The Impact of LeadershipSep 21, 2023
In so much of what we’ve worked through in addressing each of the profitability killers to this point, I’ve referenced studies listing facts and data emphasizing the specific impact each one has on our bottom line. As much as I want to do that again here, contrasting the overall performance between teams with good and bad leaders, I’m going to fight that urge and make a play on your emotions instead! I realize that runs the risk of losing you with something so touchy-feely but since you’ve hung with me this long it’s one I’m willing to take…
I want you to go to the place (or places) in your own career where you experienced each of the examples I just detailed living through personally; how painful it was to leave an organization I had been with for my entire adult life and watching team member just stop going to their supervisors with concerns because they didn’t feel heard… I’m intentionally not asking you to put yourself in my shoes because I’m confident that you’ve dealt with situations that were at least as difficult! Now consider how more different those scenarios would have been if the individual you were reporting to had been a great leader - or an even worse leader!
The point I’m driving here is that we’ll all go through crap; that’s inevitable. And so will the folks who are counting on us for leadership. How the leader handles it though can make a world of difference!
I found a fascinating article by Tom Rath on Gallup.com called The Impact of Positive Leadership that shared what appeared to be a fictional character named Suzie (but could have just as easily been me or you since it hit so close to home) detailing just how low the ratio of positive to negative interacts really are for most of us on any given day. Rath’s point was focused on showing the overall performance improvement when we make sure that ratio is more heavily weighted to the positive. As he closed, he shared this as to how we, as leaders, can impact our entire culture by being intentional about increasing the number of positive interactions:
When leaders display positive emotions, others take note -- and take action. Positive leaders don't sit back and wait for things to get better on their own. Instead, as they walk around the office, make calls, or write e-mails, they are always trying to catch excellence in action. When they spot a job well done, they call attention to what is right.
Since I’m sure you’re tracking with me on the difference this can make, and hopefully had a least a little bit of a touchy-feely moment there as you revisited a time from your past, I think it’s time to look at the last few simple steps we can take to build a great leadership culture and capture lost profitability - so that’s where we’ll pick up soon!