Ahmed’s Dev-Shop

Simple charisma test: what makes you a leader

Posted in Management, team building, workplace by Ahmed Siddiqui on February 14, 2010

If  you have assigned a leadership role where you are responsible for the performance of couple of people, this simple checklist may help you.

If the following checklist returns positive results, it seems you are going to enjoy your leadership role otherwise you may gonna lose your respect.


1.   You consider yourself responsible for the performance of your team members
2.   You are eager to know what they think about you
3.   You are eager to know and ask frequently if they are comfortable with the task or role
4.   You are eager to listen their suggestions and opinions
5.   You are able to avoid favoritism based on personal likeness
6.   You support instead of compete with your team members
7.   You insure that they have enough knowledge of the task before expecting any outcome
8.   You are well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of every single member
9.   You are well aware of the need hierarchy of every single member
10. You are not scared of their capabilities and/or performance
11.  You don’t want them to consider you as always-right
12.  You are eager to learn from your team members
13.  You always appreciate their efforts regardless if failure occurs
14.  You share the credit with the team
15.  You are able to see if any team member exploiting others or spoiling the team environments
16.  You take your team’s opinion before taking any decision
17.  You show your trust on them, avoiding unnecessary questions & letting them taking initiatives
18.  You keep your eye upon them but avoid annoying micro-management



Don’t let them leave, don’t get them changed

Posted in Management by Ahmed Siddiqui on May 26, 2008

I don’ t know whether it’s a common phenomenon or not and whether it has been written in HR books or not. Having being hunted by this problem during my early days, when I got the first chance to lead people, I started observing them silently, without showing any reaction, letting them be more and more exposed.

I collected events and behaviors, analyzed and discussed these behaviors, concluded the results, and to make the decision making process complete and fool proof, I started getting feedback. The results were positive.

So being a line manager, are you able to identify some precious resources under your supervision who seem to be ordinary?

Common characteristics of these resources

  • These people are often too shy to communicate
  • They often seek opportunity to add any value to their company, even if they are not satisfied
  • They do not show unusual efficiency in the presence of their seniors because of their honesty
  • Often they seek for a chance to help their colleagues without expecting any return
  • You may find them helping others even if they have their own tough time lines
  • If they respect you, they would not tell you, instead they’ll work for you harder
  • They’ll contradict you , in your own interest
  • Sometimes they fail to meet the time lines because they do not want to compromise on hidden quality, while others do
  • They utilize their leisure time in solving some other problems your company may face
  • Sometime they silently solve some potential problems which can become a disaster for you in future

How to deal with them

If their responsibilities are some back office or technical tasks, their weaknesses may be in your favor along with their strengths

– Most probably they would not ask you for appreciation and incentive. You have to identify their micro achievements which may have resolved some macro problems; appreciate them

Don’t let them get rid of innocence and honesty, appreciate these characteristics

Be aware of some smart asses under you who can exploit these innocents by taking their credit

When they lose they time lines because they were helping others, don’t criticize them for it. Just appreciate them and tell them:

  • To prioritize the criticality
  • To prioritize their own task, if criticality is same
  • Or to discuss it with you (supervisor)

Being a line manager, you are not necessarily dealing with managed people. They may lack some skills while having some others. You have to study your resources thoroughly and closely. Identify their actual value instead of the perceived value. May be you would have a different perception after this practice.