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In Search Of The Right Balance

The author has illustrated and given guidelines how to obtain the above by giving a routemap, creating a plan, identifying the brand purpose and emphasising the same to the employees, determining the company values

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A flower blooms where it is cherished, even a healthy sapling dies if not taken care of. It is a universal truth that positive guidance, nourishment and encouragement are some of the essential ingredients to bring out the best, to obtain their optimum potential. And these are the same qualities that are mandatory in a mentor or a department head, if she or he intends to help their colleagues in a work place. However, in the process of guidance and mentoring, too, there are enough hurdles. For instance, you observe that if employees are encouraged and empowered with decision making, the direction taken by each might not be the same and streamlined. But if a leader takes all the decisions, the direction everyone heads probably remains the same, but in this case, the full potential of each individual/ employee might not be utilised. So what method should a leader follow while mentoring a colleague and also not lose focus on the long-term goals of the organisation?

The solution to this question forms the crux of the book Leading With Purpose: How to Engage, Empower and Encourage Your People to Reach Their Full Potential by Marc Koehler, president of Lead With Purpose, an organisation  dedicated to helping people leading a more purposeful life. Koehler has also  worked as an officer with the US Nuclear Submarine Force, and it is this experience and rigorous routines with the US Navy – of running several operations, training to be qualified to man all stations in a submarine – that he brings with him while helping companies find this balance.  

It is the author’s professional experience that reflects in the book and this is true with Koehler’s case too. With over a decade of experience as a turnaround CEO/COO reviving many companies and more than 30 years of leadership experience, the author has developed some tools and best practices tapping his vast experiences, using which any person can become a better leader. For instance, Koehler lists three keys to align everyone to work towards the same goal - Engage, Empower and Encourage. He says that these are the failproof keys that will enable the leader or an employee to attain their full potential and, in turn, help the progress of the organisation.

How one goes about engaging the employees towards the vision and mission of the company, empowering them with knowledge of what is expected of them and how they can make a difference in their own way and also encouraging them to take the steps towards their own success and thereby the company’s success forms the summary of the book.

The author has illustrated and given guidelines how to obtain the above by giving a routemap, creating a plan, identifying the brand purpose and emphasising the same to the employees, determining the company values, defining the vision for the company, analysing the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and keeping all the above in mind setting the long-term goals, both individual and company goals. These timebound sessions advised by the author seem to the right path to attain the goals and could result in comprehensive and measurable positive results across geographies.

Managers and executives in Indian firms, especially the leaders heading the companies in the SME sector, who are only focussed on long-term goals, could pause and realign their vision using this book.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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magazine 10 November 2018 book review

Aparna Tadimety

The author is a freelance contributor

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