“Research has shown” – yes, it HAS! That unresolved conflict is bad for your bottom line. There are direct (visible) costs and there are indirect (hidden costs. Negative consequences follow failure to act; positive consequences await the business owner/manager who steps in and manages conflict.
GOOD WORKPLACE DYNAMICS IS THE SWING VOTE THAT TAKES YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
Cleaning an oven takes vision, initiative, planning, determination, resilience, some level of physical ability and skill, plus the right tools and time. These are also the typical leadership requisites described in textbooks and expounded upon by consultants and leadership gurus.
Yet, do we ever ask our students in our leadership programmes how they approach oven cleaning, or whether they have ever cleaned an oven? Maybe some leaders would say “I don’t do ovens”; “my people clean my ovens”; or some other high level response.
It has become a fundamental principle (a principle from which other truths can be derived) that engaged employees do take care of your customers, bring in hard cash, and uphold the highest quality standards you can afford. There is a great deal of overlap in what are deemed to be the best questions to get the best answers, but it has not made much of a difference: the number of ‘engaged employees’ seems to stick at 30% according to various studies spanning at least a decade.
We are overthinking the issues of leadership and employee engagement.
Instead of simply scanning the bullet points in articles on career planning discover the right questions to ask first.
Very few people have career plans that move linearly from A to Z. Most of us career from one perceived opportunity to the the next, but often the advice we get assumes we’re in control. We’re not. What we can be in control of is the basis of making career choices: what do I like and what would I like to have more of? There are some good questions to ask. Ask them. Answer them. Then act.
The corner has been turned on the complexity of leadership. The true skill is in achieving simplicity: Simplicity with the clarity that can come only from a depth of curiosity and reflection. It is true that it is harder to be simple with clarity. It requires regular and full attention. Being a leader surely requires constant and deep reflection to develop and maintain clarity of vision and purpose. It is hard to do that alone.
That is why leadership coaching has become such a precious and sought-after service.
He was as human as the rest of us – discarded his first wife, made many decisions and actions
that he no doubt regretted, was deeply disappointed in many things and people, but was a man of incredible strength and charisma. I loved how charmed he was by young women when he came out of prison,
an old man – with dignity and affection. I met him shortly after he came out of prison – the company I worked for at the time, in Johannesburg, had worked very actively to support the campaign to
legalise the ANC and for the release of Mandela and the other political prisoners, and he came to our head office to show his respects. I shook his hand – a very soft hand, to the touch. We had a
crisis behind the scenes – a white young woman – seriously right-winger, had brought a hand gun to work – she was isolated and immobilised very quickly. She could have become a Wilkes-Booth, Oswald
or a Nathuram Godse.
And I remember how the black women on staff all danced, ululated and clapped their hands – I don’t know how to ululate, but I danced and sang with them – what a magical time it was!
One must be careful not to place frail
humans on impossible pedestals, but he certainly has become an icon of what is noble and honourable in human kind.