Organisations in which leaders continuously fail to uphold a united front through demonstrated action and by this I mean stand united in their decision making processes as opposed to voicing their personal biases, will struggle to gain their employees trust.
What does bring strong employee engagement (buy-in) is demonstrated alignment amongst the leadership team through one united voice and consistent language, instead of leadership teams continuously putting each other on the chopping block (dog eat dog mentality).
This kind of approach lacks credibility and influence to bring their employees on board their change initiatives which are supposedly there to better service the customers and the business holistically.
What leaders amid organisations need to realise is that they are representing a company and the company’s ethos and therefore leaders need to park their egos aside and focus on the bigger picture which does not concern their individual biases, especially if they are not in alignment with the company values.
A great leader LEADS BY EXAMPLE through demonstrated action. Regardless of your leadership style, your role is to EMPOWER (make it happen), ENABLE (provide the resources) and RESPOND (deliver your promise) to your followers. Anything less is merely a cop-out and lacks clarity, transparency and accountability!
Regardless of your status, invest time in really “getting to know” your peers and vice versa. Do this and you will reap the rewards 10 fold as your efforts guide you in understanding personal preferences (likes/dislikes), as opposed to focusing on the technical, operational and/or strategic matters alone. Demonstrating commitment to the relationship, will aid in:
- More informed and cohesive decision making
- Critical thinking in time of need as a result of our global landscape, especially if challenged by remoteness, differing time zones, language barriers, technology, etc.
- Taking ownership/accountability rather than hand-balling issues
- Your ability to respond with confidence in a timely manner by exercising some discretion (accepting that sometimes you need to think outside the box)
Today’s leaders need to revisit their mass sacking, redundancy, downsizing or outsourcing plans to address the all-important question of ‘How are you going to maintain (little yet exceed) the same level of service, once you remove a large number of your workforce and/or a key person from your organisation?’
When are leaders going to wake up to the fact that multi-skilling alone will not solve this problem, as you create a workforce that struggles to meet expectations (customer needs) due to, in essence, being hired to undertake a number of roles, yet have accountability for neither. I would much rather pay for a service provider that does one thing very well than another that offers a number of services (product streams) to get you in the door, yet struggles to deliver on either.
Leaders which fail to ensure their communication plans address any workforce changes adequately so as to ensure access to knowledge, information and decision-making is clearly articulated (to those left to pick up the pieces), especially once a critical person is gone, will suffer as their customers go elsewhere and their bottom line plunges.
Instead of mass sacking leadership needs to step up to the plate and seriously address poor performance by being clear, transparent and accountable, rather than firing only to rehire. As multi-skilling does not deliver sustainable results due to the pressure of needing to wear more than one hat at the same time. Eventually you will put the wrong hat on. The level of catastrophe is not something I would want to weigh up as I do not have an entitlement to mess with someone’s life, nor should anyone else for that matter.
Whether you are a parent, teacher or manager what makes you an effective leader is your ability to truly engage, collaborate and influence. Do this and the discretionary effort will follow as a result of trust, good rapport and walking your talk e.g. achieving a mutual agreed goal.