MORE Leadership Lessons from ‘The Voice’!

Leadership Lessons I am happy to confess that I am  a Voice Tragic…Channel 9’s new reality TV show!

This is possible a very 21st century example of over sharing. As my 13 year old would say ‘TMI mum, TMI” (Too much information).  But in the interests of scholarship (ahem) I would like to share some insights the program provides on leadership in action.

It’s interesting to see the format of the program where all the celebrity coaches (Seal, Joel Madden, Delta and Keith) have their mentors sitting in chairs behind them.  Sometimes when the coaches can’t decide they simply say ‘I need to talk with my mentor”.  Just having a trusted person to bounce your thoughts against helps the coaches make a well rounded decision.  It’s lonely at the top and when the leadership spotlight shines on you, having someone you can talk to can make the world of difference.

While it’s OK to ask for advice from your mentors you do not always have to take it!  Sometimes you might not concur  with your mentor and that’s fine to go out on a limb to back yourself.   This is hard and agonising to do but that’s why its called leadership not followship.  So often when a coach was making a decision contrary to the mentor’s advice they would say ‘ I have to trust my gut on this’.

In one of the battles, for Delta it came down to the wire choosing between two amazing contestants Danni and Sarah.  Keith Urban declared it a ‘Diva’s Derby’ and Delta took time out to consult her mentor, but was still undecided after.  She then turned the heat on the contestants saying ‘Tell me why you want this so badly?”.  Based on their answers she picked Danni.  Again leaders don’t have to have all the answers but they have to be able to ask the right questions.

All the coaches in ‘The Voice’ are about coaching others to greatness. As  John Buchan says ‘The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already’.

For previous lessons on the voice click here.


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  • Federica

    Yamini, great insight on a difficult topic.
    I really like the part when you emphazise the fact that a great leader need to have a guidance as well. Everyone should have someone to rely to when in need because this ability to refer to someone else also fosters relationships.
    In my opinion, if a leader feels to be alone (and often a leader is alone) on a longer perspective she/he may start cutting relationships with others as a result of this “solitude inside”. On the contrary, mentorship or coaching may help a leader to further develop her/his social skills and “organizational love” for people.
    thanks for this opportunity to think about a very important issue in our society.
    big hugs from Italy,

    • Yamini Naidu

      Federica WOW thank you so much for your lovely feedback and all the way from Italy! I found your insight into ‘solitude inside’ very true. Sadly many organisational cultures might foster this in leaders, instead of ‘organisational love for people’. More food for thought.
      Thanks again lovely to hear from you.
      Best wishes

  • Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. Going out on a limb with a decision that does not concur with trusted advice can be scary but wonderfully rewarding when the results are positive. Being a recruiter I am a professional questioner and find it maddeningly frustrating when the coaches (or chefs) cannot ask more objective questions when trying to decide a contestants fate. Surely there is somebody in the production team who can create some questions that will give the coaches a genuine reason to pick one over the other. After all, if both contestants are following their dream we haven’t really got much more to go on.
    Thanks for your regular newsletter I love reading about your adventures.

    • Yamini Naidu

      Thanks so much Vic. It is scary but rewarding like you say to go out on a limb. And asking the right questions is such a skill, instead of a cop out tell me about your strengths or why do you want this so bad.
      Thanks for your support.

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