The Nuances of Balanced Leadership
In my last blog post, I focused largely on HCL’s value of courage that we have embraced since our inception to ‘win in the turns’ and stay focused. HCL’s propensity to respond to any situation with courage is recognized by peers, leaders, and industry analysts.
Irrespective of the external climate, it is our organization’s internal values that have guided our journey for over 40 years.
When we refer to any situation with a balanced outcome, we tend to say, “She’s got her head in the right place,” or “His heart was in the right place,” or “They have had helping hands.” Tangible actions are measured by the outcomes generated from one’s head, heart, and hand.
How does this relate to HCL’s values—Courage, Care, and Collaborate?
Just like our hands help us function every day, Courage and Care are HCL’s two hands that work together, intuitively, and inter-dependently, the synergy from which creates the energy that helps us Collaborate.
Courage is aligned with the head. Care is aligned with the heart, and Collaborate is aligned with the hand. Hence the 3Cs of Courage, Care, and Collaborate connect seamlessly with the 3Hs of Head, Heart, and Hand, and vice versa.
Balanced leadership is about keeping these values and aspects in sync. If there is no alignment here, our results will not be outcome-based and there will be no solidarity in realizing our short-term and long-term goals and vision.
Let’s Go Beyond Gender
I am amused when people still bring in the topic of gender in stereotypical ways—so much quota for women, different facilities for each gender, etc. Look at the world around us. While cooking is largely attributed as a women-centric skill, some of the top chefs in the world are men. While aggressively hunting for deals is pre-conceived as a male-centric skill, some of the most astute leaders in the world are women who know how to be aggressive from within, yet approach situations in the most adroit of ways.
Wisdom from Yin-Yang
The Yin-Yang symbol fascinates me, made of black and white swirls, each containing a spot of the other. It derives its inspiration from ancient Chinese philosophy and represents how opposite forces are interconnected, counterbalancing each other. While providing stability, leaning toward analytical thinking and taking a linear approach are attributed to masculine energy traits; being intrinsically powerful, compassionate, creative, and taking a circular approach are attributed to feminine energy traits. All these traits are available intuitively within each and every one of us, irrespective of gender.
People who defy age-old stereotypes are not just exceptions to the norms or outliers—they are the ones who have astutely balanced the masculine and feminine energies within them.
Embrace Dual Energies
Balanced leadership is gender agnostic. Organizations must embrace dual energies, be it masculine or feminine, light or dark, ups or downs, through a balanced approach. At the micro-level, individuals who have the capacity to be leaders should strive for this balance within themselves. At a macro-level, an organization that facilitates platforms for such balance will, in turn, benefit from not only balanced leadership but also a balanced ambience.
The Fine Art of Balance
For leaders, when courage is unbalanced, and not supported by a generous dose of care, it can lead to aggressiveness. Likewise, if care is not channelized via strategic channels, it can result in unbalanced results.
Can a team benefit from a leader who only takes courageous decisions but does not have feedback mechanisms to listen to the opinions of others and create a democratic ambience for them? Such a leader will go into the red zone and not be agreeable to peers.
Letting go is one of the arts of balanced leadership. When a leader places their trust on a team member and knows when to sit back and let them take the lead, it shows a balance of courage and care.
At HCL, Courage widens our horizons. Our Care expands from our employees to our environment and larger ecosystem. In the synergy of both these values lies our ability to Collaborate and create limitless possibilities for our future.