Indus Special with Meshal Malik | Are Leaders Born Or Made? | Ep 168 | Indus News

hello and welcome to in this special I'm Michelle Malek we live in a rapidly changing world entangled in a web of ideas and surrounded by many competing interests in all of this a sense of uncertainty prevails now more than ever good leadership is needed to inspire and direct but when we talk about leaders we often focus on those leading nations and forget about the people who from classrooms to small businesses make valuable impact and help communities move forward on tonight's show we talk about what it means to be an effective and impactful leader we also discuss the new eight challenges confronting those in leadership positions and how they can help and how they can deal with these ideas to explore this topic we welcome to the show professors Jayne strugglin he specializes and engineers develop leadership abilities and is the author of the book the making of an expert engineer he's joining us from Indonesia we also welcome miss Suzanne Matson who's the project leadership coach and consultant she's also the author of the book the project management coaching workbook and the power of project leadership she's joining us from London thank you both for joining us and welcome to this show mrs. Anne let me begin with you now when we talk about good leaders there are a few names that pop into our heads for example Steve Jobs Bill Gates Mark Zuckerberg and we often think that these leaders had something in born with them within them something innate so tell us Kim good leaders be made as well or are they naturally only born to lead it's a very good question and I saw that you have Richard Branson dancing there featuring as well so you're quite right we think of these people as being born with certain skills leadership is an ongoing journey we learn throughout our lives and we can and we definitely should develop our leadership and hone those throughout our lives so leaders are made now does it mean that some people are born with some attributes and make them more inclined to be good leaders I would say yes so perhaps somebody richard branson if i if i may choose him as an example he may be born being particularly visionary or being particularly will articulate but that doesn't make somebody a leader necessarily think about introverts many introverts actually say oh i'm not a good leader i could never lead but that's not true many introverts become the best leaders but there is something perhaps they need to learn in addition so i very much like to think of leadership as something we can home throughout our lives right and you mentioned here that we can hone this a leadership quality throughout our lives and a tooth out professor james do you think that in the earlier you start the better and at what age should leadership quality start to become fostered and nurtured well sometimes you see this in the playground with little tiny children in my work with engineers what i've noticed is that most of them do have to develop leadership skills that many of them are not born communicators even but their first few hours even days in their first job presents them with them with the challenge that whatever the ideas they come up with as engineers somebody else has to put that into effect and so leading other people and getting them to follow you to develop your ideas and because lots of other people do things with their hands so much better than engineers but you've got to get them to understand what it is that you want and that's that's all about leadership right they won't necessarily call you that follow you if they don't respect you as a leader right and that's a very important thing that you mentioned here that when you want to get people to follow you they need to respect you as a leader and it seems nowadays there's always this tug in not just nowadays it's always been this how do command leadership instead of demanding being in the leading role how to command respect and authority from the people around you how do you think that can be done well it's it's in the literature it's called reference power power that comes with respect if partly it's the knowledge that you you are presumed to have but also it's your ability to relate to other people and that starts listening listening to other people understanding their ideas and enabling them to realize that they are being respected being listened to and that way you command their respect right and a mess right and miss Suzanne on that same point what do you think are the new wait challenges confronting leaders in this fast-paced world what do you think is something novel that they have to deal with I think there's a lot of topics there let me just first say that I'm so pleased that James mentioned actually listening to people and relating that there's other really big things because what we really need and leadership is that emotional intelligence piece and that is one of the things that we need more and more because the emotional intelligence is really what enables people to connect with those who they are leading leading is a voluntary thing you can't just you know demand that people follow you so also you mentioned earlier on in your introduction that we live in a fast changing world this increase in complexity people are interconnected everything is moving faster technological changes change is moving more rapidly than ever and so we live in this VUCA world so there's bucha world world is obviously and buzz what they'll be using there with everything is more complex as well so leaders need to adapt first of all in this world and there are many things have come with that being able to set the vision so first of all where are we going and the vision is not just set in stone and either demanding that the team follow that vision because things are interchangeable and what it means for leaders is we can't rely on one person a