Keeping morale up in the face of competition

Keeping morale up in the face of competition

A leader has to play the role of a motivator and inspirer in bad times, writes Radhakrishnan Pillai.

A leader’s position is an eternally challenging one. While he has to ensure that due credit is given to all in good times, he also has to play the role of a motivator and inspirer in bad times.

Kautilya’s Arthashastra exhorts a king (leader) to ensure his people know how to tackle the challenges he will be giving them.

Chanakya said, “The conqueror, desirous of capturing the enemy’s fortified town, should fill his own side with enthusiasm.”

This couldn’t be more applicable in today’s corporate scenario.

While India Inc is on a roll with various mergers and acquisitions, they still need to be vigilant as they are moving like conquerors out to win over their competitors—just like in a war.

They have to be aware that, before they use their employees in their onward march, inspiring them is an essential step for success:

Understand uncertainty

When war is declared, soldiers start speculating about their king’s next move. That’s because all strategies cannot be openly communicated to everyone. This naturally festers doubt in the ranks.

This begets the typical human nature of thinking negatively rather than looking for benefits. As a leader, you have to understand this uncertainty and think of how to take your team into confidence.

Communicate and inspire

Once you have your plan to communicate your intentions to your team, do it calmly and clearly. Getting your team’s confidence is very important. No external motivational speaker can inspire a team the way its own leader can.

Also, it’s vital your team is acquainted with the firm’s vision and targets for them to move in the desired manner. The added advantage of this that employees get more inspired when their doubts are cleared.

This is essential to have optimum productivity from your team members. They will ensure you are never alone as both you and your team will have a common purpose.

Go forth and conquer

It’s these vision and leadership initiatives that finally make the winning moves.

Size doesn’t matter, planning does. Even Chanakya talks about how guerrilla warfare tactics can help the smallest but well-inspired team taking over huge armies through careful moves.

Indeed, a carefully planned strategy, an inspired team and the right leadership attitude are not only essential but also the only factors needed to win any war. But remember to share the benefits of the success with the team which helped you to get there.

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.


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