Don: Be pre­pared for volatile trends as well

New Straits Times - - Busi­ness -

KUALA LUMPUR: Against a back­drop of un­cer­tain­ties, lead­ers in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor must pre­pare peo­ple for the volatile trends, not just up­ward tra­jec­to­ries.

“Do not be hostage to the fear, uncer­tainty and change, but an­tic­i­pate, as best as you can, as there are al­ways un­ex­pected events,” said Pro­fes­sor Ge­orge Kohlrieser, who is pro­fes­sor of lead­er­ship and or­gan­i­sa­tional be­hav­iour at the IMD busi­ness school in Lausanne, Switzer­land, yes­ter­day.

Re­silience and the abil­ity to bounce back is im­por­tant for any lead­er­ship and that in­cludes go­ing beyond risk-tak­ing and be­ing will­ing to en­gage in pain and con­flicts.

He ad­mit­ted that many po­lit­i­cal lead­ers’ mind­sets have spilled over to the busi­ness world.

A lot of peo­ple have been left out of the ben­e­fits, but there is a large group that feels left out, which has led to po­lit­i­cal swings to the right, based more on grief than the be­lief of the ide­ol­ogy.

“Po­lit­i­cal lead­ers have to fo­cus on in­clud­ing peo­ple and spread the wealth, and give op­por­tu­ni­ties, for ex­am­ple in ed­u­ca­tion, par­tic­u­larly in vo­ca­tional train­ing and ap­pren­tice train­ing,” he said.

Trust is fun­da­men­tal, and re­search glob­ally shows that it is one of the most “lost com­mod­ity”. It af­fects not only po­lit­i­cal lead­ers but also or­gan­i­sa­tions and the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

“Many jobs are un­ful­filled be­cause peo­ple are not trained and lead­ers are not lead­ing the way they should.”

Kohlrieser, who is au­thor of the best-sell­ing book “Hostage at the Ta­ble: How Lead­ers Can Over­come Con­flict, In­flu­ence Oth­ers, and R a i s e P e r f o rmance”, ex­plained that be­ing held hostage meant that the per­sons are feel­ing vic­timised, pow­er­less and not hav­ing access to op­por­tu­ni­ties.

In the cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment filled with dis­rup­tors like Uber and Ama­zon, it is im­por­tant to m a i n t a i n e ntrepreneu­r­ship and to “keep rein­vent­ing your­self and cap­i­talise on your fu­ture knowl­edge”, he added.

Getting in­sights into cus­tomers is the name of the mar­ket­ing rule to­day un­like the past when all prod­ucts were mar­kets re­gard­less of whether they were needed or not.

Mahin­dra of In­dia is us­ing the in­sights strat­egy to sell trac­tors to farm­ers.

“Don’t get caught off guard. It is im­por­tant to build re­la­tion­ships with the con­sumers and un­der­stand their chang­ing needs.”

In his talk on “High Per­for­mance Lead­er­ship in Times of Changes and Uncer­tainty” at the Se­cu­ri­ties Com­mis­sion yes­ter­day, Kolhrieser stressed on the im­por­tance of per­cep­tion.

He warned that those who were over fo­cused on the ben­e­fits of suc­cess or meet­ing key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors would lose the joy of learn­ing. Rupa Damodaran

Pro­fes­sor Ge­orge Kohlrieser

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