I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about organizations, culture, leadership, and performance. Recently I spoke at the ISM conference in Las Vegas on The Elusive High Performance Organization. (And they are very elusive.) I had the good fortune to hear a number of other people speak about talent management and career development – a nice break from business architecture models! The best was Charlie Colon with Gallup, the research people. Gallup’s extensive research shows that, on average, only 33% of employees are actively engaged in their organization’s success. So what are the other 67% doing? Most are more or less doing what they are told, but 18% are actively working against the organization’s success. And you wonder why we find it so hard to create high performance organizations!
The real question is why? Gallup also has an answer for this. It’s your boss! The number one contributor to engagement/disengagement is who you work for. Is this a surprise to you? I bet not. We all have been there. When I think about all the people I have worked for – and there have been quite a few – there have been very few who were truly inspiring. To be brutally honest, there were very few who would even make it to the ranks of “not bad”. So what is it that leaders do that makes such a big difference?
To find out, watch Simon Sinek’s TED video, Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe. It is only 12 minutes and is worth every one of them. Sinek doesn’t give you a laundry list of good leadership attributes. He gets right to the heart of what leadership is all about – and how organizations respond to true, authentic leaders.
The bottom line:_________________________________________________________________
While it is easy to complain about our bosses and their collective lack of leadership, the more important question is, “what type of leaders are WE?” You don’t need to be a CEO or even a manager to lead others. When you start acting like a leader, others follow.