Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Implications of Leadership "Issues"

Implications of Leadership “Issues”

It is inspirational and fun to be a member of a team where everything works.  The Leader believes in you and your other team members; you are all working toward a common goal and making strong progress toward a result that makes a difference.

No, this is not a dream! This is a reality that many a skilled leader and their teams enjoy.  However, leadership is a learned skill and not every organization has the needed leadership building engines in place to support organizational health.  Serious organizational dysfunction is often a result.  We all know the factors for an organization with issues.  Warning signs include:
·        Lower employee engagement
·        Lower profits/less satisfied customers
·        Lower results
·        Increased turn over

Gallup has been analyzing organizational health and employee engagement for several decades.  They find the above symptoms and organizational dysfunction is highly correlated with low leadership skill.  In fact, their studies show that the top reason leading to turn over is one’s immediate leader.  And if this factoid isn’t scary enough, it is 50% of the reason for turnover.  What say you managers over this one? 

Gallup says the next highest contributor to turn over is an employee having poor fit to the job.  This again points to the manager for not either developing employees or not understanding an employee’s strengths and forcing a round peg into a square hole.   This lack of managerial flexibility may let your best competitive weapon go to your competition.  Keep that in mind!

Thirdly, Gallup warns us to watch out for employees that may be tolerated to work to a lower standard vs. the rest of the team.  If tolerated by the manager because s/he is afraid to address the performance issue, this will create very poor morale in those you depend on most.  Continued degrading is inevitable.
All of this is logical and easily remedied.  So leaders of people no matter where you are, know your people and their hopes to be a contributing member of your team are largely in your hands.  Be mindful of your personal behavior.  Measure your organization’s health against the above criteria and seriously ask yourself, “What I am I doing to make organizational life better (or not) for my people?”

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Team leadership is complex

In our society, we applaud leaders.  Many of us aspire to be leaders.  After all leaders by definition have followers.  This is where team leadership gets complex.  Unprepared leaders can easily run amuck.  

Team leaders, to be effective, have 11 specific dimensions that they must always balance.  Those that balance well, develop effective high functioning teams.  The factors I speak of are:
Team Effectiveness Dimensions
  1. Clarity of Purpose
  2. Roles
  3. Operating Guidelines
  4. Communication
  5. Project Planning
  6. Generating Ideas
  1. Decision Making
  2. Participation
  3. Managing Conflict & Differences
  4. Trust
  5. External Relations

Numbers 1 through 10 are tough!  If that isn’t enough, there are still the external relations!  The team will need budgets, resources and support from this group of stakeholders so they must be a key factor in the leader’s circle of influence.  This is confirms the complexity of the leader role.

How would a leader know if they were effectively balancing all these factors? Good leaders request and humbly receive feedback from team members and many other sources.  Good leaders are always listening.  Anonymous votes on Likert scales would be an easy method of gathering a visual picture of any team’s perception of these dimensions.  Using this as a baseline will give any listening leader a strong picture of the team’s perceptions.  These visual pictures can be kept over time to foster discussions with the team to support growth.

Subsequent issues of this blog will deal with the implications high and low effectiveness markings on these dimensions.  Stay tuned for more learning!   

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Attitudes are contagious

Leaders must be very mindful about their personal attitudes and how it is impacting their teams.  Our attitudes eek out  in very subtle ways to give our teams messages that me may not intend.  Leaders must make sure their personal attitudes are worth catching!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Purpose of the blog

The purpose of this blog, provided by Larson Leadership in Tampa, Florida, is to provide announcements, advice, tips and general information that can help you achieve more with your team. Check back frequently for more content. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us.