Forbes Middle East


How The Art Of Leadership Lies In Readiness To Respond

Sreedhar Bevara
How The Art Of Leadership Lies In Readiness To Respond

Paying attention to moments of signals doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will succeed at every effort. However, it can only help in dealing with the situations better and that must be the core objective. The readiness to respond to a situation is a critical factor in leadership. Spontaneity is one thing, but readiness is another. Readiness means being alert to why and how such a situation has arisen. That essentially means a leader must remain absolutely vigilant to all parts of it.

Being able to respond isn’t an act of courage or bravery. It is an act of sensibility and necessity. That requires a full view of the issue. There’s no panic, no chaos, and no disruptive decisions either, that may prove fatal. Readiness itself speaks to a 360-degree view and that is all we need in the pursuit of progress. If challenges are imminent and unavoidable, there’s only one thing that truly shines out and that is the leader’s readiness to respond. That’s the basis of true leadership.

The response is the first step of decision-making. Actions require decisions to be made. So, readiness to respond is critical. Readiness is a perfect blend of the awareness of the situation, the ability to address it, and having an action-oriented approach.

Awareness of the situation serves as the main fuel in the process of addressing it. However, this being a constant need, it demands that a leader be on top of relevant things, irrespective of the time. So, the interpretation of things can take shape, closer to the realistic form. Awareness, even though interlinked with both ability and approach, remains a driving force for all decision-makers.

The ability to address a situation refers to the use of resources in an optimized scale—man, money, material, machine and minutes. It’s not just about knowing how to do something but about the ability to do it, and for that resource management plays a vital role. What one can use at a given point in time must always precede the actions, no matter what our ambition for the long term is.

After getting a grasp on the situation and assessing your ability to address it through your available resources, it will now be all about your approach or method. What should be the method and how should I approach it? The methodology is often powered by awareness and ability. The capability allows you to take the best approach among the alternatives.

This completes the readiness to respond and all this is prerequisite to sound decision-making. Of course, it is common sense that readiness doesn’t prompt decisions and actions in every case. However, it remains the fundamental trait of leaders to be able to act. Most of these steps do not work in a simple sequential and predictable manner. Instead, they work in a complexly linear manner, but at various speeds, as everything is largely connected to the external landscape, over which no one has control.

Sreedhar is an alumna of IIM Ahmedabad and is currently General Manager at Panasonic. Sreedhar’s latest book "Moment of Signal" was launched in New York City in 2018.

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