RSS

Tag Archives: Leadership Don’ts

Is Barack Hussein Obama the most disconnected President ever? Learn from his mistakes, be a better leader


In Obama’s government, though employees are responsible for performing their duties, no one is accountable for their actions. From IRS to Benghazi, so called phony scandals, no one is brought to justice. It feels like, the first world country has now fallen in to some kind of an inefficient or secretive government. Where are the basics of Obama’s ideology? Where is the transparent government, which he once promised? Though I understand that Government has its own secrets, which keeps its citizens safe; I don’t agree with the Obama’s current narrative of – all talks but no action. I am not a politician, so I am not going to comment on this issue from either a republican or a democrat perspective, but I would rather provide my perspective on the leadership failures of this administration.

Inconsistent operations: This administration definitely misses the mark on consistency. It seems like, they don’t have any predefined rules/regulations to carry out their day-to-day activities. They pick and choose on what to respond, and what not to. It is commendable that Obama’s administration is looking into re-opening one single case of Trayvon Martin after its judgment, but at the same time this administration remains silent, even after a year, when someone asks for justice regarding Benghazi victims. And this kind of irregular behavior is consistent across this administration. Take Obama Care (Affordable Care Act) for an example, the implementation of this law is also faulty. Though people and businesses are considered as an entity in strictly IRS terms, those two entities will be treated differently, when it will come to file the taxes for FY2014. While employers won’t be mandated to pay penalty in the next fiscal year, employees (normal people) are still mandated to abide by this law.

All talks but no action: I haven’t been in the US for long. So, I am not sure how other administration dealt with these kind of a situation. But I can assure you, the way Obama administration is handling the foreign policy, it is going to lead us to a disaster. Take Benghazi incident for an example. When this incident happened, Obama’s government promised to its people (stakeholders) that it will bring all the culprits to justice. Forget about the justice, they were unable to even find out the exact reason behind this attack. Was it an anti-Muslim video or a targeted attack? Obviously, going after terrorist takes a lot of time due to the complexity of the job, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t established certain milestones, and publicize them, when they are achieved. Take Iran for another example. The administration is telling Iran that it needs to stop its Nuclear initiative, otherwise it will have various consequences. But when the time comes to deliver on the promise, this administration doesn’t hold Iran accountable for its action. This is not called leading from behind, this is called a leadership failure. Period.

The blame game: Let’s assume that you own a business, and one of its department is involved in a fraud. Let’s also assume that you don’t know anything about this issue, and suddenly everything breaks in the news with some documented proof. What will you do in that situation? Will you take any action? Obviously. If your company is publicly owned by your shareholders, you have to take some action on that. As a CEO, you might call a meeting with your key personnel to find out more information on this issue, and maybe, work on getting this issue resolved. Right? While you look at the same issue in the Obama’s administration, they look so disconnected that it’s hard to believe. Take IRS targeting issue for an example. Even after this issue out in public for a week or so, Obama didn’t have any clue on what happened. This behavior not only shows that he is an incompetent leader, but it also portrays the inefficiency in the government, where no one knows who is accountable for what. If you are an effective leader, instead of blaming the issue on your own department (or employees), you should take the complete ownership of the problem, and present a public plan to resolve the issue, so that you can gain back the trust of your shareholders.

There are various other areas, where Obama has failed to be a leader, but in this blog I am only sharing some of the major issues from my perspective. If you want to be a better leader, you need to take responsibilities of all the actions in your team (or organization), you can’t pick and choose on what you would take responsibility of, and what you won’t.

Do you see any other leadership failures in the current administration? Are there any lessons, which you want to share with my readers here?

Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi

Advertisements
 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 5, 2013 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Can you win your team’s trust by blaming the upper management?


Blaming managementAs a line-manager, it becomes really tempting to distance yourself from your own superiors. It seems an easy option to win the hearts of your employees by blaming aggressive deadlines, overtime, and new process changes to the upper management’s initiative. Isn’t it? Does this mean that you have discovered a gold mine to develop a trust relationship between you and your team?

