Lagging performance is among the most glaring indications something is awry in an organization. Then there are the quieter, less splashy but still foreboding signals: a culture of distrust, the uncomfortable undiscussables, staff disengagement, disorganization — all of which indicate a disconnect that could cost a business tremendously if not addressed.
When confronted with a problem, or better yet, before it becomes a problem, leadership consultants Bob Anderson and Bill Adams recommend organizational leaders first turn inward to drive lasting change.
In stark contrast to the corporate world — where people in large companies are promoted into leadership roles only after working their way up through the ranks — leadership development in the startup arena often happens overnight or even by accident. Entrepreneurs often have to go without management training, development coaching or a course called “CEO 101.” They have to figure out out how to be a leader on the fly. And because teaching yourself to lead is no easy feat, especially when you’re managing a rapidly expanding company, you may well fail. That’s part of the reason 36 percent of new businesses fold after just two years and 90 percent of technology startups simply don’t make it.
Many of the things we need to know to be successful – to innovate, collaborate, solve problems, and identify new opportunities – aren’t learned simply through schooling, training, or personal experience.
It sounds like common sense to say thank you to those who work for you and work with you, but it in reality this common sense wisdom is not practiced as much as it should be.
Some people say they don't have time or can't afford to show appreciation; others may have good intentions but just never think of it in the moment.
But if you think of it in terms of payoff--giving you and your organization more stability and less turnover (and, as a result, greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness)--it's about investing in an important relationship.
This column is part of Globe Careers’ Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at@Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories attgam.ca/leadershiplab
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