I learned from your profile that you are committed to the noble initiative of rural revival and the author of a best-seller on Microfinance.
I have come across rural woman leaders being loved and trusted for creating opportunities and reshaping lives. They infuse confidence and pride in their teams by imparting skills for sustenance. They command a high level of allegiance as the team is grateful for their life transformation. Relating to the Eight Natural Stages of leadership defined in ‘Father Of Your Team’, the team is expected to be in ‘Stage 5- The Entitlement Stage’ or higher.
I hope the crisis for a woman leader could be in the form of funds getting suspended or delayed if she is leading an NGO or a women’s self-help group (SHG). If she is leading a profit organization, it could be in the form of competition from an organized sector or cancellation of orders. Regardless of what the calamity is, I consider Five As integral to the leader to win over a crisis.
- Acknowledging the situation
- Awareness creation
- Alleviate pain
- Allow questions
- Alternative action
Acknowledging is not trying to bury the bad news.
Awareness isn’t limited to the leader but the entire team and those who depend on the team. Allow team members to ask questions for alternative actions and provide their thoughts on the crisis. When the leader takes the crisis heads on, keeps the team engaged to solve, the team feels motivated during the crisis. In ‘Exchange Currency for Time’, Freddie spends more time with his team and justifies how communicating and listening to the team has bailed out organizations like Xerox and HCL from a crisis. When the leader follows the first 4As, the team will support on ‘Alternative Action’ with all their might. Remember, millions were happy to be jailed when Mahatma Gandhi acknowledged the crisis and, raised awareness across.
Like Freddie the Father Manager, who encourages Vishy to lead the risky assignment in the chapter ‘The Net Matters for the Net-Results’ the rural leader can position that crisis as an opportunity for each woman to exhibit problem-solving and leadership.
A distinguishing characteristic of Father Managers is tapping their network to expand opportunities for their teams. What cannot be cracked even with the collective competence of the rural leader and her team can be solved using this approach.
Apart from deriving inspiration from ‘Father Of Your Team’, I recommend that you read out ‘Follow every rainbow’ and ‘Poor little rich slum’ to the rural women leaders. They are sure to emerge stronger and fulfill your aspirations of rural revival.
The Father Manager