leader having all the answers it is not possible anymore because we live in this weaker world right more than ever before we to empower the team to rely on the team draw them in to build build the journey together because together we may have the answers right and miss Suzanne we're going to talk about that in greater depth but something that you mentioned here while you agreed with Professor James was that as degree of emotional intelligence is required in a good leader now I want your opinion on this and professor James opinion on this as well traditionally leadership in all sorts of forms has been seen as a masculine role it requires the sort of aggressiveness that's why when we would hear about these stereotypical arguments that women can be good leaders it would always be this thing coming that they're too emotional they will show too much empathy and you need an aggressive stance what's your take on that well I love the view of leadership being a combination of yin and yang so the yin is the supportive feminine element and the yang is the challenging masculine element and we very much need both in order to be effective leaders so you said before those masculine men we think of as being the good leaders but what do they do they challenge them as they set the standard they demand that people get to a certain level yes we need that but we also need the supportive element this is where the more the feminine side comes in so we helping our team members of whether we are leading to reach that very challenging level and this is where the listening comes in where the empathy comes in so I like and we need lots of both lots of challenge how we gonna get better how are we going to get there and lots of support what can I do as a leader to help you achieve that mission so the combination of the two I think is beautiful right and this combination would be ideal but do you think and Professor James I'd like to ask you this thing that most people most people in management position our leadership positions are realizing this that both these elements are necessary well I can't speak for people in management positions but the position of engineers is really is really interesting because they have to exert leadership without formal management authority and that's a real challenge for them it's a challenge first of all for them to accept that they actually need to do this and particularly in in countries like Pakistan I've noticed that young engineers say look I'm just a technical person why do I need to learn all this emotional stuff you know I should just be allowed to get on with the technical stuff and somebody else should do management and what we've seen it though is that young engineers a few of them very few of them they stumble onto this idea because it's not in the texts you know in engineering schools you never learned about the these ideas but they stumble on to this idea that they do have to work with an influence other people and once they get that idea they really take off and and I've been amazed with the performance of some engineers particularly in countries like Pakistan where they're producing tremendous value for their organisations because of their leadership skills right and professor James tell us how do you instill that value within those people who are resistant to the idea they think that it's not important or it's not needed how do you make them realize the importance of it gently particularly with engineers because they they do have many engineers come into the profession with poor people skills which is reinforced through their courses but we have there are many people with on the Asperger's syndrome Asperger's spectrum that end up as engineers and it's just like something like mathematics you know you have to learn to use maths to be an engineer you also have to learn people skills eventually and it's a question of encouraging young people to do that and giving allowing them time to develop these skills putting them alongside people who have these skills who can teach them and guide them along the way right and hold on to that thought professor James we're also joined by Allison Jones who's the chief executive of Advanced Aichi she's joining us from London thank you so much miss Jones for joining us and welcome to the show while we're talking about leadership and how it's changing in this new age let's talk about the anxiety that employees and workers are facing the economy seems to be slowing down and the IMF predicts that it will continue continuously do so and with technological advancement there's this fear that machines will take over their jobs so there is a lot of anxiety there what do good leaders need to do in this day and age to take a hold of that ok so I think you're absolutely right the world is changing beyond all measure and what we see particularly in higher and higher education we think about how artificial intelligence will be changing the nature of the work which our students will be moving into in future but I just heard your previous speaker I caught the tip tail end of what they were talking about you know leadership is a very human role that people need to undertake and what we see particularly here is the notion of the heroic leader who will you know be a single leader lead from the front and sort of present themselves as a solution to all these problems that notion is being heavily dismissed nowadays and I think when there's a lot of anxiety around for people the best thing we can possibly do is to help them to feel more in control so that means that leaders knows they need to inspire and reassure have a clear vision have really excellent people skills they need to know how to empower individual to feel more in control and actually bring their skills into solving the solution finding solutions to the anxieties and the problems they face right and that's a very very important and crucial point there