MERGING MY LEADERSHIP STYLE INTO BUSINESS VALUES
BY HARSHA SHIVDASANI, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
HOSTS INTERNATIONAL | LONDON
Most people often question me on how I manage to drive leadership in my organisation, Hosts International; in such competitive student/agent/school landscape where emerging beyond the competition is a challenge. It’s not easy!
People don’t want to be lead these days! On a professional level defining the character and culture of the organization, which in turn is a reflection of the consciousness of its leadership is a belief in which holds true to me.
On an individual level, values are those little things we do each and every day that exemplifies who we are. They aren’t trendy business hacks, they’re timeless guides that drive everything we do.
Through the promise of self-managing employees, a sincere loyal corporate culture, and clarity of purpose, the bottom line is you value being a forward-thinking leader; you can’t leave your core values behind. I’ve said it before, when people say don’t take it personally, I disagree, and taking it personally means you care, you have values and standards.
So, you ask, what values matter?
Consistency for one. In practice, in element, in belief and in business values….
Consistency in leadership is incredibly important because it’s a promise that you are always leading by example. That’s my way. Always being there when needed, setting an example. I think if you asked any of our staff and teams, they would say.
I’m a workaholic and am there if not physically but there all the time, every time, for everything. From, the air-conditioning has broken down, to, a partner has popped in unannounced, to, ‘can you cover I need a day off’, to setting new budgets to introducing new initiatives for growth, no task too small…or too big!
This leadership trait in itself is one of the biggest value assets to my business, I think!
Establishing consistency in what you do is about more than just setting the standards. To me it means you must uniformly sound, feel and speak your vision and maintaining to drive it through at all times, is an evolution. You need to get your core leadership value aligned and compatible, ready to speak volumes on its own without you having to explain it to anyone.
You may need to reinforce the values time and time again, perhaps a style that doesn’t go down well all the time; however, the proof is in the pudding! Hosts International has truly grown, organically mainly, over the time I’ve worked there by an average 25% year on year and keeps expanding within the student accommodation industry.
Balance is another core value I hold true – In essence, most organisation focus on striking a balance between motivating employees to do better at their jobs aligning business objectives to long term growth but in reality, organisational values hold much more gravitas….
As a first time mother, a wife and a full-time career woman, I can surely state that striking a balance is key whether you are talking to your one-and half year-old daughter, your husband, your team or your business partners.
What motivates me each day is living the leadership-based values in my daily life…
Waking up each morning to drive a vision which continuously demonstrating the values that matter to me such as integrity, humility and commitment in the home and in the business.
Motivation to me is as simple as looking at my toddlers’ smile each morning…
It is receiving happy letters from students and partners. Things don’t go right all the time, we cannot control that, but we do try and put it right when and if it goes wrong. I think our partners can vouch for that.
Finding motivation and motivating the people around you if not easy. Especially as some people are naturally miserable! Motivation is key, working with people is key, encouraging people to find their own motivation is key!
To my business, it resonates to build the valuable asset that drives my business to what I stand for and then drive it home! After all, business relationships are built on the belief that we can deliver and on trust that we won’t let them down, at least not intentionally……
After all, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why and how you do it. And what you do and how you do it, simply proves what you believe in”