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I setup Synergy Management Associates ( in 1993 as a center for promoting business excellence through its training and consulting services We have promoted innovative managment ideas, managing senior level projects and for delivering creative client solutions across business segments. We has shown time-tested capacity to build "Peak Performance Organisations" . by Designing Business Excellence Models, Audit and Design HRD Systems, Implement Performance Management Systems. I have been called “disruptive thought leader in the boardroom ” or “contra rebel” for my tangential thinking and ideas to improvise business vision and policy as a corporate advisor; I have helped young managers business scions and young entrepreneurs (who wish to become future CEOs) through my META+COACH MODEL. I have been called “performance turnaround specialist” by the sales managers for the quantum improvement Direct Marketing Campaigns and Steping -up Salesforce Effectiveness, I found time to be a visiting professor and seminar leader at India's premier management institutes and Chamber of and a keynote speaker for numerous conferences & seminars.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Leaders should actively try to identify the level of engagement in their organization, find the reasons behind the lack of full engagement, strive to eliminate those reasonsI


THE giant steps TO


An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work. Truly engaged employees are attracted to, and inspired by, their work (“I want to do this”), committed (“I am dedicated to the success of what I am doing”), and fascinated (“I love what I am doing”). Engaged employees care about the future of the company and are willing to invest the discretionary effort – exceeding duty’s call – to see that the organization succeeds in tackling a shortage of skilled employees which is  an emerging trend.


We believe that the CEO must be concerned about the level of engagement in the workplace. Most recent research by global consulting firms indicate that:
·       Only  30 percent of employees are actively engaged in their jobs. These employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. People that are actively engaged help move the organization forward.
·       50% of employees are not engaged. These employees have essentially “checked out,” sleepwalking through their workday and putting time – but not passion – into their work. These people the common jest “Never mistake activity for accomplishment.”
·       20% of employees are actively disengaged. These employees are busy acting out their unhappiness, undermining what their engaged co-workers are trying to accomplish.

Given these data, it is not difficult to understand that companies that do a better job of engaging their employees do outperform their competition.


Employee engagement can not only make a real difference, THEY BELIEVE THAT THEY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE it can set the great organizations apart from the merely good ones.
o    85% percent of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact the quality of their organization’s products, compared with only 30 percent of the disengaged.
o   70 percent of highly engaged employees believe they can positively affect customer service, versus 25 percent of the disengaged.
o   65 percent of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact costs in their job or unit, compared with just 20percent of the disengaged.


How can leaders engage employees’ heads, hearts, and hands? The literature offers several avenues for action; we summarize these basic steps for employee engagement

1. LEADERS MUST SHOW THAT THEY VALUE EMPLOYEES Employee-focused initiatives such as profit sharing and implementing work–life balance initiatives are important. However, if employees’ relationship with their managers is messed-up, then no amount of perks will persuade employees to perform at top levels. Employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with the boss. Employees look at whether organizations and their leader walk the talk when they proclaim that, “Our employees are our most valuable asset.”

2. CHALLENGING AND MEANINGFUL WORK WITH OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT. Leaders should provide challenging and meaningful work with opportunities for career advancement. Most people want to do new things in their job. For example, do organizations provide job rotation for their top talent? Are people assigned stretch goals? Do leaders hold people accountable for progress? Are jobs enriched in duties and responsibilities? Good leaders challenge employees; but at the same time, they must instill the confidence that the challenges can be met. Not giving people the knowledge and tools to be successful is unethical and de-motivating; it is also likely to lead to stress, frustration, and, ultimately, lack of engagement.

What we see is a whole mess of people going to a cricket match and nobody is telling them what the rules are. … don’t use information to intimidate, control or manipulate people. Use it to teach people how to work together to achieve common goals and thereby gain control over their lives.
People want to understand the vision that senior leadership has for the organization, and the goals that leaders or departmental heads have for the division, unit, or team. Success in life and organizations is, to a great extent, determined by how clear individuals are about their goals and what they really want to achieve. In sum, employees need to understand what the organization’s goals are, why they are important, and how the goals can best be attained. Clarity about what the organization stands for, what it wants to achieve, and how people can contribute to the organization’s success is not always evident.

Good leaders establish processes and procedures that help people master important tasks and facilitate goal achievement. There is a great anecdote about a legendary sports coach. He showed how important feedback – positive and constructive – is in the pursuit of greatness. Among the secrets of his phenomenal success was that he kept detailed diaries on each of his players. He kept track of small improvements he felt the players could make and did make. At the end of each practice, he would share his thoughts with the players. The lesson here is that good leaders work daily to improve the skills of their people and create small wins that help the team, unit, or organization perform at its best.

