Border Security Force (BSF) jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav’s video went viral on social media and created a huge uproar in the government circles. The jawan, in his video, accused the senior officials in the BSF of siphoning funds that are meant to provide food for the jawans. The series of videos shared online by the jawan caused several other defence force personnel to post different videos sharing their own plight on social media. Videos of ill treatment, corruption, and other related issues surfaced across various levels. The videos were shared online by many people and gathered momentum as they were posted on news channels as well. Even the Home Minister of India, Mr. Rajnath Singh, had to intervene and a probe was initiated. To say that an organization can be free from any problem would not be wise, but the way this situation has come up in BSF, I see a few lessons for future leaders.
- Keep communication channels open:
When communication breakdowns occur in an organization, it creates a pressure cooker situation. Imagine the safety valve has been jammed – the pressure building up without any outlet is a recipe for disaster. The Challenger space shuttle disaster is a perfect example of communication failure. The engineering team knew the problem (O-Ring failure) but held back in sharing this with the management team because of the pressure to get things done as per the schedule. The goal over-shadowed the errors and led to a grave disaster. The lesson – keep communication channels open at all times.
- Listen up to step up:
Nelson Mandela shares that it was his father who taught him about leadership. His father was the clan head and would hold meetings with the tribe. At such meetings, his father would wait till everyone had spoken. His father encouraged people to speak up and share their views first. Only after everyone had shared his or her opinion, his father would speak. This helped his father get useful information and leave people with the feeling that they have been heard. Listen first, speak last is the lesson here.
- Encourage people to speak:
Corporate blogging is an effective way for companies to let their employees express themselves. Even the blog you are reading right now is a way for the FocusU team members to express their views and connect with a larger audience. Companies like Infosys and IBM have created blogs for employees to let them know that their opinions matter and are heard. Platforms such as Coffee with the CEO, Brown bag lunches, and Town Hall events are ways organizations can connect with and listen to their employees.
- Learn to manage Millennials
Simon Sinek, author of The Big Why, shares in an insightful video that millennials (the generation following Generation X) are an entirely different race, with different needs. They don’t work only for money; they look for meaning in what they do. More importantly, they have a desire to always be connected with other people through online media. They love posting updates on social networks and looking out for opportunities to share their views on every subject. Not understanding their needs can be fatal to today’s organization because it may lead to brain drain. Have a look at this video to know more.
By now, you might be expecting my comments on the jawan’s video that went viral! Honestly, it’s too early for me to comment on the subject, but surely I would like to know what you think about this incident. Share your views in the comment section below, till then happy communicating!
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