How training can improve telecom CEOs performance

Telecom Lead India: Rajan Kaicker, chairman & managing director, FranklinCovey India & South Asia, says training to top leaders in Indian telecom companies can further improve performance.

Telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Aircel, etc. are under pressure to improve profitability and revenue. Can they improve performance by offering training to their top leadership team. CEO coaching is becoming a common practice in India.

The India head of FranklinCovey India says telecom revenues haven’t really gone up in two years and with funds being unavailable expansion is on hold/slow and profitability and customer additions have slowed down tremendously. The majority of CEOs and top leaders are confronted with enhancing productivity, restructuring and merging existing verticals and businesses.

This scenario calls for a different mind set, skill set and tool set as to get results we haven’t got before we need to do things we haven’t done before and that is what cutting edge training and development can bring to the table i.e.

Training would help help them develop new mindsets, or paradigms. The fastest and best way to change behavior is to help people get a new mindset or paradigm. Too often we try to change behavior but we have not changed how the person see’s the world. You must address mindsets before you try and change behavior.

Teach new skill sets. Training helps leaders first focus on who people are, then on what they do. Leaders need to model the desired behaviors first if they want to have real and lasting change with their team. We call this inside-out. First focus on who you are, then on what you do.

And third, have tools that help managers to be successful. Just as every profession needs tools to do their job well, leaders need tools to do their job too. We have a lot of technology today, but we need processes and tools to help us be successful.

In this exclusive article, we will share some common leadership development challenges and how through training, learning and development the telecom sector is and can develop the leaders they really need to meet the escalating demands of today’s workplace.

Being a leader today requires a unique combination of timeless principles and just in time practices and todays requirement is for leadership that can leverage both.

Let’s start with why building leaders is so important. I want to share with you a quote by Geoff Colvin, a business writer. He wrote an article for Fortune magazine looking at how companies were coping during the recession, and came up with an interesting observation.  He said, “Your competition can copy every advantage you’ve got, except one. What do you think that advantage is? Your culture.

And how do we create a culture? The behavior of your leaders. Leaders create our culture, so that is why the world’s best companies are realizing that their real business is developing leaders

The main job of a leader is to influence others to achieve a result – and to do it time and time again.  Leaders have to influence and the best leaders are the best influencers. Why do leaders fail? We could go on and on. There are so many ways leaders can fail. FranklinCovey, which has studied leaders for years, conducted millions of employee surveys and found that the majority of leadership issues fall into two categories.

First, leaders don’t manage themselves. What does that look like when they don’t’ manage themselves? This is actually on a continuum- from they can’t manage their time and attention, to they can’t manage their moods and behaviors to they can’t manage their integrity. When they can’t manage themselves, they don’t model the right behaviors,

The second mistake is that they lack the ability to get work done through and with others. I mean, this is the ultimate role of a leader, right? To influence and engage others to get a result?  They don’t know how to motivate and engage a team, and if they do, they do it very badly by controlling, cajoling and even humiliating people.

What problems do these leaders cause? When we factor in missed deadlines, poor performance, loss of sales, turnover, apathy, disengagement, poor morale … the impact can be staggering. What is their poor leadership costing? And when we look at how much these poor leaders are costing us, it’s often far more than we could have imagined.

Top Leadership Drives Performance: Once you empower and engage people you free them up to do great things.  We know that really great leaders have a very positive upside. Great leader has a near perfect balance of both the character and capability. They are highly skilled at what they do and they achieve great results. That’s what gets them promoted in many instances, but they really differentiated by how they get the results.

Character and Leadership: We defined character as being both the qualities of personal integrity, intent, capability and competence, but also the person’s capacity to work well with others. Daniel Goleman defined this second piece as EQ, or Emotional intelligence. Why does EQ matter so much? To be a star in any job, your EQ actually matters twice as much as your IQ.  When we think about our best leaders, we are thinking about people who impressed us with who they were and HOW they went about achieving results. Where this becomes really interesting is when we see how this plays out with senior leaders and executives. People can learn to be better listeners, they can learn to be more trustworthy, they can learn to show more empathy. And through training there are some has some powerful ways to help you develop it.

Training helps leaders produce great results in four areas.

They achieve sustained superior performance relative to the hand they have been dealt.

They have loyal customers – internally and externally

They have engaged employees who bring their best to every challenge or opportunity

They make a distinctive contribution wherever they choose to focus

Training supports all the 3 levels of leadership i.e. first, we believe everyone needs to be a leader, and lead themselves and work well with others. We call this level, “lead myself”. Second, we need a new level of skills once we begin to lead other people. this level covers the work we do for new supervisors and even experienced team leaders. If you are leading 1-2 or 3 teams, we call that “lead my team.” The main focus here is to have a framework for getting work done through other people. Third, we call this level, “lead the organization”. At this level, you are leading multiple teams and are responsible for greater outcomes and far more strategic leadership. At all these levels, we build both character (my ability for personal and interpersonal effectiveness) and capability (the quantitative skills required to do my work each day).

One of the most powerful things training does is to give leaders frameworks for getting work done. So often, leaders fail simply because they lack a framework or blueprint for what they are trying to do i.e. a framework for being a leader. so in conclusion to sum up the top 3 advantages of top leadership training in telecom companies:

1.  Fill competency gaps
2. Build leadership development paths
3.  Solve specific business issues

I’d like to finish with a final thought. The work you are doing in your organizations, to build and improve leadership is so important. How many people come to work each day and their lives are made miserable because of their leaders? If you want to change the world – be a leader. Why? Because as a leader, you are in a profound position to really improve the quality of the lives of people.

By Rajan Kaicker, chairman & managing director, FranklinCovey India & South Asia
editor@telecomlead.com