[By: Kim Hoogeveen, Ph.D.]
Most large organizations have some terrific leaders within their ranks of executives, some mediocre leaders working right next to them, and often an abysmal leader or two thrown into the mix. The result is that a given employee’s likelihood of working for an outstanding leader becomes little more than a game of chance – a circumstance that diminishes a company’s ability to successfully attract, build, motivate, and retain the phenomenal employees necessary for making the enterprise successful. What causes this variance in leadership ability from one supervisor to the next? It stems from one or more of three factors: (1) a lack leadership principles, (2) poor supervisor selection, and/or (3) inadequate leadership training programs.
MindSet’s Seven Principles of Leadership© specify the underlying goals and motivations for how a leader should think and act. Lacking such principles, employees will not only experience inconsistency between leaders, but even see the same leader change from one situation to the next. The result is a work experience for employees that is unpredictable and seemingly haphazard.
Adoption of the Seven Principles is a necessary, but not solely sufficient, condition to provide consistent leadership to employees. Also required is wise selection of those who are promoted to supervisory roles. Many companies fail at this task, too often placing individuals into leadership positions due to technical knowledge or seniority – two factors that have very little correlation with the ability to lead humans. MindSet’s solution to this challenge is to provide our clients a list of skills and personal characteristics we have found to be predictive of leadership success.
The final ingredient needed to provide leadership consistency is high-quality leadership training for those who are placed in supervisory roles. Too often companies seem to think that leadership is something one learns by osmosis. This is not the case. Like any other skill, leadership ability can be fostered and grown. The goal should be to teach supervisors what it is that outstanding leaders know, and what it is they do, to make the Seven Principles come to life for employees.
If a company has followed the three steps outlined above, there is one more step that can put success into hyper-drive! It is the teaching of what MindSet calls Followship. This is a systematic process of teaching employees what an outstanding leader deserves from a follower. We call it teaching how to be a great teammate – supporting the success of both the leader and colleagues. This is the other side of the leadership equation that is too often left unaddressed – and it would be better if not only taught, but laid out as an expectation.
I have just shared with you a formula for incredible team success – three steps and a kicker that are easy to understand, but (oddly enough) rarely followed. Yet when unusually well run companies follow this prescription, they see an increase in production that is analogous to the power of compound interest – it explodes to levels otherwise unseen.
“The best companies won’t accept anything less than every employee having the opportunity to work for an outstanding supervisor.” ~ Kim Hoogeveen, Ph.D.
If you’re interested in seeing these results in your company, consider joining us for our Fall 2018 MindSet Leadership Series. At our Leadership Series we will cover these 3 factors of consistent leadership and dive deep on well over 100 insights and techniques that successful leaders use to build lasting and dominant cultures.
Related: Five Characteristics of a High Performing Executive Team – Leadership across the company is important for establishing a lasting culture, and that starts from the executive leaders on down. In our 20+ years of C-suite experience, these Five Characteristics are key to driving executive team performance.