This week I had a casual conversation with a Fortune 1000 Managing Director who has 300 people in her organization. During introductions, she discovered my affiliations with Dale Carnegie and servant leadership. She asked me so many questions about being a leader versus being a manager that she ran out of time. How exciting that leadership is coming back into top-of-mind awareness and attention of our senior executives. The challenge as she described is everyone is “pens up and heads down” working and solving problems, but not necessarily connecting with people.
Her organization just completed their third engagement study over the past four years, but with little change. For the past four years, they focused on the obvious complaints: longer breaks, easier to work at home, controlling time, doing more group activities, having more leader roundtable meetings, and an assortment of other micro topics. With all this attention, there still was no real impact on the numbers. A new light bulb has been turned on, and now discussion at the senior executive meeting is centered on developing and growing leaders.
You can only imagine why she suddenly had 10,000 questions for the “leadership guy” she perceived to be me. How excited she was when I recited to her our global research findings of the top three reasons employees are engaged. First is connection with the person to whom they report. Second is belief in senior leadership. And third is alignment with organizational values. It is not about programs and processes; it’s about leadership.
How much time do you spend on your leadership development, and how much time do you spend on developing your team’s leadership skills? (Hint: Merely talking about it does not count.)
Developing, coaching, and training leaders are our specialties. Give us a call and let’s have a conversation as to what might be relevant to you and your organization.
Human relations principle: “Throw down a challenge.” ~ Dale Carnegie