Is there a trade-off between positive thinking, optimism and reality? When people leave a job, they overestimate this.
Your job role and objectivity
Is there a pattern you are seeing? Is it difficult to be objective when you are solely defined by the job you have or the role you play?
Do you ever get a knot in your stomach? Being objective means being aware of these sensations and understanding what they mean.
Can you be objective and collaborate effectively?
Can you be objective when you are fearful of something?
Lack of objectivity can have enormous consequences.
Leadership effectiveness is judged by the results we achieve. Our results are determined by the actions we take. Our actions are determined by the decisions we make.
Our ability to evaluate situations, make decisions and take effective action is directly determined by our ability to be objective.
How many times a month do you overreact to situations? How many times do you take things personally?
Be aware of your mental models
We all have mental models that stop us from being objective. Mental models are deep-rooted ideas and beliefs that we have about ourselves. They are perceived reality models and give us an idea to behave in certain ways.
Impact of thoughts
It is important to understand that a thought is harmless till we believe it.
How experiences shape the brain
New discoveries about the brain have shed light on how much past experience and desire to avoid pain shape our brain pathways.
Objectivity in the moment
Creates distance and space
Reverses your normal tendency
The objective decision making process
Gathers and accepts the facts about the situation
Identifies the mental models, intuitions, etc
Evaluates underlying assumptions
Develops new ways of thinking
Chooses an objective response, taking into account all possible consequences
Takes effective action
To be objective under pressure, you need to be present in the moment and be non-judgemental.
The good news is that we can improve our mindfulness. But you need to create time for it and also have patience.
A negative mental model
A mental model that kills us: I constantly compare myself with others to determine my value.
Three thoughts to help you be objective
To be objective
You don’t need to be perfect at everything you do
Accept that you don’t know in cases you really don’t know
Honesty itself can be objective
Allow yourself to step back
You don’t need to control to be successful. Letting others take control in many situations helps bring objectivity from your side as you can step back and see the big picture.
Beware your insecurities
Insecurity: I am not good enough, I cannot accept myself the way I am, I am limited.
Dealing with an unpleasant situation
There will always be situations we don’t like. The first thing is not to blame someone or something or bad luck but to deal with it in an accepting way.
Accept that you have limited control
Being objective means understanding and accepting the fact that you have limited control over your hidden variables.
See the big picture
Everything is connected and interrelated and hence, being objective requires you to see the bigger picture.
Missing the links
Steve Ballmer in Microsoft had trained his direct reports to see the trees and not the woods, he rarely had combined team meetings, he dealt with them one-on-one. So when the culture needed to change to a transformative, team-led one, he realized that his own team was resisting the changes he was making.
Getting lost in minutia
Ballmer would ask for a three-page note but people would send him 50 pages since he wanted every detail and number. It was a no-win situation.
What objective leaders do
An objective leader
Creates an inclusive environment.
Realizes that his team has biases.
Is not a name, blame and shame person.
Accepts when things don’t go well. He takes the burden.
Working with teams
Large-scale team work needs a very supportive, attentive and listening leader.
An objective leaders will communicate relentlessly and communicate the truth. Without that he will not get change.
President (Corporate Strategy and Business Development)
Aditya Birla Group
Before his current assignment at Aditya Birla Group, Shivakumar was Chairman & CEO at Pepsico India. Prior to that he was Managing Director at Nokia India. Before joining Nokia, he worked with consumer electronics maker Philips and top consumer goods firm Hindustan Unilever. He is an engineer from IIT Chennai and an MBA from IIM Calcutta.