I know some industries, companies, markets and teams are feeling the content of this writing,(plz find a few moments for YOU & your people):
TOUGH TIMES LEADERSHIP - 'CARING but ACCOUNTABLE'
(BTW - anyone can lead in the easy times)
Leaders ‘because they are leaders’ have to STEP UP! Leaders must realize that there is reason to be overly-conscious and attentive to your people during tough changing unsettling times. These times could look like down-sizing, budget cutting, business instability, acquisitions, people (close relations) going away, etc. These clearly cause distraction and disruption within the culture. Leaders be sure of one thing: avoiding the climate and not talking about it all, is not the answer! It may seem like you are protecting ‘them’ but indeed you are making it worse by your silence and lack of action (leadership).
Worry of job security gets into the heads of people (you) understandably. During these ‘hopefully brief’ periods, it demands leaders ‘step-up’ their leadership. If not, these periods will likely not be brief…
Leaders [because they are leaders] can’t become distracted, depressed or live in that funk like others – they must be above getting caught up in the drama. Indeed one’s real leadership becomes really needed and scrutinized during these times. A leader’s REAL LEADERSHIP CAPABILITY, INSPIRATION, DIRECTION and INFLUENCE is revealed when times become stressful and insecure; his/her true worth is revealed!
People at all levels within organizations can and WILL become not only paralyzed and dysfunctional – they can become nonproductive! Is this too dramatic or over-stated here? …maybe – maybe not!
What might all this look like?
All of these are very logical responses to the situation they (you) are in; it’s a matter of self-preservation for all.
Working relationships vertically and horizontally, can become very strained as individuals withdrawal, lack concentration, focus and make it the priority to deflect bad stuff to someone else’s corner.
>>>>>Leaders must again ‘step-up’ - what’s required here is perceptive and effective leadership. Leaders have to understand, overly communicate, be compassionate, get past his/her own fears – while at the same time upholding standards and continue holding people ACCOUNTABLE. Huh?...therein is the challenge. How to be compassionate and caring while expecting results!
Accountability cannot slip…..when people fail, this becomes acceptable and well you get it – that slippery slope thing. When people fail, so do their leaders, think about that one! This is about LEADERSHIP ACCOUNTABILITY isn’t it?
(Individuals) - if your boss is not on top of all this - take the issue to him/her and minimally gain some assurance for yourself if you are in need. If it is too uncomfortable to try to get it addressed totally, just leave this article and hope it gets read and acted upon!
(Leaders) - tell your people all you know and most importantly, don’t lie to them. The best thing you can do is to be brutally honest with them. Honesty is all that they seek and all they realistically will expect you to provide them. Don’t allow it to be dwelled upon, but let it be safe territory to discuss while again expecting ACCOUNTABILITY in their daily duties.
couple last points here:
1) It is my belief that management at the top is not at all left out of all this!?! As a matter of fact, all this has a huge amount of relevance and application to the top layers of management. When upper level managers begin to act out in these ways, it becomes very obvious to the subordinate leaders / chain of command; and the troops. People do ‘see and feel’ what their leaders are seeing and feeling!!!
2) Please keep this in mind…this is just ‘natural-ness’ and should be treated that way. People should have this talked about in these terms; corrective action and/or coaching needs to continue without discouraging ‘talk’ about the situation or laying blame or faulting anyone. The reacting to the unknown is natural, but leaders can control the damage if he/she can catch it midstream and expose the situation and behaviors that we are beginning to see. Simply consciousness, involving all and awareness can do much to stem the tide if we LEAD in this time of need.
Now sit back and ponder this for a moment: Are you and your peers (other leaders/chain of command) beginning to show the signs? Are your people?
BTW - anyone can lead in the easy times!
Take care, Doug
[Leaders Succeeding with YOUR Leader]
This information/thought was prompted by recent coachings and work with LEADERS and LEADER STAFFS/TEAMS (client conversations). Trust me, this applies to YOU!
“ Leaders build, grow, improve and make things better… Managers maintain the way things are.” Which one are you? Hold that thought until you consider the following regarding you and your boss/leader; how does your world work? How should it work?
YOU >>> AND >>> THE BOSS:
***All this is about creating a ‘bottom-up’ environment and relationship vs. allowing that traditional dictatorial-style of management (which most bosses know and practice). BTW, when you sit and wait on him/her to ask you for ‘stuff’ - this is you not being in control, being jerked around and being constantly jacked with… He/she will always undoubtedly call/contact you and jack with your schedule, life and world at the worst possible time, right!?! Additionally, this ripples down below as you then pass it along and jack with your people’s world!
***Know that this is all about growing YOU:
It is the difference between LEADERS leading and MANAGERS maintaining…
Need a Coach?
TO: LEADERS of LEADERS - for the Senior/Exec-level Director, GM or Manager (you who realize it’s no longer about just being the smartest one ‘about’ the business but Leadership is what you are now ‘about’).
Leadership is YOUR new area of mastery! This is about taking the profession of LEADERSHIP seriously and intentionally doing something about it!
Here’s a difference-maker: As you grow YOU and master your new profession – here's a new way of managing your time, your calendar.
‘Trust the Coach’ this is a proven plan to take you to new heights. Put these conversations on your calendar and make each and every one happen – every month.
((hours) Your Monthly Calendar:
((1) a ‘whole-leader’ performance conversation w each vertical / immediate report - those leaders you are supposed to be growing. This is not just about their widget production, sales #s, etc; it’s about their professional development also.
((1) your ‘whole-leader’ performance conversation with your leader, your boss; even if he/she doesn’t want to do their job, make it happen.
((.5) functional/personal relationship-maintenance conversation with each team-member/peer
*** ((.5) functional/personal relationship-maintenance conversation with all/each horizontal key player or internal customer
*** ((1) team-builder, breakfast (or other kind of invite) to all your horizontal players
((1.5) dedicated quiet-time for thinking, planning, personal and organizational assessment, big picture strategizing…
((1.5) Time to work on you! Find someone(s) to gain outside perspective about you; receiving coaching or mentoring
((1) Add a new quality relationship to your world; lunch with some community key player (this adds up to 12 new players each year)
*** ((1.5) team-builder with your down-line team (leaders/reports).
((2) doing that management by walking around thing’ listening and learning about your culture
((3) family time outing absolutely focused on them/the wife, family, etc…
(***) possibly schedule every other month…
_______Mind you - this is only for the PROFESSIONAL LEADER intent on developing and growing him/herself and your people, ‘WHEN LEADERS CHANGE, so do THEIR PEOPLE, ORGANIZATIONS, TEAMS…’
_______So, you are thinking, “I cannot afford ten hours/month to invest in my SUCCESS, my LEADERSHIP, my PEOPLE, RELATIONSHIPS, my FUTURE, our CULTURE…? Orrrrr, I could just wait until Leadership and Relationships IS the problem and focus?"
_______If I can clarify any of this, please holler at me. Perhaps even consider investing in yourself with an Exec.Leadership Coach (let’s talk :)
...someone to help grow you, hold you accountable, take you to the next level, etc?
Q: Is the personal or professional aspect of workplace-relationship(s) more critical? Please do not leap to a ‘right or wrong’ answer to this, but rather consider the following points about the Q. This message is about the insanity that people find themselves in - over and over and over and over and over!
Let me first of all make the primary point to this blog-thing. It is a truism for leaders, managers, teachers or any other kind of director role. Actually the message here is FOR anyone in a new situation, with new people (to include new employees in an organization).
Consider this quote, ‘Effective Leaders realize you must First get the Heart before Asking for the Hand’, [anonymous]…
Lets take the scenario of the new manager in the organization as he/she wanders around in the initial days on the job, meeting people. These are people in all directions of your sphere, but let’s focus on those which are more or less on your level, your horizontal relationships. These are people who will ‘long term’ be critical to your success. So now back to the Q: …personal or professional (functional) relationship more important?
Unless you are a real hard-case who places no value on the power or importance of relationships; I would assume we can all agree that we should begin with a sincere effort to be personable. Clearly it would ALL be better if I liked them and they liked me, huh?
As logical as this may seem right here, right now – this is not the approach most take! Rather, in an effort to be all studly, serious, ‘professional’ and in trying to impress others, …many and maybe most people will place the personal relationship on the back-burner. We must get down to business, start proving myself, show ‘em what I am made of, etcccccc…
In doing so, many (and again maybe most) will head down this road only to come to some point where you ‘need’ others or you find yourself in some functional conflict. Because the personal-relationship was placed on the back burner in the beginning, the struggle begins. " ..oh it’s just a personality thing, ...what a jerk, ...people will be people, ...what are ya’ going to do..." We mutter these lines to ourselves and of course to others at the water-cooler.
Some effort will likely be attempted by one of you, but the other doesn’t want to play, knows he/she is right and/or in fact ‘really doesn’t like you’. Because they do not report to you, he/she doesn’t have to play with you.
By now you are seeing what’s happened here, recognizing all this and likely are ‘resembling these remarks’ from some past experience or maybe one you are in right now!?!
So what was that quote again? ‘Effective Leaders realize you must first get the Heart before Asking for the Hand’ And then there's that one which is a favorite of mine which has some fit here: ‘People don’t care how much you know until first they know how much you care.’ [J. Maxwell is who I credit with this one].
So what’s the message here? Well there are actually many, but for the moment, let me just leave you with this thought: ‘Have a cup of coffee with someone before you need them.…’
If you are beginning a new job, please read and re-read this a few times and trust the coach -go establish that personal relationship first!!! If you are not new, but failed to do this in your beginning days, go deal with it now. Go find those players you are already beginning to dislike, struggle with, avoid or ignore; you know who they are. They are those that you need (and likely your people down below also need). Before something goes SOUTH - go fix, build or repair any and all of them………………………….!
So what was our question here?