NashTech’s Leadership DNA: 6 Steps to Align a National Company’s Vision
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
As part of our in-house corporate trainings, Leaders Creates Leaders is leveraging our impact by connecting with key stakeholders in companies who understand that the process of coaching takes time. LCL's Brand Ambassador, Alexander Gordillo, recently interviewed Mr. Nguyen Thuan Thanh, HR Director at NashTech Vietnam.
The discussion led to the ways LCL has influenced NashTech’s strategic plan as well as the impact of our Team Leadership Coaching methodology on their management ranks.
Among the things discussed was how through our trainings they were able to form a unified leadership framework for managers across the country.
Mr. Thanh pointed out that management takes more than technical ability while highlighting how intentional leadership not only helps managers become better at their jobs but actually grows revenue.
LCL: How did you first meet and acquaint yourself with LCL?
NT: The first experience I had with Warren was to host a full-day training called “Leader’s Day at NashTech.” During the first session, we talked about mindset changes and incorporated six leadership topics into our social activities with managers from our Hanoi and HCMC branches.
The topics were: Expanding our comfort zones, creating self-awareness, “The 6 Human Needs,” framing, crucial conversations, and team collaboration.
For six consecutive months, these training sessions helped our management create a unified leadership framework which we called “NashTech’s Leadership DNA.”
This was the first step in which Warren helped us establish a foundation to align our mindsets at the management level.
Besides these topics, another benefit of the trainings was an increase in engagement and participation between managers through different activities. Managers from different departments and cities started to recognize each other’s names and began to connect with one another. Just the simple use of name-tags made a huge difference. There was a powerful moment when I felt like, “wow, we are one team, finally.”
LCL: How do you define leadership, especially what is needed now for Nash Tech?
NT: As a leader, you need to know yourself; know how to lead yourself, and how to lead your team. A leader needs to take ownership and think strategically for the company in the long-term, not just focus on day-to-day operations.
Sometimes people are just too busy with their daily agendas. They stay in their comfort zones. They don't know what they don't know, right?
Our business is all about people. I do see in our industry that, traditionally, the main skills of managers are very technical. People get promoted because they have very strong technical abilities.
Sometimes, when they are promoted to the management level, they're not a leader yet. The problem is we create opportunities for them and put them into management roles, without first helping them play a leadership role and learning how to manage people. Being technically proficient but without certain management skills can actually do more damage than good.
So, the more we thought strategically at NashTech, the more we realized the need for better-equipped leaders. The need to prepare our management ranks to be able to play their role as leaders was an important goal for us.
LCL: Working with people is skill, too.
NT: For sure. We need to see all sorts of potential in them. If leaders are too busy with “business as usual,” targets, numbers, and we run after these blindly, we may forget about the people themselves.
So, Leaders Create Leaders is the name of the company but it is also a powerful concept because it reminds us that we also need to focus on growing the talent of employees, on developing the next generation of leaders inside the company. That is what I mean by long-term strategic thinking.
LCL: Can you give me some examples of the ways leadership skills can help the grow business?
NT: If you become a strong leader, you will know how to lead a team, how to motivate your team, and the team will be more engaged. Everyone will be eager to learn more, to contribute more. People are likely to feel like their purpose is aligned with the company’s vision.
Learning how to apply different leadership styles will lead to better cooperation between team members and you will have better job satisfaction. You will not leave the company for other jobs or to offers of higher salaries because that happens a lot in this industry.
We're not in manufacturing. Our business is all about people and our revenue is made by deploying our engineers to clients’ projects. So, if you can invest in the professional development of your team, they will contribute a higher value to the client.
Another point is that, as people grow in the company, they carry valuable institutional knowledge with them. If we lose them to the market, we lose that knowledge to the market as well and it takes time to replace them. At that time, we cannot bill the client, so we lose that revenue, as well.
LCL: Your earlier comment about how sometimes people just don't know what they don't know reminds me of the saying:
“If you knew better, you would do better.”
There’s this moment when we realize that there are things that we don't know that are getting in the way of our progress and we may not even realize it. So, the people around us with proper leadership training can help us become aware of these blindspots.
NT: If you remain in your comfort zone, you will not know what you don't know or seek to gain skills that will help you advance professionally. That will not help business, especially in our industry. We cannot afford to have a leadership team that is comfortable with where they are.
LCL: Someone else will take over…
How will Team Leadership Coaching help HR management accomplish your goals in the coming year?
NT: I have seen how the maturity level of our leadership team has improved. If they are consistently developing themselves according to the vision of the company, they will be more confident that they can drive the business forward. It is a journey for all of us.
LCL: We’ve seen some HR departments using coaching methods during their End-of- Year performance reviews. Do you think that's something that you will try?
NT: Yes, that’s definitely something that I hope will bring more value to the way we do the performance assessment.
For me, an effective performance process is not to just sit down with a team member to talk about KPIs and target numbers. And that’s mostly what happens. Sometimes, you provide a salary letter to people and you don’t know how to explain it to them.
So, as a leader and coach to your team members, you will not know how to handle that conversation or bring value to them. You may not know how to provide feedback that helps them grow professionally. That’s where coaching comes in, when together you can reflect on their performance and set goals for the upcoming year. Only then will they feel truly supported. .
LCL: If there was one message you would give about the power of coaching, what would that advice be?
NT: I think coaching is a powerful and beautiful tool. I also believe it's not for everyone if they don't really have a passion or the heart for that. It needs to come from them, that person who understands that growing a team member is also about growing within themselves.
LCL: In our industry, sometimes people want quick solutions for enhancing the value of leadership in their company. They say: “Okay, you have the magic solution, come in for two hours, tell us how much it is, and do your magic.”
And that's it. They don't understand that there are building blocks; that there's a process. Things don’t happen overnight. So, what I hear you saying is, “it will take us some time.”
We want to congratulate you for your commitment to integrate Leadership Coaching into NashTech’s everyday practices—your DNA. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us about how Leaders Create Leaders is making a difference at NashTech. We wish you ongoing success!