Strengthening The Leadership Bench

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Strengthening The Leadership Bench

Nov 8, 2020 • memphis

Joe Biden has emerged atop the U.S. presidential scrum not because he has the market cornered on brains and good ideas, but because, in contrast to a man who has proven wholly unfit to lead, his behavior reflects the character, temperament, tone and record of one who more likely is.

Sadly, many of the people promoted into leadership roles in business today are similarly afflicted to the outgoing president. In too many cases, we’re promoting the “next person up” with no consideration whatsoever given to whether or not people will be inclined to follow, or give them the benefit of the doubt. That is a profound mistake. Wanna see the esprit de corps and productivity of a high performing team go to hell overnight? Put a narcissist at the helm. Similarly, if you want talented new recruits in their first 18 months to tap the breaks and hit the next exit ramp, put them under the wing of a manager who couldn’t care less about their development, won’t tell them the truth, or someone who habitually tolerates chronic under-performers. And, an uncaring leader will flame out faster than anyone with a distributed WFH team.

On day one, leaders need to show up with ample portions of courage, judgment, humility, self awareness (not centeredness), confidence, maturity, emotional control,  and a penchant for listening, really listening. Good coaches can round off a lot of rough edges and reshape some core skills/priorities/habits, but they cannot train the aforementioned qualities into people. That being the case, it’s incumbent upon those selecting new leaders to ensure that this required factory equipment is indeed onboard before making an offer of a leadership role.

This is occurring at a time when the mantra of business no longer involves the big eating the small, rather, it’s the fast eating the slow. Consider this: Motivated people move faster. We wrote the book(s) on the economic power of a motivated workforce, and how leaders can cultivate and harness the power of the human spirit*. Like larger civil populations, focused, fired up, capably led workforces the world over produce more and better stuff, faster, and with less waste. Sharpening your leadership skills isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the profitable thing to do.

Our hope is that each of us will use this interim period over the next couple months to reflect on where we are as leaders (and humans), where we need to be, and how best to resolve the gaps. As always, if we can be of help, please get in touch.

*We’re happy to bring that message to your leadership team via custom keynote speech, seminar, 1:1 coaching, or in print. That’s all we do.

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