Chief Mentor - Athreya.info
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Please go through the executive stamina for HR pro and you will get your question anwsered.
Executive Stamina: Essential Skills for HR professionals
Executive Stamina has two applications. Daily stamina is necessary to maintain energy and enthusiasm for the task at hand without steep drop offs by the end of the day. Retaining mental clarity and alertness and maintaining interpersonal skills at a high level contribute to positive impact and minimize missteps.
Career stamina is achieved through the development of skills and systems that equip a leader to follow a balanced, sustainable path to reaching his or her career potential. This means progressing on your career journey while maintaining your health, staying aligned with your values and avoiding costly tradeoffs in your personal life. It is certainly true that these capabilities have always been important. Now they have become imperative.
For HR professionals, there are additional incentives to create and maintain an Executive Stamina plan. Besides keeping you performing at a high level, you can further your contribution to your organization by:
• Modeling Good Practices: Organizations usually look to HR professionals to have knowledge and insights into areas like work/life alignment, stress-wellness, effective prioritization and delegation, ect. Demonstrating best practices in the areas gives you credibility and a powerful teaching tool.
• Detecting Potential "Derailers": One thing that executive coaches and HR leaders have in common is that many times their very smart clients do some not so smart things. Overworked, and overstressed executives make mistakes and spotting the early signs of your clients being in the "danger zone" can help you take quick action to prevent derailment.
• Mastering the Art of Saying No: Many HR professionals have a potentially damaging combination of two qualities:
- A sincere desire to help people and add value to the organization
- A difficulty saying NO to requests for their assistance.
Uncorrected, this can lead to over commitment and extended work days and weeks. Learning to deflect certain requests while keeping your reputation for being cooperative is a key skill.
The two laws of Executive Stamina: 1) Diminishing Returns, 2) Gradual Change
Today's leaders are simultaneously dealing with:
• The rapid pace of change
• Increasing levels of complexity
• A plethora of communication devices that erase the boundaries between work and personal time
• A broader set of competitors
The impact of these challenges is to expand the demands on our time, increase our mental stress, while at the same time requiring that we stay of "top of our game". This combination leaves many leaders vulnerable to the two laws of Executive Stamina.
This law states that for a period of time, more effort will lead to higher results. However, after a certain point, when we get too busy, tired or stressed, working harder and longer will actually detract from our performance and personal life. Many of the executives I have coached went beyond this point. Although their ambition, dedication and intentions were good, they often undermined their own aspirations.
When we are too busy, tired or stressed, the risks increase. Our impact and presence may diminish because of low levels of energy and enthusiasm, or frequent illness. Errors of omission increase as we neglect to spend crucial time on reflection, "looking around corners", preparation, communicating with key stakeholders or essential networking.
The errors of commission are the ones that can hurt the company or our careers the quickest. Excessive stress impacts our ability to think clearly and make good decisions. Our interpersonal skills, like the ability to focus on someone else and listen to what they are saying, or to resolve conflicts in a win-win way, are impaired.
The verbal, emotional and ethical disciplines a great leader needs are also weakened by fatigue and stress. The overall result is that a world-class leader may actually be functioning at mediocre levels.
The Law of Gradual Change
If pointing out these risks is not enough to get your attention, let me add one more: precious personal tradeoffs. The Law of Gradual Change is that people often do not notice small, progressive change. Rarely is it an "overnight" phenomenon that our health deteriorates, a marriage dissolves, friends become estranged or we depart from our core values. Most often it is a slow, gradual process that we didn't notice.
If you offered an executive the proposition that they could get promoted in exchange for their health, or their marriage or their relationship with their children or their integrity, most would say "no". Yet everyday many people make these tradeoffs unintentionally, because they don't detect the trends and thus fail to make needed corrections.
Executive Stamina: Skills and Systems
To protect yourself, personally and professionally, from the dual impact of these Laws, it is important that leaders have key skill sets and systems in three areas:
The goals here are to 1) be keenly aware of your range of commitments, 2) identify any widening gaps between your stated priorities and values, and how you are actually spending your time, and 3) take specific steps to close those gaps and achieve better alignment.
