The Most Subtle Form of Leadership: Interact

We have debated mightily on what to call the final module of Lead, the third pillar of the Adianta School’s curriculum. We have settled, for the moment, on Interact, which covers many, but not all of the subtle skills we aim to inculcate in the quarter.

First of all, presence. Are we aware of how we present ourselves to other people? Are we aware of how they read us, of how we can read them? Can we enter and exit a role at will? Present effectively from the stage? Communicate meaningfully with Powerpoint, Prezi and other interactive digital-visual media? How can one be sure that one is always connecting with one’s audience? How does one run a press conference? Write a press release? Persuade one’s public audience?

Secondly, however, after one’s moment in the limelight is over, how does one capitalize on it? How well can we connect with other people in a large milieu? How does one build relationships that can lead to future prospects? There are many simple social cues to all this that young people usually take years to master. We can accelerate this process.

Third, how does one motivate one’s team. How does one read the signals of internal team conflict? How does one reconcile and resolve conflict to ensure higher productivity? These are matters of leadership that many never learn except in the University of Life. Through role plays, simulations, and other similar exercises students find themselves taking such decisions now, learning the intuitions that will guide them later.

Fourth and finally, how does one coordinate the work of different people in one’s team to ensure productivity, effectiveness, timeliness, efficiency, excellence. This begins with managing one’s own time, using not only paper and pencil, but also digital media and online tools to conduct task analyses, build timetables, workflow charts, as well as assign and review deliverables.

These critical skills of interaction transform a fresher into a valuable asset for any organization, be it a start-up or a large and established conglomerate.

 

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