5. BUSINESS LEADERS CAN LEARN TO CONGRATULATE Surveys show that, over and over, employees feel that they receive immediate feedback when their performance is poor, or below expectations. These same employees also report that praise and recognition for strong performance is much less common. Exceptional leaders give recognition, and they do so a lot; they coach and convey.

They want to be sure they are contributing to the organization’s success in a meaningful way. Companies which tried to measure performance have found a few obvious conclusions...First, an employee’s understanding of the connection between her work – as evidenced by specific job-relevant behaviors – and the strategic objectives of the company had a positive impact on job performance. Second, an employee’s attitude towards the job and the company had the greatest impact on loyalty and customer service than all the other employee factors combined. Third, improvements in employee attitude led to improvements in job-relevant behavior; this, in turn, increased customer satisfaction and an improvement in revenue growth. In sum, good leaders help people see and feel how they are contributing to the organization’s success and future.

 Employees value control over the flow and pace of their jobs and leaders can create opportunities for employees to exercise this control. Do leaders consult with their employees with regard to their needs? Are leaders flexible and attuned to the needs of the employees as well as the organization? Do leaders involve employees in decision-making, particularly when employees will be directly affected by the decision? Do employees have a say in setting goals or milestones that are deemed important? Are employees able to voice their ideas, and does leadership show that contributions are valued?
A feeling of “being in on things,” and of being given opportunities to participate in decision making often reduces stress; it also creates trust and a culture where people want to take ownership of problems and their solutions. There are numerous examples of organizations whose implementation of an open-book management style and creating room for employees to contribute to making decisions had a positive effect on engagement and organizational performance. Initiatives such as Six Sigma are dependent, in part, on the active participation of employees on the shop floor.

8. FOSTER A ROBUST TEAM CLIMATE Studies show that, when employees work in teams and have the trust and cooperation of their team members, they outperform individuals and teams which lack good relationships. Great leaders are team builders; they create an environment that fosters trust and collaboration. Surveys indicate that being cared about by colleagues is a strong predictor of employee engagement. Thus, a continuous challenge for leaders is to rally individuals to collaborate on organizational, departmental, and group goals, while excluding individuals pursuing their self-interest.

H R professionals have argued that competitive advantage can be gained by creating an engaged workforce. The data and argument that that we present above are a compelling case why leaders need to make employee engagement one of their priorities. Leaders should actively try to identify the level of engagement in their organization, find the reasons behind the lack of full engagement, strive to eliminate those reasons, and implement behavioral strategies that will facilitate full engagement. These efforts should be ongoing. Employee engagement is hard to achieve and if not sustained by leaders it can wither with relative ease

Best of luck
Dr Wilfred Monteiro

Monday, December 15, 2014

Your opinion about how you think your behavior affects others isn't sufficient. The reason these behaviors recur is that you're not aware of what you're doing.

Leadership Styles: 
recognize your blind spots

What is leadership? Let us define leadership in practical terms –characteristics that are indispensable for any leader to possess, in order to genuinely build a high performance organization, and as a consequence of this, a truly sustainable competitive advantage

Hence, the understanding of a leadership skill is not an intangible concept floating on the air such as charm, appeal, or charisma – these are theoretical beliefs that are susceptible of different and subjective interpretations. Leadership is about observable, actual, and unmistakable behaviors – it is about knowing exactly what organizational levers to use; it is about identifying a reasonable number of priorities that will have the greatest possible impact on the success of your organization.
You control a bull by grabbing it by its horns, to make it jump – and even soar – according to your dexterity.We define leadership as having the specific skills that allow you to grab your organization by its horns in order to make it soar – to reach organizational peak performance.

What are leadership blind spots?...

These are unproductive behaviors that are hidden from yourself  but are glaring to everyone else, mainly your followers and your business rivals . The good news is that through self-awareness you can work on “the weaker parts” of yourself and unleash your individual talents and uniqueness in all arenas of your life. To succeed as a manager, you need to learn how to recognize your leadership blind spots and overcome them. Too often, leaders demonstrate behaviors that let down their success and consequently both their team and their organization.

 You can't do anything about your leadership blind spots until you can recognize them when they occur. The first step is to ask others for their candid feedback. Refer THE JOHARI WINDOW  (named after the first names of its inventors: Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, “Of Human Interaction” -Mayfield Publishing Co., Palo Alto, CA: 1969) a superb instrument for understanding your behaviour patters and the need for cross ventilation of ideas and feedback in order to help you to grow through interpersonal transactions
 Our leadership blind spots could create bad and unintended consequences: They corrupt decision-making, reduce our scope of awareness, create enemies,  divide teams into warring camps, destroy careers, and sabotage business results.  Becoming more self-aware is not always easy or fun, however. Individuals must be completely honest with themselves, and this requires patience and perseverance.
No one is immune to leadership blind spots, of course. But leaders are particularly vulnerable. It's enough that they must often navigate massive change and cope with stressful situations every day. But add to this the overpowering belief that many leaders shoulder: "I should have all the answers, I should know what to do, and I should be able to handle challenges alone."

