It All Starts at the Top

absenteeism boss effective leadership employee engagement employee experience executive leadership leadership culture leadership model manager ownership performance productivity profitability profitability killers return on investment top down top down approach turnover Feb 28, 2023
top down approach

For more than 20 years now, I’ve heard John Maxwell emphasize that “EVERYTHING rises and falls on leadership.” I even remember when Uncle Ben gave similar counsel to Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spiderman, saying that “with great power comes great responsibility!” If we really want to have an impact on those things that are killing our profitability, especially in the highest risk areas, and achieve real quantifiable results, I can’t think of a better way to start than with a top down approach!

I found an article on called Ineffective Leadership and the Devastating Individual and Organizational Consequences that opened with this:

Have you ever been so stressed at the thought of continuing to work with an ineffective leader — a "bad boss" — that you become physically ill? If so, you are not alone. Let's examine the consequences and potential solutions.

After detailing how much poor leadership can make an employee’s life suck, and providing quite a bit of statistical data to back their claims, the author went on to state that “In addition to the individual outcomes, it also leads to organizational issues of lost productivity, employee absenteeism, safety issues, turnover and increased healthcare costs.” Let’s be honest here, someone running a company doesn’t even have to care about the people who work for them to see just how much profit they’re losing once they’ve sifted through enough articles like that… And I’m sure we could both make a long list of names of the folks we’ve interacted with throughout our careers who wouldn’t give the slightest bit of attention to John or Uncle Ben but would most certainly break down walls for a couple of extra nickels.

In complete transparency, there’s a ton of things that can be done at any level of an organization that can have a significant impact on any given profitability killer, and we’ll be working through several of them individually soon, but we’ll never see the full benefit of any if we’re not willing to start at the top! I’ll share Maxwell’s wisdom once more just in case you missed it before, “EVERYTHING rises and falls on leadership!”

And while the owner of a company or the folks in the C-suite won’t necessarily touch every single area of the business that needs this kind of attention on any given day, they do indeed set the tone for everyone throughout the organization reporting to them. What they place a priority on becomes the focus of their direct reports and that continues on down the line. So if we really want a great return from accepting the great responsibility that comes with that great power, it will be critical for us to provide a top down leadership model so we’ll look at some examples (with stats to back them) next time…