• What is already "on your plate?" Many executives are overcommitted in their business and family life. A very useful exercise is to write down all your commitments and estimate the time they require. Without knowing how much of your time is already committed and what your true priorities are, it is difficult to make smart choices about what to say "yes" to going forward,
• Where are the gaps? Gap analysis is a useful business-planning tool that can be applied to all aspects of our lives. The key principle is "Your Calendar Doesn't Lie", which means that how you actually spend your time may not match what you say is really important. A revealing exercise is to list your commitments, priorities, core values and long-term goals and give a candid reckoning of the time you actually devote to these areas.
• Closing gaps and monitoring change. In Executive Stamina, I provide two key systems: 1) Minimums and 2) Shifts and Drifts Tracking. After you identify a gap and want to close it a Minimum is a small but meaningful step that starts to bring you into alignment. The Shifts and Drifts Tracking system is a monthly device that forces you to notice two types of change in your life. Shifts are discrete, noticeable changes. People pay attention to these but often don't think through the implications of change. Drifts are gradual, unnoticed changes. By monitoring key aspects of your life every month, you will ensure that, if you do drift, it won't be for long.
A useful perspective on an executive career is that, while it seems like a mental job, it has many aspects of a physical job, too. In the same way that some chess experts run six miles a day to prepare for the mental rigors of a championship match, paying attention to fitness, energy sustaining nutrition, restful sleep and stress reduction give a leader the foundation to meet business challenges.
An often-heard phrase is "If you are too busy to exercise, you are too busy." I would take it further and say, "You are too busy not to exercise." Higher fitness levels increase energy and endurance, mental alertness and the ability to learn, break down stress hormones, and promote deep, restful sleep in addition to boosting our immune systems. Some keys to making it an integral part of our lives are:
1. It is not a nice thing to do; it is part of my job.
2. Schedule fitness like any other priority.
3. Be creative. Combine fitness with other goals or activities. For example, commuting, reading papers while on a stationary bike, thinking about a project while walking or running, use fitness activities to network, etc.
Another essential component is to master stress management techniques. These can include cognitive techniques (Self Talk) to reduce anxiety and anger, or increase feeling of gratitude, or ways to calm yourself and rebalance during the work day, like slow, measured breathing or yoga stretches.
If a leader is regularly going past the Point of Diminishing Returns (P.D.R.) then he or she doesn't have the luxury of devoting time to low payoff activities. This is because every time you say "yes" to a low priority task you are saying "no" to something important. Either a vital activity will be postponed or you will extend your workday, or you may miss a workout or family dinner.
To avoid overcommiting and ensure that you accomplish all your vital activities before you reach the P.D.R.:
• Identify the highest payoff activities and success factors for your current role. What are the essential tasks that you alone on your team can accomplish?
• Learn to separate tasks into three buckets: Nice to do/Need to do/Need to do well. Spend the bulk of your time on the "Need to do well" tasks.
• Master the "soft no" and avoid the "quick yes". Other people will make requests for your time, to attend meetings, participate in task forces, etc. If you give a quick "yes", you may not accurately assess the time involved in the commitment you just made. A "soft no", like "Our team is focused on two key projects now. I can't commit to being on this task force but I would be glad to have lunch with you and share my relevant experience" can help you maintain positive relationship while preserving your calendar.
Now that you have seen some of the key components of an Executive Stamina plan, lets revisit the specific HR applications:
• Modeling Good Practices: Hopefully now you see the double benefit of "walking the talk" with regard to wellness, work/life alignment, and optimizing time.
• Detecting Potential "Derailers": Notice changes in people's behavior and the signs of dis-stress, like deterioration in their energy/enthusiasm, interpersonal skills or emotional control. Timely interventions will prevent a downward spiral.
• Mastering the Art of Saying No: Using more "soft no's" and eliminating some quick "Yes's" will help you avoid going past the P.D.R. and stay focused on the best use of your time.
