Management lessons from Modi @ Madison

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A lot has been said about Modi’s speech at Madison. He enthralled the 20,000 crowd with his gripping speech and by the end of it he was being hailed as a rock star. Bono, Beyonce and The Beatles have all played at Madison

I got myself thinking about what he does differently and how he manages to garner such attention and adulation. When I thought about the qualities he displayed, they were very similar to what all good leaders demonstrate.

Sincerity
When Modi spoke he appeared sincere. Sincerity is the virtue of one who speaks and acts truly about his or her own feelings, thoughts, and desires. A good leader should always try to be sincere and must earnestly believe in what she or he speaks and does. The only way a leader can become sincere, or work towards sincerity, is by speaking the truth and acting in accordance with his true feelings at all times

Make promises
Once you make a promise you have to keep it too. As managers we should not shy away from making a promise. I personally believe that all of us can keep our promises, if we really want to. We just have to make sure that we don’t forget them. Writing them down could help. Modi promised that he will make the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards, life time cards. I understand that since then it has already been done and a according to a Gazette notification recently issued they are now valid for the lifetime of the cardholder, instead of 15 years. Promise made, promise kept
Apparently, systems are in also place to introduce visa on arrival for US tourists in October itself. Another one of the promises he made.
Upholding a promise takes a lot of work & commitment. Managers have to be willing to do that work, no matter what and when you fulfill the promise the gratification you get is immense.

Praise
Modi lauded the Indian expatriates residing in the United States. He said India’s status and respect has risen in the eyes of the world because of their hard work and the efforts put in by them
As a leader and manager it is your responsibility to motivate and encourage your employees to improve their performance and strive for excellence. Praise should be specific and if possible tied to their action to the goal. (“Thanks for completing that project report in less than 48 hours. I really appreciate the commitment & hard work you put in, especially since the client requested that we deliver it sooner as a special case.”)
Praising employees is an extremely powerful motivator especially since it builds employee morale & self-esteem.  When employees are complimented, they get a get a warm, fuzzy, magical feeling inside.  This makes the employ want to look for more ways to perform better as they understand how it feels to be praised.

Inspire
Listening to Modi was inspiring, he gave you the confidence that India was in safe hands, at least for the time being. He inspires by continuously being a good role model. Until now he has indeed ‘walked the talk’ To inspire is to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Inspiring leaders believe that success serves a higher purpose. When you ask what motivates them, they always talk about making other people successful. Employees want a leader who pays attention and genuinely cares about them. Providing constructive feedback and helping them perform will inspire the employees to do better.

Share goals
Modi displayed a lot of gusto, passion and enthusiasm when he shared with the 20,000 strong crowd and the millions watching him on TV, his goals and vision for India
Modi’s call for ‘the ‘Swachh Bharat Andolan’, ‘Make in India’ initiative drew a lot of positive responses and people hope that the ‘Make in India’ initiative will bring in lots of investors to make India a more happening and more prosperous place. There was also the ‘Clean Ganga’ initiative the PM’s pet project. Both the goals look seemingly realistic
When managers share goals with their team, it increases their levels of involvement. Employees start believing in it and treat it like it’s a common goal that everyone is setting out to achieve. Sharing the goal and declaring them publicly also creates a certain sense of accountability that increases the desire and motivation to achieve them
When an elderly lady was asked what she thought about Modi’s speech, she said “His speech was very practical, whatever he was saying it is achievable and I think everybody can participate. Exactly like goals should be.

Humour & Humility
While Modi captivated the audience with his humility and sincerity he also showed a marvelous sense of humour and was also surprisingly, very playful. In leaders, humour and humility go hand in hand. While managers have to show self confidence, with humility they show that that they have their feet firmly on the ground.
Humour is great for team building. Laughing together creates a sense of bonding and builds a cooperative and cohesive culture. In crisis situations it also helps employees relax and they are able to think more clearly and reflect better. Problem solving becomes easier with a clear mind
While having a good sense of humour is not a must for success as a manager, studies suggest humour leads to creativity, better personal interactions and workplaces that are simply more fun.”

For the record I am not Modi’s biggest fan and thrive on taking the anti Modi stance over drinks with friends, but then, you’ve got to give it to the guy, so far at least….

By Krish Hanumanthu

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