Category Archives: #ThursdayThought
Many leaders say they want leaders to work for them.
They want people to step up to take their direction.
They want people to work extra hard and extra long hours becuase that’s how they got to the top.
They want people who can just buck up, suck up, and focus on what they should be doing, and not what the leader says or does.
Many leaders say they want leaders, but in reality all they want is followers.
People who do whatever they say without question or input.
People who can stay in their lane and not speak of “what they don’t know.”
People who just focus on their work, get it done no matter what the sacrifice, and make results happen.
These leaders simply want followers, not leaders.
Great leaders make great leaders, not followers.
Great leaders and great employees know the difference and align themselves accordingly.
(Image by Brigitte make custom works from your photos, thanks a lot from Pixabay)
Many years ago a CEO for a non-profit was forced to resign. His years of subversive tactics and diversionary methods to hide his tyranny had come to an end when too many people, spearheaded by the woman who was the executive director and second in charge, started to compare notes and discovered alarming trends that could not be ignored or explained away any longer.
Justified, the CEO was released from their duties by the board and the executive director took his place. Everyone in the organization rejoiced when she took over. Until a few weeks later when people realized that she too, was just as tyrannical as her predecessor.
In the years since, many of those from that organization have left and sought after a better leader to work for, based on what they learned from this bitter experience.
Over the years as the fallacy of top-down, chain of command leadership has come under more scrutiny and is seen as an outmoded dinasaur, one would hope that a new fully accountable leadership and orgnizaition style, such as embraced in some of the more recent organizational structures in IT and tech orgnizations, would sweep across the landscape and bring needed radical change.
The ability for employees to have more voice in their orgnizations to say what needs to be said and hold their leaders accountable has never been as prevalanet as it is today.
And while one might think that tryannical leadership is going away, we are far from it. Too many orgnizations and pockets of leadership are still holding to their power base and won’t allow their people permission to speak freely, ordering them to stay in their lane and creating a passive-aggressive bullying culutre to keep employees in check and themselves in control.
It usually takes a generation to truly transform any institution, whether culturally, politically, economically or mentally. And while the trend is moving forward, there is still much work on both sides.
Leaders need to help foster the culture change to have safe and trusted workplaces for employees to speak up. And employees need to not tolerate being squelched when someone in leadership pushes them back down.
It will take time, but the incremental changes are needed if the workplace is to transform and create better opportunities for everyone to thrive and not merely exist under another’s shadow of influence.
Have you ever filled out a customer survey and felt like the company didn’t ask the right questions?
It’s because the company only cared to ask the questions they wanted to ask.
This may or may not be wrong.
Sometimes companies need to ask certain questions because they’re lagging behind in certain metrics or have an initiative to improve on the areas they posed in their questionnaire.
But many times companies just ask questions they know will be scored positively. That way they can brag to shareholders and the public of how great they fare in those areas.
Either way, these surveys are not built to truly get the open feedback of their customers.
They are built to get pre-determined outcomes. And that leave out the customer voice almost in it’s entirety.
Better yet are those surveys that ask open ended – not ranked, not multiple choice questions. That allows customers – and employees if the surveys are employee facing – to truly express their praise or concerns.
You get what you measure. A company that stacks the deck only shortchanges itself.
Every customer touchpoint – both external and internal customers – should always be an opportunity for people to voice their true feelings. It’s the starting point for true connection and success.