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Being a Leader #1: Goal Setting

This article will be the first in a series on the topic of effectively leading a group of people towards a common goal. Each article will discuss a different tool, or arrow, for your metaphorical leadership quiver. Like that? I just made it up.

Groups of people who get together for a common purpose, public companies, mod teams, etc., all share one thing in common. They frequently fail. There are many reasons for a group venture to fail, but I’ll group them into two categories; market failures, and leadership failures. Market failures are when, for whatever reason, the venture itself is not sound. The game you are making is not fun, the product does not serve a rational purpose, or not enough people understand what you are trying to do. For whatever reason, you end up not having enough cash to continue working. Your company goes bankrupt, and you end up spending the rest of your life saying “Would you like fries with that?” Let’s ignore these types of failure, as there are many books that cover the subject broadly, and good advice would need to given in the context of that companies specific situation. Instead, we will focus on leadership failures. That is, when the company has a good product, good talent, and enough cash on hand, but due to poor leadership just cannot seem to get the job done.

Here is the catch about tools that can help you solve leadership problems. They all seem so blindingly obvious. The trick is, while many people state that the solution is “blindingly obvious”, very few people actually use these tools. Why? I’ll quote good old Thomas Edison on this one. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” I know I sure hate overalls. Similarly, people avoiding taking steps toward being a good leader because it is “dressed in overalls and looks like work.” So let’s get something straight. Nothing I state in these articles is going to be amazingly new. In fact, all of these articles will be covering leadership techniques that have been proven in the field, time and time again. I’m simply going to rehash some of the more powerful ones here so that you don’t have to go buy a few dozen leadership books before you can start making progress on becoming a better leader.  The first tool I will be talking about is one of the most powerful– goal setting.

For you, as a team leader, proper goal setting is a powerful motivational tool, is a vessel for sharing project vision, provides opportunities to communicate with team members, and sets benchmarks by which you can judge performance. Goals are flexible. They can vary in size, from long term project goals, to moderately sized intermediate goals, all the way down to weekly and daily goals. Goals can be subsets of other goals, and so on. You get the picture. If you don’t, read that paragraph over again, because it was perfect. The point I’m trying to get across is that without goals, people will not have anything specific to move towards, and will flounder in their work. Let’s talk about how to set up a proper goal.

In order to set up successful goals as a leader, you cannot simply tell your team “This is generally what we are shooting for, GO!”. Instead, you will want to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic, and Time based. The definitions actually vary depending on who you talk to, but the basics are all the same.

9 FAQ on Gratuity Act in India

On The Orange Octopus

FAQ 1: What is the procedure to be followed in case an employer is not paying gratuity to employee or terminating employee services intentionally for purpose of nonpayment of gratuity?

I would suggest, that employee in such cases should send a letter to employer through registered post mentioning about his employment with organization and asking for gratuity amount. In case, there is no reply from employee then another letter through registered post should be sent where employee should give reference of first letter and ask for reply. Employee should also mention that in case employer do not reply then in that case employee is left with only one option- approaching labor court. Employee should keep copy of correspondence with employer. I am sure that in many cases, you will receive reply or your gratuity amount from employer. But, in case there is no action taken by employer then you should approach competent authority of their region to file a case.

In HAPA (Human resources And People Appreciation), the HRMS solution which is specifically meant for the SME segment, the Payroll Management feature, calculates gratuity automatically for all the employees. It also keeps a record of the same for future references.

FAQ 2: Gratuity is part of my CTC. I have left company before completing 5 years. Can I claim my gratuity as it was mentioned in my CTC.

Gratuity is payable only when an employee completes 5 years of continuous service. If an employee leaves company before 5 years then employee is not eligible for gratuity irrespective whether same was part of employee CTC or not.

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