Welcome to a New Definition of Leadership Chips!
Are you stuck on the leadership treadmill? Often taking three steps forward and fifteen backwards? It’s been 80 years since the release of the Sam Wood classic. When you look back a year or so, what do you see? Were you a successful leader? How do you know? Did you make wheelbarrows full of money? Did you climb the social ladder of material things? Who’s life have you influenced, who did you share your knowledge with and who has patterened themselves after you?
According to famed author Daniel Pink, we all desire higher performance on definitional tasks; to do more with intrinsic motivation, to be a part of a bigger purpose, and to know ‘they’ matter. Many of us want to direct our own lives and live out our destiny, our Autonomy. We desire to improve upon something that matters most to us and live with Mastery. What so many of us hope to achieve on this rock is a desire to do something greater than ourselves, a Purpose that drives us daily.
When you look back a year or so, what do you see? Were you a successful leader? How do you know?
These are the building blocks for inspiration – a new operating system! We often hear potential clients ask us, ‘why are our engagement numbers so low’ and ‘what can we do to enage our team more’? Yet many businesses climate and culture revolve around ROWE – results only work environment. We sit around the conference table discussing this Bandaid and that Curad, when our ‘legs’ are broken and mangled. How are you this blind or have you simply gone nose deaf or ‘it’s not a priority today’?
Your organization pays well or let’s say adequately and fairly. Take money off the table. How can you empower your population to self engage and move away from compliance? So many systems struggle in that realm for fear of losing control. That’s an emotion! What’s really the burr under your sadle partner? Give me an honest answer and not some PC BS that sounds ‘appropriate’.
Do you want real change? Will you put your stones on the line for sustainable improvements? What you’re struggling with is your own belief.
What we too often see is you simply want to get work done and you want results. That’s output! Today’s significant population (75M of them) are under 25. You do math don’t you? That’s 25% of your country (USA) population. Just because Walter, your newest, latest and greatest IT dundgeon master has only been employed 6 weeks your HR gals flat out deny his vacation request for two weeks off. “Yeah, so,” you say. Did anyone bother to ask Walter what’s up? What’s happening so soon ater being hired where you must have time off?
Nope, no one bothered! I did and guess what I learned. Walter forgot or was afraid to mention it during the interview process that he’d previously committed last year to volunteer in an African mission to help children. Why was he afraid or forgot? Why else. We’ve created and perpetuated a work environment where employees and candidates are afraid to tell the truth for fear of recrimination and retalitation. In a twenty-minute conversation, I uncovered, he couldn’t afford to not get this role – literally he’s out of money.
He’s an IT geek, he works his best from 8p – 4a. He’s going to get his work done and his projects completed. They’ll be done in two weeks from his return. Is it non-traditional, sure in our eyes, but not in his or his peers. Stop arguing and complaining like a two-year old and have conversations with your people! It’s not life nor death is it? All he wanted was some compassion, yet because he’s so new he didn’t feel a part of the team yet and HR perpetuated the climate that people aren’t valued. He didn’t feel safe! And, it’s basically ‘Day One’ for him.
The President after learning of the ‘news’, paid for his flight, provided money for meals, lodging, incidentals and even donated $1,000 to the cause; not to buy his loyalty but as a good-faith investment that he believes in Walter. The single greatest thing a leader can do for their people is to create a safe enviornment for everyone. It’s okay to tell us what’s going on. We may not be able to break every rule or bend over for everyone. What we do know is we can be reasonable WHEN we are willing to find common ground. How do you think his millennial peers felt about that? It was as if you let out a roomfull collective sigh.
What else exists in your Utopia Scott? There’s a mismatch between science and business – my unbelieving, jaded friend. External motivators do work only in a surprisingly small narrow band of circumstances. The ‘if/then’ rewards often destroy creativity, create a false drive to do things for intrinsic value for the sake of being part of something greater because they matter to someone else and not the employees who are contributing to the overall success. Science confirms what we already know – get past carrot-and-stick ideology.
The Culture Whisperer exists because we deliver results in a manner you’ve struggled to deliver on and we strengthen relationships that were once sour, neutral and good already. What we do isn’t ‘fluffy-voodoo’. It’s hard work and we’ve proven our methodology over the past twenty years in the middle market. The old model of leadership has been broken for decades – so how do you expect a different result from the same processes?
You’re incredibly intelligent and have a track record of success. What you’ve not encountered is executing with 4-5 generations in the workforce. You bitch about how these ‘new kids’ don’t do anything. Look in the mirror! Are you wanting them to change? Then YOU must step up and be the change yourself FIRST. Welcome to the 21st Centruy workplace!
We help clients lead change, from pre- and post-merger engagements, significant performance improvement, and strategic change. Here’s something you’ll enjoy reading: we don’t influence culture before getting the results. Because of our proven process, you get results first. Your culture is influenced because they see and experience change along the way. Their success reinforces, ‘this works’. LEARN MORE…
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