CIO Insider

CIOInsider India Magazine


As a Leader, Stay Inspired, Stay Restless

Manu Saigal, Director - General Staffing, Adecco India

Manu Saigal, Director - General Staffing, Adecco India, is in charge of managing operations and fostering growth for the company's contract staffing and permanent recruiting divisions. Her background includes P&L management, go-to-market strategy, and sales leadership. She has more than 20 years of experience. Her interests include developing and maintaining client connections, as well as team management and executive growth techniques. Manu has played a variety of responsibilities within the Adecco group, India, over the past five years. Below are key insights shared by Manu Saigal, Director - General Staffing, Adecco India with CIO Insider magazine.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about `good leaders’? To me, the first thing that comes to mind is the ability to inspire and motivate others toward a common goal. Good leaders are also typically skilled communicators who can effectively convey their vision and ideas to their team. They are often decisive, able to make tough decisions, when necessary, but also open to feedback and willing to listen to the perspectives of others. Good leaders are also often known for their integrity, honesty, and ethical behavior, which help to build trust and respect among their followers.

While on most days I’m busy focusing on solving critical problems and running the business, I have been fortunate enough to have worked with a diverse range of organizations, geographies, functional groups, and cultures. Collectively, these encounters and the people – managers, peers, colleagues, and team members influenced me immensely on the journey to become the individual and business leader I am today. Occasionally, peers and up-and-comers alike ask me for my perspective on leadership. Today, I want to share a few of the greatest leadership lessons I have learned throughout my career.

In my view, anyone can be a leader; you do not need to have a title or a certain job position to be one. I strongly believe that leadership is not about our role or function in an organization, but about the actions that we perform, the structure and teams that we build, and the decisions we make.

Here are six simple ways in which you can show great leadership skills and integrity:

1. Inspire Others by Leading by Example: Part of your role as a leader is to motivate those around you. To do this, you must first lead by example. It goes without saying that leaders are mostly made. Everyone one of us will eventually mold our intrinsic style of leadership and create our own personal brand. By observing how other great leaders carry themselves – even peers and juniors – is a great way to learn.

2.Own up to your mistakes: Admitting and accepting responsibility for mistakes shows you are open to constructive criticism, two qualities shared by those with high workplace integrity. Time and again you will face situations where you will not agree with how a situation is handled, so use the lessons learned to handle a similar issue in the future and get better results. When leaders take responsibility for their mistakes, it shows that they are accountable and trustworthy. This can help build trust between the leader and their team members. Admitting mistakes demonstrates humility, shows that they are not afraid to acknowledge their weaknesses and are willing to learn from their mistakes and sets an example for their team members to do the same.

3.Accept disagreement: Even if you disagree, respect others' views. Leadership is a tough job no doubt, but it is important that when there is a conflict you keep an open mind and lean in for help at times of crisis, or to help solve the problem. Many times, you will realize that a good manager might get spectacular results, but they might not be a good leader. The difference comes down to being understanding and appreciating the other person’s point of view and the capacity to incite action in others. In a crisis or at any time of need, a leader cannot let a disagreement come in the way of taking the right decisions. True leaders often emerge during a crisis.

Ultimately, a leader who balances humility and assertiveness can build trust and respect among their team and achieve greater success in their goals

4.Having both humility and assertiveness is possible: Great leaders seek opportunities to help others and ask for support when needed. Understanding your values and prioritizing them can be a very effective leadership style. Humility involves acknowledging one's limitations, recognizing the contributions of others, and being willing to learn from mistakes. Assertiveness, on the other hand, involves being confident, standing up for oneself, and taking charge when necessary.

5.Recognize, Appreciate, and Give Credit: Be generous, acknowledge others, and make sure that everyone feels valued. Recognizing, appreciating, and giving credit to team members is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment. It can help boost morale, build trust, encourage teamwork, and increase productivity.

6.Being authentic: Leaders aren't defined by where they are in life or what position they have. Whether they have authority or not, their leadership is driven by a desire to improve and make things better. Being authentic is an important trait for leaders to cultivate. It can help build trust, increase credibility, inspire respect, foster transparency, encourage innovation, and create a positive and productive work environment.

Leaders who possess some or all these qualities can create a healthy balance in their leadership style. They can be assertive when it comes to setting goals, making decisions, and ensuring that their team stays on track, while also being humble enough to recognize when they need help or when someone else has a better solution to a problem. This can help to foster a positive and collaborative work environment, where team members feel valued and empowered to contribute their ideas and expertise. Ultimately, a leader who balances humility and assertiveness can build trust and respect among their team and achieve greater success in their goals.

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