RdL Speaks with Ray d’Silva about his Leadership Insights.

Click the link to listen to Ray’s story.

Read Ray’s responses below.

1.   As I reflect on what led to my success as a senior manager or leader, I would have to say it was by sheer accident. It probably started a long time ago in school as a boy scout when I was made a troop leader. Then that progressed to House captain and Section leader in the cadet corps.

A couple of years after arriving in Australia I was drafted into National Service. This experience gave me exposure to various levels of authority and styles of leadership.

My main takeaways from this time into civilian life were, Discipline, Communication, Teamwork, Fairness, Mateship and Decision making. I was ambitious to progress my climb up the ladder. I learnt all that I could in theory plus observing how successful managers/Leaders achieved results was the most beneficial. I soon learnt that being a good Manager did not necessarily mean a good leader.

I learnt to be patient and to listen to people. I developed communication skills and learnt to trust and respect people if I wanted them to trust and respect me. I had to lead by example.

The other thing was that I did not see myself as superior to others. I felt that humility was  appreciated. Getting people involved and being part of the solution is the best asset a Manager/Leader can have.

Good communication skills, actively listening and not talking down to people helped me to be a good Manager/Leader.

It is hard to just pick three important Leadership qualities. If I had to it would be: 1. Communication- Develop this skill to be clear & concise so that people understand. Do not speak down to them. 2. Honesty – By being honest and truthful you will build and gain Trust & Respect .3. Empathy- Actively listen. Offer suggestions and advice. Treat everyone fairly.

The world is currently going through a tough time. It is a crisis that is being managed differently in most Countries. We are seeing Leaders and experts making decisions that impact the lives of millions of people. We are seeing different styles of leadership from many countries, be it personal traits or cultural demands.

In your professional career you will have to deal with a crisis at some time. My advice would be to assemble a team of experts. Collect data and facts so as to be able to analyse concisely and accurately. Obtain information and input from the team, collaborate, arrive at a consensus and finally make a decision. Planning and coordinating an action plan will ensure a good outcome.

My tips for up and coming leaders are, always be respectful of others views and opinions. Actively listen, you will get more out of your team. Be honest to gain trust and respect. Be adaptable. Always set an example by having high standards.

Let me finish by asking the age old question – Are Leaders born or made? I think it is a bit of both. You need to be born with some attributes and some you acquire along life’s journey.