For many, the need to be right becomes much stronger than the need to be effective. And only the most confident leaders are willing to surround themselves with people who will point out what they're doing wrong—and be rewarded for their honesty. More often, everyone is forced to endure the boss' weaknesses in silence.

Leadership blind spots are not flaws; nor are they malicious. They are automatic behaviors. The real culprits are not the blind spots themselves. The problem is when they are unidentified and mismanaged.

There are  three  leadership blind spots that persistently knock people off the career ladder and undermine organizational performance. Below are ones that I have come across most often in my work as a management consultant

Go it alone Syndrome

The first is the instinct to go it alone. In my experience, that is the No. 1 blind spot. It's an obvious danger, when dealing with  outwardly self-sufficient, independent leaders , but inwardly have low self esteem and therefore  have a need to be perceived as strong and tough. If you have a tendency to shoulder the burdens of life by yourself and unintentionally exclude others—colleagues, friends, and even family—then you need to be aware that this is a blind spot.

Some of the symptoms of going-it-alone include rejecting offers of support, refusing to ask for help, not talking about your stress, pressure, or anxiety, isolating and withdrawing in group situations, and not including others in your thinking or in decision-making.

You may think that your independent streak is a sign of strength. In actual fact, your behavior leaves others feeling frustrated, angry, and devalued. People view you as missing in action and acting as a team of one. Instead of empowering your team, you undercut it by refusing to share responsibilities, information, and decision-making. Your employees lose their enthusiasm, and you lose their support.

Impact Unawareness/ Insensitivity
The second blind spot that I have frequently encountered  is the tendency of leaders to be insensitive to their impact on others. They're simply unaware of the damage their behavior can create. They have a low threshold for picking up on the reactions of others, perhaps because they have never bothered themselves too much with what others think.

The potential dangers of insensitivity become more critical when you are in a position of importance eg Head of a Dept / SBU head or finally even the CEO. Suddenly, you control the destiny of people around you. If you're making repeated blunders that you don't even see, there's little option for your team but to walk out the door.

If this blind spot applies to you, your intentions may be positive but your behavior is ineffective. The rub is that people judge you by your behavior, not by your intentions. Symptoms include expecting others to respond the same way you do, not recognizing cultural differences, and dismissing feedback from others about your behavior.

When you are insensitive to others, people tend to withdraw their trust. They'll work around you. At best, they may tolerate you. Others may marginalize you and, if they can, ultimately fire you. Sensitivity isn't about being soft.It's about being aware of the signals and needs and contributions of the people around you. It's critical to effective leadership.

Avoiding Difficult/Open Dialogue
Finally, I'm frequently struck by the tendency of many managers to avoid difficult dialogue. This might seem odd when the previous two blind spots may evoke the image of a boss who doesn't particularly care about what people think. But the truth is that most of us dislike feeling uncomfortable or creating discomfort in others.

 The fear among some managers is that conflict that will escalate, or a relationship that cannot be recovered. Some resort to less obvious ways of making their dissatisfaction known. These include the organization grapevine…who then assumes the importance of the organisation’s conscience keeper.

If this is one of your leadership blind spots, you have a dilemma: what you cannot talk about, you cannot resolve. When you avoid tough dialogues, problems are repeated and issues escalate. Worse, your behavior sends a message that unacceptable behavior or performance will be tolerated in the organization. You essentially give poor performers the same treatment as your stars and, worse, the people on your team don't really know where they stand.

Symptoms include softening your message, talking in generalizations instead of providing specific examples, and expecting others to read between the lines instead of actually telling them where they're falling short.

When you avoid difficult dialogues, you are not doing anyone a favor. People may be confused by your mixed messages. They don't understand why they're passed over for plum assignments or promotions because no one has confronted them about their work. They think you don't notice. Everyone else thinks you don't care.

Your opinion about how you think your behavior affects others isn't sufficient. The reason these behaviors recur is that you're not aware of what you're doing. Second, take accountability for your impact and stop justifying your behavior by defending your positive intentions. Third, in the absence of a structured process, ask those who do see certain weaknesses to coach you the moment your blind spot surfaces. Finally, stop the behavior the instant you see it by acknowledging it. Be courageous and say something like: "I'm beating around the bush. Let me start again." Then, start again.
Your goal is not to be perfect. It's to check your blind spot and recover quickly. Furthermore, until you deal with your blind spot issues, business success cannot be fully achieved or enjoyed. By working on your self, success must follow. Ignoring your problems and repeating the same patterns is an unhealthy road to nowhere.