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Developing 'Informal Leaders' Among Employees

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The systematic development of good leaders is fundamental to long-term organizational success. Many successful companies rely on their "informal leaders" to help lead the way. The informal leaders do not hold any formal authority or power over the peers choosing to follow their lead but can influence others' decisions. These informal leaders help energize the skeptics and build a consensus for change. By developing and encouraging such leaders to guide colleagues will support the organization's vision and enable initiatives to succeed.

In this episode, Shaakun Khanna talks about "Developing 'Informal Leaders’ Among Employees." According to him, leaders and managers have to be very mindful and watch out to those people who are willing to take initiatives. The organization can create in-house leadership development programs to evaluate and identify high-potentials further down the path.
They can identify such leaders when one person raises their hands for multiple volunteer opportunities and is eager to explore new approaches in their work. The organization has to be very objective and empathetic, making them responsible for achieving the desired outcomes.

Shaakun Khanna is the Head - HCM Applications, APAC at Oracle. Before joining Oracle, Shaakun was the CEO of Right Management, India. He is also the Co-founder of Consentus Advisory, a specialty HR consulting firm.

In his earlier roles, Shaakun has been the Head of IBM Smarter Workforce and Head of Employee Engagement & Leadership Development Practice for Gallup Consulting and worked across Asia with clients from diverse industries. Over the last two decades, he has been a consultant to many Fortune 500 Organizations on Talent Management, Organization Design & Transformation, Employee Engagement, Leadership Development and Succession Planning.

Shaakun carries the rich experience of managing businesses for global organizations like Gallup Inc., IBM Smarter Workforce, The Tata Group and Manpower in various leadership roles. He graduated from Delhi University and further studied HR Consulting at the Gallup University, USA. Additionally, he is an Accredited Executive Coach and coaches business leaders across the region. Shaakun is also a Master Facilitator of the ‘Consciousness-Based Leadership’ with the International Centre for Contemporary Consciousness, USA. An inquisitive traveller and an avid reader, Shaakun is inspired by Dr. Stephen Covey and Donald O Clifton, which instills in him a great passion for transforming organizations for the betterment of their Human Capital.

Connect with Shaakun Khanna on Linkedin

Show Notes:

(0:34) How did you get into HR?
(1:57) How to identify influencers who can be groomed into informal leaders?
(3:53) How to keep such leaders engaged?
(6:40) How should we make such leaders align with the company's vision?
(8:29) Do you think the whole pandemic has accelerated the invasion of gig workers?
(11:38) Do you think appreciation, rewards and recognition would happen on a real-time basis rather than waiting for a quarterly review? What are your thoughts on this?
(14:18) Are there any KPIs which such leaders should be assigned to?
(16:28) How much time should be allocated to move such leaders in a formal leadership role?
(18:12) How do we build an ownership mentality among employees?
(20:54) How is Oracle building engagement among employees in a remote situation?
(26:06) What is your favorite book?
(26:30) Do you follow any HR leader/ CEO?
(26:47) What advice would you give to young HR leaders?

Also Read: Organizational Leadership in the Time of Covid-19

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