Monday, 8 July 2013

Buffalo and Geese Leadership

Buffalo hunters had a trick to capture the herd.

They found out the leader of the herd and killed him. Once the leader was dead, the rest stood around waiting for instructions which never came and hunters could capture them easily. 

How do the Geese view the leader ?The Geese always fly together in a V formation. When the Leader is tired, another goose takes his position to lead. Each Goose is expected to take responsibility at some point in the flight.

While a leader is away, how does the team react ? Do they stand around waiting for instructions  like the herd of buffaloes or do they distribute the responsibility amongst themselves like the Geese ? More importantly, how does the leader react ? Is he too constantly on the phone, giving flurry of instructions and expecting things be done as per his wish even if he is not there physically ? These are the typical signs of distinguishing  organizations whether they have  Buffalo or Geese leadership. 

Organizations having Buffalo Leadership will not survive in today's global market.

The ultimate test of leadership is to check how well her team performs in the absence of the leader.  And this happens only when people are Empowered and adept at Self leadership.  Though these two words Empowerment and Self Leadership have been the buzzwords for some time, there are some barriers to implement them.  Knowledge is power. The managers control access to information as well as relationships to maintain power over their teams. The middle level managers should also be empowered and convinced that the better their teams perform it will add to their accomplishment too. Most Managers and Leaders feel that all the activities/work should be done only as per their way. 

"I am the boss " is the attitude and any disagreements or good suggestions are silenced immediately as it hurts their ego. 

Suppose, as a leader you feel that you have empowered your team . So how do you check whether  it has actually happened or not ? The following are some of the tests :

  • Does your team take initiative ? If the people are empowered, they will feel free to take initiatives and after proper discussions will see that action has been taken.
  • Do they think critically and find opportunities for improvement ?  Is your team fearless and identify weak areas which needs improvement ? If they are really empowered with a collective vision, they will look beyond immediate quick fixes and prevent future problems.
  • Does your team know what is expected of them and feels that they have the freedom to do their job well ?
  • Does your team feel that their manager/leader takes time to listen to their concerns and genuinely tries to take action  ? 
If  the answer to the above questions are "Yes " , then  you can be sure that the job will be done even if you are not around for sometime.  You can be proud of your empowered team !

So what do you think you have in your organization ? Buffalo Leaders  or Geese Leaders ?

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