Lubna Usman, Sr. Vice President with the Project Debt Syndication Team, believes in ‘Leading by Example’ and provides us with great insight in developing productive and successful teams. She has been awarded the Business Leader of the year, She shares with us her perspective on how a leader defines relationships and work culture.

According to you, what are the most important characteristics of a leader and how would you describe your leadership style?

Leadership to me is about being “intuitive”. As a leader, one has to create a balance between planned and intuitive decisions to ensure maximum value is generated. You need to be proactive, and pre-empt the course correction, as it defines your leadership abilities. Taking complete responsibility and ownership of any decision, backing your team when required, comparable rationale and energy levels to achieve the organizational objectives together, defines the success of teams.

A constant feedback from my team members, as well as from others, is that they see me as an approachable leader and I feel it is an important aspect of building a healthy work environment.

I feel, as a leader you need to stand beside your team at all times and as long as they are focused and deliver, they would have the support of their leader.

How do you handle team dynamics?

At times there are situations when you are faced with huge targets of compounding pressures, wherein projects or assignments are not moving according to plan and you need to deal with last minute strategy changes. In the business that we are in, there could also be situations wherein because of some circumstances you are short staffed and you may have urgent transactional issues to take care of. The right approach of a leader to this kind of a situation would be to jump right in and straighten everything, till the entire team is operational to take over the task again.

During times like these, teams need to work through tight synchronization, brainstorming on strategies and ideas, working diligently till the task is completed. There would certainly be creative differences in thoughts and ideas, but what is foremost is the spirit of doing the job, leaving all personal grievances aside.

Being a woman leader may be it comes naturally to me, to manage team dynamics and situations, yet channelizing it constructively with coordinated efforts and mutual relationships.

What are the different ways in which you keep your team motivated?

It is very important to provide multiple opportunities to your team members in honing their skills to become future leaders. A leader should build capability by assigning them key positions, be part of their developmental progress and facilitate their growth to evolve as strong and capable leaders.

Also, congenial communication channels amongst top leadership play a vital link between two inter-departmental teams’ cohesiveness. While working on numerous organisational projects, it maximises a reasonably seamless support between teams.

A leader’s success is the collective effort of the team and my personal belief has always been in building success driven teams. Be appreciative of their effort through positive feedback, rather than undermining their lack of performance. This certainly helps in gaining confidence from your team.  

Everybody has a role to play for the common goal of the organization. A person, who is able to successfully put across their perspective and gain consensual agreement from the leadership level, obtains credence from all in the organisation.

Do you have a mantra to leading?

I thrive under high energy levels. You need to keep your team energized constantly into making quick collective decisions without procrastinating. ‘Lead by example’ so that fellow team members feel enthused and encouraged, steering you towards a healthy and vibrant team.

What are your professional and personal aspirations?

It is very important to provide multiple opportunities to your team members in honing their skills to become future leaders. A leader should build capability by assigning them key positions, be part of their developmental progress and facilitate their growth to evolve as strong and capable leaders.

The organisation has had faith and belief in me to honour me with the Leadership award. Professionally, I wish to take this a step forward and my primary goal is taking lead in a variety of challenging roles and achieving the organisations central objectives.

Personally, I wish to continue be of service to the public, by being involved with social service causes and engaging with political parties, trying to make a difference to society. Although challenging, there is joy in contributing to a helpful cause.  

As shared with IFIN Panorama Editorial Team

Lubna Usman

Beside: Lubna Usman receiving the business leader of the year award from Mr. Ramesh C Bawa

 







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