People driven leadership – creating beautiful music in the workplace

Organisations are much like an orchestra – various musical instruments played at once and in harmony with the ultimate goal of creating beautiful music. An organization without the right leaders is akin to an orchestra without a conductor. In such an orchestra, each musician plays their own tune at their own time and disharmony becomes the order of the day. For an organisation to successfully achieve its objectives, it requires, among other things, strong capable leadership with a clear vision.

Leaders are not only there to make strategic decisions that drive revenue and profits. They are also responsible for inspiring, motivating and leading the employees in the organization, who execute the strategy that makes it possible to achieve profits and deliver value to shareholders. Having the right people to lead organisations is, therefore, a key ingredient to success.

The conductor of an orchestra must lead, direct, and inspire to ensure that all instruments are in sync in order to deliver a musical piece successfully. That is no easy feat. It requires practice and dedication by everyone involved. Importantly, it requires commitment by the conductor, as the leader, to every single member of the orchestra to ensure that each of them is inspired to perform at their best. A standing ovation from the audience is not guaranteed in the absence of the above. Likewise, leaders are accountable for ensuring that their organisations are not characterized by disharmony and a lack of motivation among the workforce.

Organisations hire talented people with skills that they require to enable them to achieve their goals and objectives. These people need to be led in a manner that ensures that the organisational purpose for which they are hired is achieved. However, their individual goals are also important and cannot be ignored. This is especially the case with the younger generation who perceive the world differently to their older colleagues and have very specific key drivers and motivators.

Individual goals should be discussed and understood by leaders to ensure that they can be achieved within the organization, thereby giving rise to the individual professional growth of its people. It is also important also that individual goals align with the overall organisational strategy and its goals and objectives. This does not happen magically. It requires effort, conscious thought, and sincere will by leaders if it is to be achieved.

One of the instruments available to organisational leaders in the fourth industrial revolution is technology. It is a positive thing and is necessary for our development as people and for the development of organisations. Technology will not replace people entirely, especially professionals and people with unique skills, but it will enhance their roles in that it will enable people to deliver greater value more efficiently. For progressive organisations that encourage their people to be innovative and to think out of the box, technology will free up time for creative thinking which will lead to even greater innovation, allowing everyone in the organisation to work in harmony to deliver success.

It is therefore important for organisations to seek out technologies that can assist employees to perform at their best. The right investments are required in this regard; however, organisations should not forget to continuously invest in their people who all have their own unique role to play in the organisational orchestra that is the workplace.

Munya Gwanzura is an in-house lawyer, commercial mediator, thought leader and motivational speaker.

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