I think this will help you to a certain extent.
29th June 2008 From India, Mumbai
Human Resource Manager should have:
Excellent Communication Skills
Excellent Inter Personal Skills
Strategic Thinking ability
Global Benchmarking ability
High degree of intuition.
In addition to these, the person must be all rounder, a keen researcher with global networking ability, technology savvy, and most importantly must develop the habit of being adaptable to change.
Well, the list is long, and one may not be able to tell you that it is the right way, learn the art of situational leadership.
My best wishes to you for a long, successful career in HR.
29th June 2008 From India, Madras
Thanks for the query and the answers given by Snehalata and Padmanaban.
Here is a website ref which clearly shows that the role of HR is changing and Padmanaban is right when he says "learn the art of Situational Leadership".
Executive Summary of Benchmarking Study 2004 <link updated to site home> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google )
Donoghue, E. (2004), Meeting the Challenges of the Future competencies for the Federal HR Community, ..................
Depending upon your inclination and the time available you could do research on how the compentancies required have change in the Indian context.
Have a nice day.
Have a nice day.
29th June 2008 From United Kingdom
Schoonover Associates White Paper: Human Resourse Competencies for the New Century <link updated to site home> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google )
Human Resource Competencies for the New Century
By Dr. Stephen C. Schoonover found at Schoonover Associates White Paper: Human Resourse Competencies for the New Century <link updated to site home> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google )
accessed on 29/06/08
Have a nice day.
29th June 2008 From United Kingdom
Different situations need to be dealt in a different ways; different people should also be dealt in diverse ways as well. Situational leadership theory states that a leader should not consider all the circumstances to be similar and apply the same methodology to deal with each one of them.
In fact different styles are recommended for to deal with new situations in order to get the desired outputs.
Hersey and Blanchard gave a model on situational leadership which is highly acclaimed. They believed that the leaders should be very flexible and should be able to adjust themselves to the new situations and new circumstances very quickly. Leadership style and Development level are the two concepts on which their model is based.
Leadership style states that there are four categories of leaders viz. Directing Leaders, Coaching Leaders, Supporting Leaders and finally Delegating Leaders.
Directing leaders are those who lead from the front; they communicate the task to his subordinates and very closely examine the progress of the task. These leaders rarely discuss the ideas with their followers which are in contrast to Coaching Leaders.
Coaching leaders are very much open to suggestions and ideas from their subordinates and in fact they even implement those ideas. This kind of two way communication helps the leader to develop a good rapport with their followers and is held in high esteem by their followers.
Though such type of leaders may look very attractive, but it might not be applicable in all situations. There are moments when the leader has to be tough; in fact different situations warrant different styles.
In case of supporting leaders it is the subordinates who have control over the decisions and the leaders just become a facilitator during the whole process.
On the other hand the delegating leaders entrust the work to their subordinates; though the leaders are the part of the decision making but it is the prerogative of the subordinates to allow the leaders in the decision making process or not.
The followers whom the leader leads too have different traits and they exhibit different developmental levels. These developmental levels are: Low competence, Low commitment; Some competence, Low Commitment; High Competence, Variable commitment; High Competence, High commitment.
The followers have different levels of competence and their commitment for a given task too varies. Some followers may be highly skilled but may not exhibit great commitment about their work whereas others may be highly committed but may not have the requisite skill.
Some may fall in between i.e. they might exhibit moderate amount of commitment and moderate amount of skill.
A leader should know when to adapt and how to adapt because it is the leaders who need to transform themselves as per the demand of the situation and not the followers.
Depending on the developmental stage of the followers a leader will have to make his move; before taking any step a leader need to also understand the psycho-physical nature of the follower. Overall, situational leadership demands that the leader to be versatile enough if he wants to get the desired results.
Read more, and do not stop there. Make the best use of the material you read in your everyday official life.
Practice without theory is blind. Theory without practice is sterile.
Best of luck Pooja.:)
Best of luck Pooja.:)
29th June 2008 From India, Madras