Leadership has many definitions for many people. When you type Leadership into Amazon.com, how many book titles do you think you get? More than 80,000!!!
Do you think that these books from some of the best minds say the same thing about leadership? Definitely Not! If I were to ask you what Leadership means to you, all of you would probably giving me all kinds of definitions because Leadership means different things to different people.
Why does leadership matter? Why would companies invest so much time and money into developing their leaders? Truly effective leaders in organization are able to effectively balance the 3 key stakeholders to create value for the organization. These 3 stakeholders are Customers, Employees, and Shareholders. All these constituents are looking to the leaders to bring that mission to life. It can be difficult to maintain the balance between the three to consistently add value on their behalf.
We have certain assets to help us add that value - the People. People are the foundation. The question is how do you bring out the best in your people? This is no easy task and it requires great leadership from all levels in the organization to achieve that. That’s why leadership is so important, as John C. Maxwell adeptly pointed out that “Everything rises and falls on Leadership!”
How many of you ever been into a service center that renovated absolutely beautifully with art décor furnishings, bright colors, all new materials, and by the end of your stay you felt like you would never want to return? Another scenario is when you walk into a service center that was in need of renovation, old carpeting, not the best furnishings, yet by the time you left you felt good about your experience? I’m sure you had experienced both situations. So, what is the difference? The People, Emotional Connections!
Let’s talk a little more about the importance of people, in particular the role that leaders play in creating value for the organization by getting the “the right people on the bus” to steal a phase from the book Good to Great by Jim Collins.
Think of your high performer. According to McKinsey Study- War for Talent - In Sales Role high performer can generate almost 70% more revenue than the average performer. Now let’s talk about the importance of not just the right people, but the right leadership. As you probably would have heard this before, employees don’t generally leave jobs, they leave bad bosses. Who do you think are the first ones to leave when they have a bad boss? The High Performers! I can testify this with more than 10 years of corporate experience, I have seen this way too often that high quality people left because of a bad boss. Think of someone in your company that has a deficiency in some technical skill. You can send them to a program, training, or instruct them. Then think of someone who has poor interpersonal skill, that is more difficult to deal with, there is no magic wand. You can’t just push F1 and get Help. Thus, it is the soft stuff that is the hard stuff and it is effectively dealing with the soft stuff that leaders can create the most value for the organization. In my next article, I will spend some time talking about the changing roles of leaders in today’s perspective. I will discuss the new concept of manager vs. leader as well. Stay tune!