It’s not quite that easy. If you want to create bonding with your employees then there are other avenues to do so instead of creating this bonding over being a victim of the upper management together. By blaming all the unfavoring decisions to your upper management, you are eventually damaging the confidence of your team. Some of the side effects may be…..

1. High turnover: Your team will feel that they can’t trust the organization anymore, and hence, they will start looking for their next career move.

2. Team stagnation: Due to the negative perception of the upper management, your team will think that their inputs are not valuable in the organization. Thus, they will stop providing their valuable inputs to you, and hence, they won’t be able to provide any value to the organization.

3. Loss of respect: Even though you started blaming the upper management for all the negative decisions to build the trust between you and your team, you won’t be able to help yourself from losing the respect of your team. Due to your negative publicity of the upper management, your own team members will think that you are weak and powerless in the organization. And hence, their respect for you will decrease over time.

Thus, when you think that the easiest escape from your team’s negativity is to blame the upper management, then think twice. Don’t ever use phrases like…..“I don’t know why we’re doing this”, “no one ever consults with me on these new initiatives”, “I disagree with this upper management’s decision as well” etc.

A true leader should have the courage to represent the upper management and their views. If you disagree with their decisions, then instead of blaming them in front of your team members, confront them, try to understand the reasons behind those decisions. And remember……by blaming your superiors, you are not going to build any relationships, you will only lose respect of your team.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leadership DON’Ts: Learn from leadership mistakes in the Benghazi attack


Attack on Benghazi ConsulateRecently, I have been seeing a lot of news stories about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. This issue is definitely older, but how the White House handled this issue can teach us few things about leadership. In this blog, I am going to view this incident through the leadership glasses, and provide you with few tips on “what not to do”.

Don’t act on partial information: Through different news conferences, e-mails, and the number of congress hearings, it had become clear that the White House spoke too soon about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. If White House was trying to hide this issue, then its a different story; but let’s assume that the conspiracy about White House lying to the public is wrong. Even then, it is clear that White House had changed its talking points multiple times. If they didn’t have the complete information at that time, then they shouldn’t have spoke anything about that issue at all. Sometimes, its ok to give no answer, if you don’t have the correct information. Though there will be an eagerness to get those answers quickly, by not giving those answers on partial information, you (as a leader) will be avoiding lot of confusion in the future (like Obama administration is dealing with currently).

Take the first hand feedback: I am not a proponent of the theory that Hillary Clinton lied to the american public. But it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that the communication protocols defined for the disastrous situation like this were poorly implemented. Transparency was definitely missing in the equation. Talking points about the event were made by people, who didn’t have any idea on what was going on. Even if those points were made by administrative people, they should have been reviewed by the people on the ground. Let’s take this for an example……as a leader you implement a completely new process in your organization, and never care to see how it is going. Will that be acceptable? If so, how will you measure your success? Since there was no feedback loop attached to this action, of course the results from this new initiative won’t mean anything to you, since you can’t compare it with any baseline. And hence, there won’t be any mechanism through which you can find out the success/failure of this new process.

Find the root cause first: When Hillary Clinton said “What difference does it make?”, I was stunned by her response. Even if I neglect the fact that no one can do anything about the people who have died in that attack, how they died makes a huge difference in this case. Let’s look at this from a different perspective. Remember the famous example of “iPhone 4 antenna problem”? Initially it was thought to be the network issue with ATT, and then they realized that the issue was due to the new metal cover of iPhone 4. And hence, they produced a workaround on the iPhone side, instead of trying to strengthen the ATT network worldwide or changing the carrier through which iPhone was provided exclusively. What would have happened, if they didn’t identify the real issue, and kept blaming on the ATT network? In that case, the issue wouldn’t have resolved, and future customers would have kept seeing the same issue. Similarly, if we don’t find out the root cause of this Benghazi issue, we can’t secure our US consulate in other countries in the future.

Well……there are various other leadership “not to do” lessons that you can learn from this incident, but I would like to stop here for this particular blog. If you think that you have few other examples/points that you would like to share here, then feel free to drop your comments.

Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: