Is it enough to have great leadership skills and great leaders in your organization? Is it enough to have strong leaders in a crisis? Is it all you need to teach leadership to those with potential in your workplace? The answers depend on your goal. Every organization is in need of leaders and future leaders who will take the business into the future. Every organization is also in need of doers, connectors, and those with acceptance to do just the job needed when others are busy leading. So, is leadership all that’s needed? Is leadership enough to drive the performance of the rest of the organization? No, and here’s why and what else you’ll need.
If leaders aren’t enough and developing leadership skills isn’t the entire equation for success, then what is often missing are those willing to follow. But, not only does an organization need willing followers, it needs those followers to feel needed. People want to feel needed. People who follow are needed for the tasks that developing leaders delegate and don’t have time to complete themselves, nor should, based on their full leadership and management plate. How do you show value to those with no ambition to be in a leadership role, but who show up to work daily, complete the assignments they’ve been given, and do so with a pleasant demeanor? The focus is so often on leaders and future leaders, but what about those who keep the organization running and follow the direction of those who believe they are running it?
One of the key challenges many developing leaders face is clarifying procedures and processes that were never made clear in the first place. One leader I spoke with this week needed to know the attendance policy and reached out to HR, via their web portal, in a large organization in which the human resource function has been centralized. The answer received was “we have no real attendance policy”. The organization has over ten thousand employees and yet has no clear attendance policy guiding leaders on how to manage tardies, unexcused absences, and what determines the time frames or behaviors that fit into either category. That lack of clarity is causing hours of work for this leader in deciding appropriate boundaries and consequence delivery. Is your workforce guided by unwritten rules or is it time to review, clarify and communicate clear processes that will make everyone, leaders included, life and work easier?
This one might well be prefaced by saying I live in Orlando. Rarely in a Monday Moment will I use first person. In this case, it is relevant as we‘ve experienced firsthand the tragedy that can result from an abundance of the lack of acceptance. In your workplace, perhaps acceptance and authenticity are talked about widely. Perhaps there is the use of profiles or tools that reveal personality. Even so, it is paramount to internalize and know that the concept of people being different is an INTELLECTUAL exercise. Leaders, managers, and those who aspire to both already know people are different. Acceptance of those differences is an EMOTIONAL exercise that can take practice, effort, and conscious awareness to demonstrate this is part of one’s belief system. How are you showing that acceptance of ALL differences, in your organization, is not only rampant, but encouraged, and that all differences are valued?
It is possible to argue that each of these attributes and categories of behaviors is part of a leader’s repertoire. It’s even possible to say, but this is how our leaders are! They value those who follow, adhere to clear processes, and certainly hire with acceptance and a focus on inclusion and diversity. Reread that statement. If the leadership of your organization is all you’re currently thinking about, ask yourself if the workforce would be able to agree with their perceptions of those very same statements.
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!