I Tried and It Didn’t Work
Two years after launching a change program to counter competitive threats, a bank CEO realized his effort had produced…no change. Surprising to them, since he and his top executives had reviewed the company’s purpose and culture, published a mission statement, and launched programs (e.g., pay-for-performance compensation) designed to push change throughout the organization. But revitalization doesn’t come from the top. It starts at an organization’s periphery, led by unit managers creating ad hoc arrangements to solve concrete problems. Hmmm ‘push change’, yeah that’s going to work…NOT!
Through task alignment —directing employees’ responsibilities and relationships toward the company’s central competitive task—these managers focused energy on work, not abstractions like “empowerment” or “culture.” Senior managers’ role in this process? Specify the company’s desired general direction, without dictating solutions. Then spread the lessons of revitalized units throughout the company. You supposedly hired good people for a reason. Get out of their way, remove obstacles that prevent/prohibit excellence and avoid stifling them.
Another typical failed attempt at improving culture and engagement. The central theme in most of these situations is the one who’s leading the team, the department, the division, the company, the enterprise is YOU – you are the reason it’s not successful. Three simple letters that destroy people, families, companies and countries – EGO.
The Leadership Problem
Would you agree a person could be very knowledgeable yet be unchanged by that acquisition of knowledge? All, yes all, of us know certain things we must do to be successful, yet we fail to do them. We know what foods are good for us, yet we choose to ignore that knowledge and give in to our emotions, our feelings. The ‘I want’s’ of food, life, recreation, work and so on.
Every decision, favorable and not, comes with a consequence – a price to pay
We know overspending is bad and will lead to serious consequences, yet we overextend ourselves at home, at work, in recreation and so on because of the ‘I want’s’. We also know, because we are intelligent and have knowledge, to become great or successful, we must humble ourselves and serve others. Too often, leaders and managers use power and position to lord it over others to manipulate them to satisfy our egos. #Truth
Knowledge is useless without action and application
You must choose to decide and act instead of feeling what you want to do or because some other tactic is easier or simpler or avoids conflict and confrontation. As an Elegant Leader the idea in practice requires commitment, coordination and competency.
Want some stats? Sure…there are over 20,000 leadership development resources available, yet despite the magnitude, they have failed to produce good leaders. One potential client told me the other day, “…guys like you are a dime a dozen…”. And it’s egos like that who’ll keep my practice thriving. According to the Bama Group, 90% of Americans believe the nation is facing a crisis of leadership. 61% say they work for a bad boss. 33% say poor leadership at work is the most stressful part of their workday. It’s no wonder over 70% of workers are highly disengaged, according to Gallup.
You’re willing to bitch about it, yet do nothing about it to better yourself?
You’re willing to deal with the day-in, day-out mess of your disengaged people as a ‘cost of doing business’ – no wonder your results are ‘less than favorable’ (that’s weaselspeak for ‘suck’). My apologies if I’ve offended you. Get over it.
Follow the Money
Nearsighted leaders believe it’s all about the money. You don’t invest in change, because the ROI B/E runway is longer that you’re willing to wait. Why? You’ve waited until gangrene set in or the dam’s about to break, what will we do now? What else?
Many LD programs focus on techniques, ‘tricks’n traps’, building competencies, skills and tactics. While those elements can be important, and much of those skills can be led internally as part of your talent development initiatives. Keep building the pipeline – there’s great value there. However, development programs fail miserably on the most important part of leadership – the LEADER! The leader and his or her character, integrity and emotional intelligence are at the root and where the buck stops to invite change that sticks.
No sales pitch just truth. We get you the results you must have to be successful and your relationships will become much stronger and healthier than they’ve ever been – guaranteed. How? Because in order to be successful, we both must work hard at it; there’s no chance of failure unless you quit – pretty damn simple.
When I looked back at all of my failed relationships, there was one constant…me