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Manage Better to Lead Better

Leading better is as much about honing your craft, as it is about empowering teams to channel their energies towards achieving organisational objectives

Words by Anshuman Tiwari

Managing ourselves, our teams, and businesses is the true essence of effective leadership. While many leadership models are marketed extensively to sell courses and books, the heart of leadership lies in practical and proficient management practices.

Leadership is a verb, not a noun. It’s in the doing, not just the talking.

I believe all of us are a work in progress and getting better. We are all on a continuous journey of improvement. While leadership models often present a polished template that worked for a specific individual, it’s important to recognize that the leaders we admire have faced their unique life circumstances and challenges. It’s useful to have role models but elevating them to godlike status is counterproductive – it transforms us into mere fans rather than active participants in our growth.

The solution lies in mastering the art of effective management with the resources we possess – essentially, playing our cards right. There are three key themes that guide us in managing better:

Managing Ourselves

– Being mindful and emotionally balanced

– Accomplishing tasks with quality

– Efficient time management and productivity

When we manage ourselves adeptly, we maximize our potential and make the most of our current circumstances. This not only allows us to become the role models others seek to emulate, but also fosters personal growth.

Managing Our Teams

– Addressing the social needs of the team

– Recognizing potential and performance

– Utilising varied approaches to sustain team motivation

Skillfully managing teams results in cohesive collaboration and collective achievement. A well-managed team is greater than the sum of its parts.

Managing Our Business

– Prioritizing revenue and profit

– Maintaining a future-oriented perspective to tackle new challenges

– Applying a commercial and business mindset

Effective business management is the ultimate goal of our efforts, contributing to the success of the entire organization.

Overhyping leadership sets unrealistic expectations and fuels ambitions that might not be backed by genuine talent and effort. A more pragmatic approach is to stay grounded and focus on leveraging our current resources effectively. This doesn’t mean discrediting leadership courses and books; they can be valuable tools for growth. The concern lies in attempting to universally apply leadership principles. By definition, leadership requires a limited number of leaders, and not everyone can occupy that role.

 As you explore ways to “Manage Better to Lead Better,” consider these insightful books:

  • “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek – Discover the importance of leadership in nurturing strong teams.
  • “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck – Explore the power of adopting a growth mindset for effective leadership.
  • “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink – Uncover the science of motivation and its role in leadership.

 In the pursuit of effective leadership, the key lies in skillful management of ourselves, our teams, and our business endeavours. While leadership models might oversell their universal applicability, focusing on practical and personalised management strategies allows us to make the most of our unique circumstances and drive real progress.

Remember, leadership is not just a noun; it’s the actions we take to lead by example.

Anshuman Tiwari is the Global Head of Operational Excellence at DXC Technology. With over 25 years of experience in transformation, innovation, quality, and simplification, he is a passionate and results-oriented leader who delivers world-class operations excellence to clients across multiple industries. 

He is also an ASQ Fellow, a LinkedIn Top Voice for Career Coaching, and a mid-career coach, who loves to share his knowledge and expertise with others. He has taught quality principles, methods, and tools to over 10,000 professionals, and helped clients win several quality awards, including the Deming Prize. He has also led initiatives that generated over $250 million in benefits, focusing on composite outcomes around revenue, cost, customers, and employees. 

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