In most cases the referencing between leaders and employees creates opposition resulting in a continuous unhealthy disengagement of values.
Leaders point of reference
Surveys suggest that most leaders in business of all sizes focus on:
- results, productivity
- the competition
- surveys and research reports
- shareholders/stakeholders interests
- on keeping their own jobs
- on keeping the 'inner circle' protected
- to view employees as 'head counts'
- to view employees as 'us and them'
- how to get the maximum out of employees by giving the least
- to manipulate staff and customers
- how can they add extra zeros to bonuses
...and more like this!
The reason for this is quite simple. It's about raw survival instincts and it's what we are taught!
Employees point of reference
Surveys suggest that employees look for and want the following qualities in a boss or leader:
- look after their back
- be considerate
- to be honest in communication
- not to hide potential threats
- to tolerate genuine mistakes
- to be given opportunity to learn, progress and grow
- to be valued
- for the boss to go the extra mile
- look forward to coming to work for the leader and the team
... and more like this!
The reason for this is quite simple. People want to be in a safe environment and give the best of themselves.
It is obvious that the two points of references are diametrically opposed.
In this situation both the leaders and the employees are only looking after their own interests, looking after 'their own backs'. And yet they are all under one roof! It creates separation between those who lead and the people they are leading.
This creates an untrusting workforce, not fully engaged, reluctantly coming to work, low self esteem, no aspiration, low productivity and an 'unsafe' organisation. And leaders are frustrated. Inevitably, this creates excessive and unnecessary stress for both employees and leaders and all are stuck in a loop.
Every organisation has external threats: price wars, input costs, supplier issues, expansion and contraction cycles, existing competitors, new players entering the market, volatile foreign exchange, new innovations etc.
At times the business can plan and strategise and at other times not.
However, the internal challenges of an organisation are variable and to a larger extent controllable.
One aspect of control that leaders have is to change the dynamics of their relationship between themselves and the employees. If done correctly and appropriately it can have dramatic positive impact upon all concerned and consequently upon the business.
Change is challenging
Sometimes we feel 'safe' in familiarity, even if it's detrimental!
It requires a conscious realignment of values as a leader in business. To have courage to move away from that which is familiar, from that which we think works and implement new processes, a new way of thinking.
To create positive progressive and sustainable change we first have to change ourselves.
Leaders take care of others
Leadership is not just about being in control or in charge, it's more about taking care of those under your charge. To create and foster a culture of knowing that 'we're in it together', harmony, trust, honesty and openness requires a totally different set of values amongst those who lead.
As a leader, by default, you have some power and some authority but with it comes responsibility and accountability.
Leaders have the opportunity to make a real and lasting positive difference which could flourish and continue long after they have moved on. Leaving behind a true legacy.
For answers to questions you have or to discuss possibilities please contact me by email or phone.