period of time we start realizing that things are not going the way they were supposed to be. Every task that an organization do requires a team and more than often the team is assembled with different people with different priorities, different agendas, cross functional experience and from different geographical locations. Managing such a team definitely requires some principles of art along with well known principles of science to be successful.

Most of us know that Napoleon’s invasion of Russia failed because his army faced one of the worst winters of that time, for which his army was not well prepared. Definitely, winter was one of the most important reason but not the only reason for his failure. Napoleon failed because of his ignorance and poor resource management by himself. To invade Russia, Napoleon assembled the biggest army ever of that time. In spite of containing some of the best forces it was never an efficient fighting force. It had people who spoke different languages and few of them had been traditional enemies before that. So, what they lacked as an army was that they never cohered as a whole and as a result never fought the battle as a team. Napoleon completely ignored this fact and never tried to make sure that in spite of geographical or personal differences, entire army must fight as a team. One of the most important parts of his leadership was his rapport and personal relationship with his army. By staying close to his army, he always got the first hand feel of their morale and readiness for the battle. He could also sense that he needs to take few steps to boost the morale of his troops. Many at times, only his presence was more than enough to do wonders in inspiring his army. But in Russian campaign, he ignored this hands on approach for different reasons like ill health and the size of the army. Instead he started relying on his subordinates for the first hand information about the morale and readiness of his troops. Many at times they told him about the lack of supplies and confidence. Instead of understanding the facts, Napoleon abused his subordinates for inappropriate supplies and low morale of the troops and even demoted some of his ordinates. As a result, just to avoid the consequences and for their own sake, his subordinates started giving him false information that all is well. They began exaggerating the readiness of the forces they commanded. Ultimately it caused Napoleon to underestimate the extent of upcoming difficulties until they moved far into the battle. By the time he realized that his army is crumbling in an exposed position cut off from the supplies, the only option left open was to retreat.

Most of us know very well that Napoleon was a great leader of his time, but the fact that a leader like him could lose a battle just because of few mistakes even after having the largest army with so much of armor, artillery and expertise, stresses out the importance of these principles most of us term as PR (personal relations) principles. Whether you are leading a project team or an army, make sure you stay close to your team/army. Make sure you get the right information from your subordinates and not just blindly trust them without analyzing the actual metrics or facts. Make sure you build a good rapport with everyone in your team and create an environment which brings everyone moving not only in the same direction but also in the right direction with utmost confidence. Make sure that the entire team realizes the goal and work towards achieving that goal. Make sure you have the art of motivating people of your team, art of infusing energy, confidence and vision, art of healing everyone in your team with your miraculous touch.

Keep In Touch


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home