8 ways to reignite your organisation’s leadership
Leadership in the past was simple. Keep the shareholders happy by both protecting and increasing positive cashflow. This was an efficiency play. As an employee, if you were not prepared to simply mimic a component day in day out, you were considered an organisational threat.
Whilst most people have lives, or even lifestyles to fund, they are becoming increasingly discriminating in respect of where they will work and with whom they will spend their discretionary income.
Stationery with attitude
Humans have always been a business model risk, what with their inability to suppress their humanity for extended periods. Imagine your stapler snapping at you as you attempt to pick it up and you will gain a sense of how traditional leaders see their workforce.
So now that the game is changing, we need a new approach to leadership. Here are eight suggestions:
1 – Trust me
The shift from boss to leader happens when the focus moves from contracts to trust. By all means be a boss, but you are unlikely to get the best from your people. Trust means being more transparent, forgiving and vulnerable.
2 – You are joking
Be clear on your organisation’s value proposition for each stakeholder. You think your organisation is a great place to work. Your staff think it’s okay, but it’s well located for a great night out. You think your clients perceive you as high value. They perceive you as the supplier of last resort.
Understanding the value proposition is key to growing your brand asset.
3 – Shall we?
Business is like dancing. The role of the leader is not to force the follower to comply, but to sense where the follower is inclined to go and to guide their momentum accordingly. Done well it feels like a dialogue.
4 – Do what I do
Exhibit the behaviours you want your people to adopt. If you want your people to take risks and be okay with failing, you need to ensure you and your fellow leaders lead by example.
5 – Wassup?
Focus on reality and not some fanciful notion of what is written in a strategic plan written for a bygone era. This means having a strong handle in respect of what is happening in the market and within your organisation.
6 – Upskill
Ensure that you have technology, analytics and talent expertise represented in your leadership team. IT and HR are not departments, they are competencies.
7 – Are you in?
Cultivate a common esprit de corps that goes beyond a shared desire to make a small group of shareholders even richer. But be prepared to change purpose as the market dictates. Increasing market volatility will require adaptability not just of services but also of purpose.
8 – It’s your decision
Decentralise both decision making and subsequent action. Ubiquitous leadership will enable all your people to develop as humans and respond more effectively to spontaneous opportunities and threats.
This is by no means a definitive list. However the chances of your leadership creating an organisation that is valued by all stakeholders will be significantly reduced if any of these suggestions are ignored.