Business Challenge – Leadership

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Another great business challenge for growing companies is leadership.  The Gallup organization has developed 12 factors to determine high engagement, productivity and retention among employees.  The highest factor is the employee’s relationship to the direct supervisor.  Tony Schwartz in his book “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working” narrows down the main factor of this supervisory relationship to one that is about having the employee feeling valued by their boss.

Hogan says that about half of all leaders and managers fail.  They also state that a leader is evaluated by their ability to keep a team together.  Team members leaving and not achieving results are mere symptoms of a greater problem.

Yes, leadership is about leading teams of people to an objective.  In the middle of moving toward the objective, Schwartz argues that people need to feel valued or they will give you 50 – 75% of the effort.  A few quotes to consider on this topic:

  • “Perhaps no human need is more neglected in the workplace than to feel valued.” by Schwartz p. 41.
  • In the “Orange Revolution” Gostlick and Elton state that leaders need to “See their function as facilitators helping to set the team’s vision, removing obstacles, securing resources, and encouraging celebrations.”
  • “Set the first ten minutes in every meeting to building the relationships with your team.” Gostlick and Elton
  • “Leaders ought to focus on their own integrity and on the nature of their own presence (non-anxious) rather than through techniques for manipulating or motivating others.”  Friedman

Here are some questions for you to consider as you evaluate your leadership:

1.) What is your overall retention percentage in the past 5 years? Benchmark that to the industry average and you will have an answer.

2.) What is the cost per employee of hiring that new person to replace that person? Usually 1.5x salary, but depends on level ect..

3.) How would you say your team is doing? If you pause, then you have a problem.  If you tell people outwardly that they are doing well, but inwardly you are cringing then you have a problem.

4.) Leadership has at its foundation a relationship.  How is your level of relational engagement with your team?

5.) Did you achieve what you laid out to do and how was the process in getting there? (Did they feel valued?)

6.) What do you want as it pertains to your team? Write it down.

Email me some of your leadership successes.  You no doubt have what it takes.