In today’s blog post our Indian active community member, Ashutosh Mishra, provides us with his views about responsible leadership. Currently, he is working in the Education Technology Industry. He studied Anant Fellowship, class of 2018-19, and pursued his Electrical Engineering degree from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, Class of 2012-16. He was previously invited by Harvard University in 2018 to deliver a speech on his journey of acceptance towards his sexuality and the importance of Diversity & Inclusion (including Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Queer, Intersex) at the workplace. He is currently a Global Shaper, an initiative of the World Economic Forum in New Delhi.
From the time I have been exposed to the Japanese concept of life, Ikigai, I have recognized a few things about myself that very much relate to my authenticity and being my best at what I do. One thing that has stood out for me in my journey so far is the power of communications. As a responsible leader, I imagine a world where diversity, ownership of both successes and failures is at the core of life. Stepping out of the blame game and taking complete ownership, being ethically driven. Diversity in terms of gender, sexuality, opinion, color, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social-economic status, etc is given importance in business. There are a lot of companies in the world that are currently tapping the pink economy. Imagine the situation for an organization that is not inclusive, it is not just a failure of the decision-making team but also a failure to get the best talent. Handling criticism is something that I am still learning as a person, for it is a skill to be developed. Creating a system that helps people in bringing their authentic selves at the workplace because of the removal of any biases that humans possess, would result in increased productivity and focus shifted from constantly lying about personal lives with colleagues to bringing authentic self at work.
The core skills that I believe would be necessary for anyone to be a responsible leader would be encompassing the skills such as empathy, leadership, problem-solving, communications, and teamwork. Empowering individuals by creating support groups that work towards creating inclusive policies along with providing voices to groups such as women, LGBTQ, etc to bring a social change. These networks will benefit both at the personal and professional level for an individual in his/her/their lifetimes.
How I envision a workplace that is led by a responsible leader is characterized by certain aspects as given below which not only include delivering the best at work but also be driven by the idea of creating some impact outside of work.
- The vision, as well as the decision making power, should translate in each layer of the organization. Thus, increasing the sense of ownership of work and delivering meaningful output at the end of the day. Additionally, an individual feels a sense of belonging in the workplace. Capitalism is a reality. The question is how we can tap different avenues within the capitalist society to benefit all.
- Having active participation in the policymaking process of the country is what will not only bring awareness among individuals but also create high value. The pandemic has collapsed the healthcare systems, but some organizations are standing with their employees during this time of pandemic and proving to be a huge supporter in times of crisis. This is what responsible leadership is all about. Thinking of each other, empathizing is the skill of utmost importance.
- Actively participating in the societal challenges and coming up with sustainable solutions to existing problems such as waste management, traffic congestion, poverty, housing, education, digital education, etc. This indeed would lead to a long-lasting impact on just one individual but many.
- Providing/ making education more accessible to all.