Team Leadership Excellence Newsletter
Vol.33 November 2014
Welcome to the thirty-third monthly newsletter.
What an amazing month. It was A ‘Roller Coaster’ of energy, learning and growth. While the month was well planned with work in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, I had to do some course alterations when I had to make an unplanned visit to London to be with my daughter Natasha who was hospitalised. Thankfully she is back to her normal routine now. I also had the opportunity to visit the Ashridge University to meet the faculty and to catch up with many friends and relatives during that short visit.
Here are my insights for the month …
A Great Decision Making Process for a Great Team!
In my blog post on the 7th of May 2014 titled ‘How great is your team?’ I promised to go into details of the eleven different aspects that make a great team. The first three aspects regarding ‘Burning Platforms’, ‘Team Alignment Around Critical Goals’ and ‘Does Your Team Have Clearly Agreed Ways of Working?’ have already been posted in this blog. Here is the fourth instalment regarding the 4th aspect; ‘A Clear Decision Making Process is Present’.
A good decision making process helps us to update each other regularly, consult each other early and work together to co-create value to our customer.
The first step in this process to identify the different decision making units in the team. A large organisation would have a board of directors, an executive leadership team, an operational leadership team, functional teams and cross functional teams that are responsible for key performance indicators and generally they also become the decision making teams. There could also be smaller decision making teams within a larger decision making team. Eg: While the marketing function may have a core team, there could be smaller decision making teams for each brand. Some members (generally senior members of the marketing function) may represent many brand teams.
The second step is to ensure that each decision-making team is clear about their scope of decision-making and authority levels. The scope could include a brand or a set of brands, a plant or a set of plants, a market or a set of markets, a time frame (long, medium and short term) etc. The authority levels could be defined in terms of money, time-frame, volume etc.
The third steps is to ensure that the process is geared to update all concerned about the decisions that need to be made from time to time, information pertaining to the decision, options available, the team taking the decision, time frame for submitting ideas, decisions made, decisions implemented and outcome of the decisions.
Click here to read the full blog post that includes the five steps in setting up a great decision making process.
Praefectus of Tough Love!
It was such an honour to be invited to write a message for the magazine to be published for the celebration of 50 years of priesthood for our beloved Father Stephen Abraham, former Principal of St Anthony’s Collage Kandy, Sri Lanka.
My first encounter with Father Stephen was when he spoke at the college assembly soon after taking over as the principal of St Anthony’s College Kandy. While I was not mature enough to know a good speech from a bad one, the tone of his voice and the charisma of his personality were electrifying. I cannot remember any of the words uttered by this great man given the passage of time but his personality made us have mixed feeling of hope, respect and fear.
Father Stephen was such an encouragement to us sportsmen of the college. I cannot remember any match that he was not present at. He would always give us a word of advice and encouragement if he meets us before a game and he would remember to acknowledge us when he meets us at assembly or in the corridor the next day. He also insisted that we focus on our studies and it was always a treat when he walked in to class during the absence of a teacher or take an occasional class.
I remember the encouragement and support he gave me when I was competing to get selected to represent Sri Lanka at the world youth forum and jamboree for Boy Scouts. My selection as one of two Sri Lankans to represent Sri Lanka at this event would not have been possible if not for Father Stephen.
I still remember the talk he gave us when I got selected as a prefect. He mentioned that the word ‘prefect’ comes form the Latin word praefectus, which means perfect participle. He wanted us to ensure that we are ‘perfect’ and become the best examples for the rest of the students we lead. Such inspirational words have definitely helped us to remember some of the principles that have helped us to become who we are today.
We always looked forward to go to Sunday Mass at the Sacred Heart Church as Father Stephen’s sermons were a treat to listen to. They were highly energetic, full of humour and always contained an inspirational message.
When he spoke to us he always had a sparkle, a mischievous smile in his eyes. Seeing this despite the fear we had for him due to his tough exterior, powerful voice and the stories of punishment he would dish out to the troublemakers in college made me have a deep feeling of respect and gratitude towards him.
I used to wonder how he finds the time to do all this and now I know that for a person passionate about what he does, there will always be time to do what is important.
Father Stephen was a praefectus of tough love.
Two blog posts was published during this month taking the total to 67.
Excerpts of the blog posts can be read above.
To read the full blog posts visit www.ranjandesilva.wordpress.com
Photos of various events conducted by Ranjan and Sensei can be viewed at: http://www.ranjandesilva.net/#!gallery/cirw
14 articles have been published since the launch of this website . They are in the areas of leadership, teams, personal excellence, marketing and world affairs with relevance. Please click below to read them; http://www.ranjandesilva.net/#!articles/cp7n