Ineffective leadership reduces chance of business success
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith February 1, 2014 5:30PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Leadership is what makes or breaks any organization from the single office/home office to the Fortune 100 global firms.
As those in leadership roles sift through all their corporate challenges, they are finding ineffective leadership is the root cause for these obstacles to business and even personal success.
Zappos recently announced a “Holacratic Business Model,” which is a flat organization structure having no job titles, no managers and no hierarchy. To successfully implement this model requires exceptional leadership (leading others) and self-leadership (leading oneself). Within this type of organization, everyone knows what to do, when to do it, how to do it and their actions are efficiently and effectively completed and with incredible energy.
After 16 years in providing executive coaching and organizational development solutions through talent management, I can personally attest that very few businesses have the leadership skills in place to even consider this type of business model. What I also know is leadership development from the CEOs or small business owners to the sales managers is rarely discussed because the focus is on non-people issues, such as increasing sales to streamlining operations.
Even though people are responsible for increased sales and operational efficiency, when the business model is based on inorganic elements, people are viewed as an expense and not viewed as an asset to be developed and nurtured.
In “Fail-Safe Leadership,” by Linda Martin and Dr. David Mutchler, the authors provide a quick “temperature checklist” to determine the presence of leadership problems.
Does your small business or organization have:
• “Cover your behind” mentality?
• Lack of personal accountability?
• Communication problems?
• Unacceptable results?
• High staff turnover?
• Can’t do attitudes?
• High degrees of stress and frustration?
If you found yourself answering yes to any of these questions, then your business may be suffering from leadership problems. Responding with a yes also does not suggest you are an ineffective leader.
Ineffective leadership is very much like a disease that if left untreated infects the entire organization. The previous questions are symptoms that may signal the business is not in optimal health and until healed, these symptoms may multiply.
Slowly, almost at a snail’s pace, small business to mid-size business leaders are beginning to accept ineffective leadership is the core problem. To change their organizations requires developing effective and sustainable leadership. They have begun to recognize as Zappos did, the 18th to even 20th century mentality about leadership will not generate 21st century business results.
Next week, the discussion will look at how by changing one mindset can dramatically improve business results.
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