Editor’s Note: Slam Dunk!




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What does it really mean to win?

In recent years, I have started watching loads of basketball and football games. It’s remarkable how personalities reveal themselves so vividly during team sports.

In the young players, I can see how their coaches have played a role in molding them – whether they “play nice” allowing others to bask in the glory if it means the team as a whole wins, or perpetually stealing the limelight even when other players are better positioned to score.

On building future leaders, Roshan Thiran stresses the importance of the three triggers of leadership: moral character, performance character and vision.

When things don’t go well, athletes also reveal their dark sides – playing the blame game, or being somewhat delusional of their own abilities (Roshan’s article on self-evaluation highlights perfect examples of these!).

Sometimes, I feel that the word ‘sportsmanship’ has dropped out of the lexicon of some “athletes”.

On a related note, Morag Barrett shares with us the value of nurturing professional relationships. More on relationship-building, Joseph Tan addresses senior leaders, providing great insights on how to go about mapping and mobilising our stakeholder universe.

For teammates who still love the game and strive to improve their performance, eventually they realise the toxic environment would do them no good. And they move on.

In the workplace, this is akin to starting with talent that begins 100% engaged, but being exposed to less-than-ideal situations, become disenfranchised, disillusioned and then, well, they disappear.

In our respective organisations, during good times and bad, how do we work together? As leaders, how do we communicate with our people? Do we take the time to first develop a working environment that can quickly assess and respond to situations, empower our people to speak up and step up to own a problem and collectively work on the solution? Do we envision this, but not dismantle old processes and structures that stand in the way?

At Leaderonomics, I definitely see an evolved organisation that seeks to improve every day. Our leaders have the humility for self-awareness at an organisational level (here I go anthropomorphising again!) – recognising that when things are not right, action must be, and is taken.

While we strive to find jobs we are passionate about, the organisations we work for can play a big role in that journey – by investing time and effort to discover the strengths of its people, building on them and even pointing their people to different positions within the organisation that are a better match to their strengths. The people win. The organisation wins. Ultimately, the customers will also win.

So take the time to talk to the people in your organisation – it could be your workplace, the charity you volunteer at, your own family unit. Discovering how you can be the best you can be as a team is an exhilarating challenge that chalks up wins for all.

Have a fantastic weekend!


Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 21 March 2015

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