mrs. Anne while we're talking about all of this and as you are Miss Allison talked about all of this how do you think that a and you being a consultant and a coach how do you think a person can inculcate more of that empathy that sensitivity if for all this time they've been very goal oriented and very driven to achieve you know certain standards that's another good question you have I'm actually part of running and leading a Leadership Program at the moment for freedom and ease in the construction industry construction is traditionally very male-dominated there's very strong contracts it's a tough environment and we actually are teaching now or training between 150 and 200 of these very senior project managers in exactly that how do we do it well we work with actors as well so they get to played back how do I do this how do I come across as when small brutes we do this then they see how a colleague might do that differently and they learn these very subtle very important skills of listening of relating or pausing so there are all these interpersonal skills that can be learned with practice and that's why working with actors is powerful why can without as it's not the only way coaching is important a coach can be a mirror to the people who want to learn leadership skills and also feedback feedback is so important when you sit with an actually get feedback from the accent from others but also feedback from your team how do I come across we must be brave enough to ask for feedback that's one of the main things that last phase there that you need to be brave enough to ask for a feedback professor James how important is it for a person who is leading inspiring to also be receptive to criticism and for to be open to harsh feedback well of course it's it's important and it can be quite child challenging that you know if you ask me my my quintessential leader is Nelson Mandela and I was in South Africa last week and I realized in what in the high regard that he's held but to me his most powerful statement was you know as a leader you're not anybody special you just happen to be the person that's standing at the front and people expect you to lead is just that you happen to be standing there and you have to do the best you can right and if you have to be open to criticism and and it can be quite lonely being out there at times and one is constantly nervous we just have to get used to it so I really I agree with all of this but of course there are lots of people who who really struggle with leadership and many of them they struggle because they feel nervous and they think that somehow is it you shouldn't feel nervous that's not very nice at all right and Miss Jones well were taught all of this we are seeing a shift in the demographic it's special when it comes to those who are undertaking higher education and those entering the workforce it's mostly Millennials and it's going to continue being that for quite some time now now it seems like Millennials are always forced into this category of being difficult of having very high expectations how do you deal with that I think think I think Millennials just have grown up in a different environment they have different experiences and I think it's unfair to say that they're difficult I think you know any good leader and particularly if you're leading a university or an institution it's like eating any other business you need to adapt to your context in your environment so I think you have to listen to the students who are coming into your institution understand why they want to do things we understand their pressures their concerns and I spend and and I you know fears and anxieties and work with them but I think another important point you're making is in the changing demographic as well is the important changing demographic of who does leadership nowadays great and how do you do that well first of all there are more and more women coming into leadership and my particular role in higher education in the UK is very much about advancing gender equality and we were stuck with about 20 female Vice Chancellors for a whole decade and we did a lot of gender equality programs and initiatives we now have over 50 and we have a female Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford which has been around for a thousand years that's rather a long time wait for a female both gentlemen but we've got female Vice Chancellor Russell group institutions and we have a unique leadership development program for females in higher education where in the last five years 6,000 women have been through this program which has not only built their confidence but it's changing the face of leadership in universities in the UK right in Miss Ansan if you had to point out leadership quality that is the most important in this changing world what would it be if I had to choose just one I would say listening activists listening right listening to the team and making sure that you're receptive to what they're saying and to get in tune with them on that point thank you so much miss Alison Jones for joining us and talking to us thank you mrs. Anne Madson professor James travelin for joining us and talking to us we're going to take a short break when we return we're going to continue this discussion stay with us welcome back to end especially while we continue our discussion regarding leadership we're now joined by Miss Lear abroad etske who's a cognitive scientist and professor in the field of language and cognition she's joining us from California we're also joined by mr. Zen Ashraf who's the founder of seed out which is Pakistan's first crowdfunding platform that works to end poverty he also helps establish entrepreneurs with interest free micro financing he's joining us from Hong Kong thank you both for joining us Muslera let me begin with you now in the first half of this show

Maurice Vega

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