Leadership Lessons from Mother Nature

Mother Nature

Mother Nature

How does nature manage to display a perfect balance and beauty despite its incredibly diverse flora and fauna? Take a closer look at nature and you may notice a multitude of plants and flowers in various shapes and hues co-exist, playing their unique part in maintaining balance.

With lines of geographical boundaries blurring, we now are witness to an incredible fusion of color, language, food, and clothing in our lives. Cricket, movies, music, politics, and more are witness to this wonderful amalgamation of influences. While diversity is great, as it brings with it many new skills, perspectives, and freshness, it does have its share of challenges too, stemming from unfamiliarity. The lack of acceptance and inclusion can become a recipe for a bad dish.

Just how does one apply mother nature’s lessons in the workplace and bring out the best in each individual and meet goals while grappling with this heady mix of diversity in a corporate structure? We know that this question keeps many of the senior folks in organizations up at night.

Our HR business associates call us a people-focused company. Little do they know that we struggle as much as most companies do to build a performance-driven culture without compromising on nurturing our talent. Interestingly, our hiring strategy is inclusive enough to bring out a cocktail of talent from different states. We are lucky to have a mix of talent from states like Punjab, Jammu, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, UP, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and The United States (of America)!

At FocusU, we believe values alignment (besides basic hygiene in terms of communication skills, presence, grooming and affability) is extremely critical. Skills can be taught. Not that values cannot be influenced, but we would be happier if it were evident upfront. We spend a large part of our time in aligning our people to our values in repeated conversations. This sentiment is even reflected in our annual reviews and appraisals; we place the most weightage on the display of values when evaluating the performance of our talent.

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Our belief is that there are L&D companies and then there are L&D companies. The key differentiator is the value system. This is what would set a company and its individuals apart.

What are our values?

CHOPS!

CARE: We are free and independent in our thinking. However, we care about not just ourselves, but each other. We do our best to respect and watch out for one another. But our care doesn’t stop with our teammates; we look after our office space and resources as if it were our own.

Humility: We believe if we ourselves call out our brilliance, it is nothing short of arrogance. We keep our feet firmly planted on the ground and do our best to put 100% into every effort we make both for our guests and our colleagues. Then, we ask ourselves at the end of every program day how we can improve. We are not only open to, but want to receive critique on our areas of improvement.

Openness: We believe having the spirit of openness requires courage. But as they say, fortune favors the brave!  We encourage openness to share feed-forward in a factual way with a clearly stated intent of betterment. We must admit, we are human and we do struggle to achieve this and fail many times. But we get up every day and see a new day to improve in this direction.

Passion: It is a much used and familiar term, and it is evident in every effort we make. However, we strive to be driven by passion, but with responsibility. You will see it in the way we stretch to personalize our programs and don’t settle until we get the exact specification of elements that would give that “wow experience” to our guests.

Safety: It is not just the physical, but also the emotional safety that matters to us. We want to see our teams be free of pretense. At FocusU, it’s ok to say, “I don’t know!” if we don’t know. It’s ok to make a mistake as long as it is a new one every time. When we give feed forward, we do our best to keep it factual and not laced with emotions and hurt. It helps the receiver along.

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Just as every bit of nature, from cherries to damson blossoms and beyond, all possess their unique qualities, each of us is unique. We cannot become someone else even if we try. The important thing is to live true to ourselves and cause the great flower of our lives to blossom.

Unlike nature, we are not perfect. But we believe we are working hard to learn our lessons from her to succeed in a very diverse environment.

 

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