....so let's look at two companies that experienced extremely different trajectories as a result of the leadership. The first company was micro-managed by a tyrannical leader with little regard for employees, suppliers or customers. The company was on a mission to double the business from $250 million to $500 million. Absenteeism was rampart, employee morale was at its lowest, substance abuse was evident and yet despite this climate, the company did reach their growth goal.
Fast forward to another organization in the same industry. This company had a quality senior leadership team, all of whom were high energy, positive, respectful leaders with integrity and ethics. The company was number two in the marketplace with a mission to be number one in three years while doubling the business to over one billion in a highly competitive industry. Every employee including the receptionist knew what the mission was. All leaders, from the CEO to line managers were continually trained in leadership development. Every employee (800+), customer (14,000) and supplier (500) was treated with respect, integrity and as equal business partners. The company had several locations across the country and in each office the morale was positive and upbeat with everyone being an active part of the mission. The second company achieved their goal in a record two years time.
Where are the two companies today? The first organization no longer exists, the owner lost everything (despite being highly profitable and debt free at the time). The second is a multi-billion firm and continues to be an exceptional performer. Regardless of whether your organization is in the SMB, mid-market or the large corporate space….. leadership matters.
A recent study by Success Factors of more than 5,500 executives across 27 countries found that 42% of executives say their company's growth plans are slowed by lack of access to the right leadership. Additionally 34% say lack of adequate leadership is among the major impediments to achieving workforce goals.
The problems related to ineffective leadership can slip into companies in a myriad of ways. Organizations with stable teams often believe that the senior leadership team are experienced and training would be a waste (ask them how to relate to Gen Y or Millennial s). In many organizations today, Boomers are retiring and young "high potentials" (often with several degrees) are stepping into the void. These new young executives have plenty of theory, but little hands on experience. Effective leadership skills are demonstrated through a keyboard (That’s their world). This ‘Gap’ can be disruptive to other employees resulting in miscommunication and a significant disconnect, giving rise to any number of problems that will affect the bottom line. The ‘disconnects’, over time, can result in a hockey stick curve in the opposite direction of profitable growth.
The value of effective leadership is increased sales, profits, exceptional market share growth, loyal 'engaged' employees, customers and suppliers coupled with executive satisfaction.
So how do you address leadership issues? One option is through executive or management coaching. Effective coaching recognizes the unique potential of the executive. The coaching program should provide a structure and process for development, a mechanism for assessment, action plans and proper, regular feedback. The coach needs to have the depth of experience to provide insight sufficient for the executive to overcome their own preconditioning, perceptions and belief (help them get out of their own way). Additionally they need to understand the people they lead, their peers and colleagues. It is critical that the coach is able to trigger personal self-discovery and new approaches for problem solving. The focus for both the coach and the executive is on enhancing performance, communication, and developing leadership skills. The leadership coach has to be effective in being a mirror and an accountability partner.
Leadership and leadership coaching does matter. Good leaders can be reasonably effective managers; great leaders are true visionaries and builders of sustainable high growth businesses. If you value Great leaders as much as we do, give us a call and we’ll work with you to help you achieve your growth objectives.
Roger Prince, CCP - Founder
2014 Prince Leadership Group Toronto, Ontario, M2N 3M4 416.460-1372 firstname.lastname@example.org