How To Develop Yourself Holistically As A New Age HR Leader

Harban Singh

“In today’s fast changing economic environment, businesses have to maximize every asset, internal and external, that they can leverage. “
The new millennium has seen many new opportunities as well as new challenges in most sectors of business. With increased use of technology and globalization initiatives, there is no limit to an individual’s success, which previously was confined to mostly the shores of one’s nation. Along with such growth, it heralded stiffer competition and more political and economic challenges under the guise of rapid development and globalization.
As a result only the best organizations can survive in this 21st century.
Similarly the competition to succeed depends on the best effort from leaders and individuals that make up an organization. Malaysia, is one of the nations where there is a lot of thrust this area of human resource development under the 9th Malaysian plan.*)

What does it take for an individual manager to succeed and win in the current volatile environment?

Below are seven recognized efforts and initiatives to succeed and win:
Goals that fit to the strategic objectives.
All organizations today have a vision followed by strategic and operational plans. Simply translated, an individual need goals too that will serve as a road map. A winner knows exactly what he wants. Towards this direction nothing happens until a goal is established whether written or conceptualized. When the goal has been established all the energies, efforts and thinking can be directed towards this poignant aim. This was evident when the Gentings missionary leader Lim Goh Tong turned a jungle into one of the most significant “income generating city” in Malaysia.
Likewise how corporate leader Datuk Jeffrey Cheah converted waste land (former mining land) to a modern city in Sunway, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia was a legendary and unorthodox accomplishment.

A good manager knows that to win they have to plan ahead where preparation is the essence. As the saying goes: “Chance always favours a prepared mind”. The battle is half won with a concrete plan. Many Malaysians are not aware that one of the reasons for Nicol David’s sensational success (similar to the Koreans sports success) is the work rate seen during training. Nicol trains so hard physically and mentally that her preparations gives her the cutting edge over her competitors.
An effective individual will always have the burning desire to achieve and meet or exceed their expectations and this can only be realized by detailed preparations.

Lifelong learner.
To grow, a leader needs to change in accepting new concepts, competencies and knowledge. He needs to understand his strengths and weaknesses and development needs in order to put himself ahead of the game and capture a bigger slice of the growing business opportunities. Reading and application of current know-how is vital. Networking, linking, reading, attending courses, listening to management tapes are some of the avenues that they will pursue. They have coaches & mentors. A winner will need to review his attitude and remove any “baggage” that he carries. Knowledge is dynamic and changing rapidly. Conceived ideas of the past are no more acceptable. Today, the leaders of agricultural countries including India are realizing that dependence on old traditional methods is no longer acceptable. What constitutes a “world class irrigation” method in the past is no more acceptable today with increased use of creative and innovative bio technology approaches which needs less water and other resource which are fast depleting. Sustainable productivity is the key.

A leader will be willing to make a lot of sacrifices especially in “walking and going after the extra mile” to ensure the processes and mechanism of his business is in place to compete with the best. For example for a sales director this entails taking his weekend leisure time to analyze and review his competitor’s progress and “best practices”, especially if he has a vital strategic meeting deadline to meet. For a CEO it means taking time off for training retreats to develop his people to be more competent and upgrade their skills.
Winners are constantly willing to “stretch” their time to ensure the needs of the customers are being met and acted upon consistently to produce the desired results. Their tested time management practices which put “business before self” sets the tone.

Self fulfilling prophecy.
An effective leader always plays internal “psyche games” to reinforce his ambitions and beliefs and to overcome all his barriers whether real or perceived. He practices a winner’s mentality and mind set and a self fulfilling belief. This requires a good self esteem, confidence and a good character. He expects to win under most circumstances or take another alternative option immediately to realize his dreams. There is no value judgment more vital to a person—no factor more decisive in his psychological development and motivation—than the estimate he places on himself”. As Sun Tzu preaches “Most battles are won before they are fought.”

Today’s business environment requires adequate inter personal skills and maintaining good win-win relationship with your customers, subordinates, bosses and stakeholders. Being politically savvy, practicality and a “good presence of mind” to reach out to the masses in good or turbulent times are vital.
This requires a “give and take attitude” and constant contact with industry leaders to ensure there is “synergy and value” from these relationships.
Organizations provide clubs membership for a purpose and it should be utilized accordingly. Similarly join one that can add “value” to you and your family.

Integrity is honesty and a firm adherence to a code of ethical and moral values. In simple basic terms it is doing the right thing when you don’t have to.
This requires much dignity and the foundation of principles and doing the right thing irrespective of the situation. Jack Welch the former CEO of General Electric is a strong advocate of this standard and expects it to be of second nature to all GE employees. No wonder GE is among the most solid and valued companies in the Fortune 500 list of companies, much to the envy of their competitors.
As the saying goes: “Integrity leads and lasts.”