I borrowed an easy to remember acronym I. N. R. I. to illustrate a tool I have been using to practice leadership in my career.
I have lead teams of various sizes ranging from 10 to 100 during my career and I have practiced the following four concepts on a daily basis to get my job done. These concepts have helped me and my teams to stay positive and thoroughly engaged on the projects we were working on.
I : Inspire
The effect of a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something.
Being inspired is the essence of humanity. Be it a baby inspired to say ‘mama’ or the leader of the free world inspired to change the healthcare system. I am not going to get into how to’s, there has been a lot written about it and said about it and it’s situational. My point is to keep it at the top of the priorities. Inspire the team at every moment. I see it as a binding agent for people to come together to do great things.
here is a quote from a great man that has inspired the entire modern world..
Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man. — Mahatma Gandhi.
N : Nurture
When people are inspired, they do great things, may change the world for ever in their own capacity. However, getting there is not going to be easy. It’s the leader’s responsibility to nurture them along the way to reach the goal. Patience, Perseverance and Trusting/Believing in the people are the key ingredients. The graphic below (borrowed from an article on linkedin) illustrates various components of Nurturing, stemming from the root: Trust.
I am sure all of us are under tremendous pressure to bring the products to market..However, beautiful and great products take great care to build so that they endure the test of time and relevance in the market place.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
R : Reflect
A Leader is the GPS for the team. Team looks up to him for directions from time to time. Since he has the advantage of a higher vantage point, he needs to reflect on things that have been going in the right direction or not. What a leader reflects with the team needs to be contextual, current and applied to the situation he is in. Its not about how much of wisdom a leader has, Its about how connected he is to the business and how relevant are his reflections to the business he is in.
I : Improve
‘Improving’ or ‘Innovating’ is the catalytic agent for inspiration. So the cycle repeats. Its built into DNA of every species. We humans probably have mastered this art the most. So, yeah, have a serious and measurable plan to improve your team’s performance. It just can’t be a pep-talk, you gotta build ‘improvement’ into the system so that the team is learning and improving as a whole in every aspect of the business you are in. I have always supported individuals on team to have an education plan as part of their quarterly objectives. I have had my teams set SMART objectives on a quarterly basis, achieve them regularly. Its a great feeling to be better. Its even greater to SEE moving forward.
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