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I went to the dentist last week for the first of two visits to get a crown placed on a cracked tooth. Honestly, I hate going to the dentist. Don't get me wrong. My dentist is extremely competent, and I trust his work.
The thing about leadership is that its impact is often overlooked. In many organizations it's written off as "fluffy" or "soft." And, it's even less valued in companies where there is a heavy emphasis on engineering and technology. Boulder Denver
The problem with this perspective is that there is a real cost to organizations. The unaware leader who has no idea on how his or her style impacts team members is hurting employee productivity, engagement, and retention more than any other factor.
In Part 1 of this article, I discussed the impact that senior leadership teams have on employee engagement, productivity, and retention. And, I made it very clear that the behaviors that originate at the executive team level ripple through the organization. Just like a wave that gets larger as it nears the shore, those behaviors get magnified and repeated - regardless of whether they have a positive or negative impact.
Well, I am back after taking a few weeks off from my normal blogging routine. I hope you have enjoyed the summer as much as I have.
So, I thought I would jump back in with a concept I introduced in a webinar I conducted last week on The 4 Costliest Mistakes Senior Leadership Teams Make. It's a concept I call "getting stuck in always having to be right."
"The conduct of a company's leadership team is directly correlated with the organization's long-term performance."
In her article Lessons from Team Fumbles, Susan Lucia Annunzio goes on to say "Once-venerable institutions such as Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland paid the ultimate price for the behaviors of their leadership teams."
Some of the behaviors Annunzio is referring to includes:
I moved this past weekend into a new home with my wonderful fiance. I couldn't bear to ask my friends for help as I know that by this point in time in our lives we have just helped others move way too many times. So, I decided to hire 4 college students from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Three showed-up and here's what I got.
One of the costliest mistakes senior leaders make is drawing a clear line in the sand between what is personal and professional.
The challenge that this presents is that when leaders don't know their people at an individual level (a personal level), they never truly understand how to "lead" them.
Ahhh overwhelm. It's that moment in time where you feel stuck. Where there is so much going on you don't know where to start.
The stories that play inside our heads are ones that sound like:
"I have too much to do. I'll do it (the important thing) tomorrow."
"There are no jobs out there."
"I don't have time to develop knowledge about new topics, ideas, and legislation"
"I'm not experienced enough for that role"
"It's faster to do things than to train others to do it"
One of the costliest mistakes senior leaders make is hiring people who are just like them. The problem with this mistake is that it often results in senior leadership teams rewarding behaviors that are similar to their behaviors and criticizing behaviors that are often needed in the workplace.
It's human nature to more easily get along with some people than others. But, when that tendency translates into our hiring practices it can have a negative impact on an organization's culture.