In the uncertain times every business faces today, there is one thing that is certain. We must produce more with less. Never before has Leadership Development been so needed. I mention that because most managers become managers because they are good workers at their job.
This does not qualify them to be an effective Leader. Too many managers think it’s their job to make their teams dependent upon them when in reality it’s their job to make their teams independent of them. You don’t rate Leaders on how badly the team needs them but what the team can do without the Leader.
Normally, when we promote a person to a Leadership position because they are a good worker we don’t end up with a Leader but a super worker, trying to get everyone on their team to do the job the way they did it and that kills creativity and the free flow of ideas that can allow us to produce more with less. Less people, but more effectiveness.
In 35 years of working with companies of all sizes the major problem I have seen is a lack of Leadership and team building and that stifles growth. Nothing is ever static, we are either progressing or we are regressing and too many companies are regressing because they see Leadership training as an expense and not a necessity. When times are tough, the first budget cut is training. Why? To cut cost, yet we have missions that state “People are our Greatest Asset!” We demonstrate that mission or principle through actions not just words.
We need to realize the true cost of training is doing nothing. We need to realize when we train a manager we are not just training that person, we are training that person so they will positively impact the entire team. Quit looking at how much money we a spending on a manager and start looking at how much the investment is in the team. Also, we need to realize there is not a classroom in the world that can produce a finished product, it requires us to follow up on any training we provide, and we follow up to do one thing recognize their positive actions. Praise their progress. As Ken Blanchard says catch them doing something right and recognize them.
Another aspect of effect Leadership in building belief and that is something I see little of. Generally managers are offering constructive criticism, an oxymoron I might add. Criticism is not constructive, it’s destructive because it kills belief. Successful people believe intensely in three things. First a person must believe in themselves, they also must belief the company they represent and the products/services they provide, be they internal of external products/services. If there were only one point I could share with managers, it would be come to work each day to build your people’s belief in those three areas. It give our people and never do anything to tear down a person’s belief in one or more of those areas. Always praise their progress! Again, the problem with all this is most managers have never been trained in Leadership! If you believe “People are your Greatest Asset,” show them, provide training and support.