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Empowering People

Leadership and empowerment go hand in hand. True leader achieve success because they empower the capabilities of their team, do you agree?

In this episode of The Payal Nanjiani Leadership Podcast, Payal Nanjiani a Leadership expert, world-renowned executive coach, and a New York award-winning author goes one on one with Balfour Manuel | Managing Director, Blue Dart. You can listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.

Payal: What are you most passionate about today?

Balfour: I am very passionate about processes and people,both designed to deliver a great customer experience . Today anywhere in the country,when a Blue Dart airplane or a truck is seen, it’s a sign of reliability, responsibility and commitment. While we connect with people and improve lives,it’s also a huge responsibility and just to give a number, every second we deliver thirty shipments. It could be more and also the same DNA helped us to work during the pandemic.

We demonstrate this passion to drive during the pandemic, supporting the country, the government, the customers carrying medical equipment, all PP kits and vaccines, there was not a single day during the pandemic that the lights went out at any of our facilities. Our planes worked every night, our pilots would drive their aircraft to the airports themselves to fly the aircraft because there was no public transport. Same with our people. There were 25,000 people during the thick of the pandemic. It’s all about people’s passion in action.

Payal: What ways can leaders empower people to succeed in the organization?

Balfour: There is one key factor of theirs that is -TRUST. If you want a return on investment, trust and empower your colleague. I have always believed in that mantra. Empowerment means to include that aim in decision making, it means you are listening to them, it means that their inputs are valued and you encourage them. I would rather call it rowing together.

Empowerment builds confidence and kind of metamorphoses the leaders who trust each other and work towards a common goal just like our couriers to our senior vice presidents, our function heads, all glued to a single goal. No one leads an organization to success on their own. It is the collective excellence of many that builds the success and all of us lead based on considerable work input from everyone around in the team who has contributed and committed. In short, empowerment means investing in people and there is no greater otherwise than in any organization.

Payal: How did you keep your team motivated?

Balfour: Motivating teams in a virtual world was challenging and all of us needed to work very strongly towards it but there are some key fundamentals which is communicating the teams regularly, if possible every day and keeping them and the rest of the organization, challenges, opportunities or whatever, being inclusive. Every person, every job is important so making them feel they are critical in the journey. We have this motto called respect and reward and A can do attitude which blue dart has in the DNA. The other thing was keeping work life balance, to be flexible, agile to new age developments , and expectations of the workforce.

Upskilling took a scale and we were doing even in the month of December as much as short training may be an hour but we were doing something like 20 to 23 thousands such training in a month. Most of it online, we also had developed an app blue connect and within a week, there was 98 percent connectivity on the app by everybody . Being positive,all my leader groups being very positive made a huge difference to motivate the teams.

Payal: What has been that one advice that changed Balfour’ life?

Balfour: Stop worrying about your small stuff. One can shrink oneself to glory. From an organization perspective,you can’t keep cutting costs and expect the business to do well and upscale and expand. Cost efficiencies are there but you can’t shrink yourself on one side and row on the other side.

In personal life as well, generosity is something that has to be there in most parts of what you do. That gives us the ability to connect and grow. Generosity in visualizing ahead of the curve.

It’s all about people’s passion in action!

Date:16 December 2022


You can listen to the full episode on The Payal Nanjiani Leadership Podcast, available on all podcast channels including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.



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