C-Suite Sensei – Leadership for Maximum Engagement

Business leaders and executives around the world continue to face various challenges about how to engage workforce and improve their productivity with the help of leaner resources and processes. Therefore, it is pertinent to discuss what are the keys or benchmarks to higher levels of engagement and productivity. What are the methods and techniques leaders can deploy to exercise more control over employees, keep them engaged in company affairs, encourage them to perform better and enhance their productivity.

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Sensie Leadership:
Sensie is a Japanese world which literally means “a person born before another.” In general terms, it simply means a teacher, professor or any person who transfers whatever knowledge he possesses to others. People also use this interesting word to express their respect for someone who has achieved a certain level of mastery over any form of skill.

Business executives also need to adopt the role of teacher or mentor in order to become a sensei leader. This will enable them to successfully engage their workforce and encourage them to improve their performance. It is also necessary for them to provide everything their employees need to polish their skills and improve their productivity.
Secondly, sensei leadership is all about leading by the example. In fact, if have full command over your trade, you can demand others to follow you with more confidence. On the other hand, your employees or follower will take your orders seriously and do their level best to abide by them. You should also show enthusiasm and commitment to excellence before expecting others to do the same.

Sensie and Employees’ Development:
According to a recent survey, 66% of American CEOs have confirmed that they have never got any training or advice from external consultants. Similarly, 50% of them believe that they are receptive to changes occurring around them. However unfortunately, almost 100% of them strongly believe that they feel isolated while occupying the top most position in their organizations and this is where the concept of sensei comes to their rescue.

A good sensei (teacher or mentor) shall always provide every possible opportunity to its students or employees in case of businesses to develop their skills and expand their professional repertoire. Furthermore, he will strive to enable them to adapt to the environment of his company easily instead of making things intimidating for them.
Most importantly, a good sensei will improve his personal relations with all the employees, learn more about their strengths and shortcomings and leave no stone unturned to improve employees’ engagement in business affairs. In Japan, a sensei is considered successful only if his students achieve greater level of mastery than achieved by him. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in saying that business leaders need to adopt the same approach if they want to improve their own performance and that of employees.

Sensei and Leader’s Development:
However, sensei leadership is not all about developing the skills of followers because it actually deals with continues improvement of leader itself. As a matter of fact, you are never perfect or flawless no matter how experienced or talented you are. Senseis in Japan never rest on their laurels and continuously seek new avenues to further develop themselves. Mastering any skill is not a one time process but requires keeping abreast with latest developments in that particular field and continuously improving your skill accordingly.

A business leader needs to lead from the front in order to win the hearts of his employees and get best out of them. Similarly, he should do everything possible to help them perform well and continuously develop themselves. Last but not the least; he also needs to master soft skills such as motivation, compassion and persuasion because sometimes all that an employer need is a bit of respect and pat on the back to get going.

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