Have you googled the word leadership lately?
There are 479,000,000 results in .57 seconds. That is a lot of information!
Not all of those results are going to produce information that is intelligent or even helpful. But there is some good information buried somewhere in those results.
How about books on leadership?
Have you stood in a bookstore lately or browsed Amazon to see how many books there are on leadership?
According to Forbes, between 600,000 and one million books are published each year. 50,000 of those books are on leadership.
Leadership on Social Media
If you are on any sort of social media, you are most likely inundated with leadership information. Everyone seems to be an expert these days on Twitter. Even though we engage in traditional media and social media to gain wisdom and advice on how to lead, we continue to see a huge discrepancy between what is written and how leadership is played out daily in the real world.
The hard, business skills are important in leading. However, it is the soft skills; communication, emotional intelligence, and shared vision, that produce greater loyalty and productivity amongst staff.
Employee Disengagement with Work
In a Gallup Poll conducted in 2014 on employee engagement, it was discovered that 31.5% of employees are engaged in their work, leaving 68.5% of Americans disengaged from their jobs. 17.5% are actively disengaged.
As in, they are actively not engaging in their work. Gallup defined engaged employees as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.
As I thought about this more, and my own current work situation, I began wondering about the type of leaders they have. Could it be that the job in and of itself isn’t bad, but they work for someone who is a micro manager? Or someone who does not know how to communicate? Could the problem be not only with the individual worker (as some blame for disengagement is the employees), but with the environment and culture leaders are creating in the workplace?
Leading to a Different Tune
What if leaders understood that their employees aren’t only employees, that they are people with hopes and dreams and families?
What if leaders learned to communicate in such a way that shared vision created greater buy in from employees and greater productivity?
What if leaders actually did what they thought was right, instead of what they thought they should do?
What if leaders began to lead their staff, instead of simply managing their staff?
What if they embraced a different type of leadership?
It is time we rethink the way in which we lead our organizations. Instead of dictating what is going to take place, get key players in the room to ask their opinion and brainstorm for the best solution.
When holding the meeting regarding a change in procedure or process, cast vision for what is to come and why it benefits the employee and the company.
Create buy in.
And when your employee has a sick child, asking the simple question of how the child is doing when the employee returns to work will make a world of difference in how that employee approaches his day at your organization.
How are you leading in light of the questions above?
Here’s to the Journey!