The word passion is often used as a holy grail for leaders. The trouble is, what passes for passion is often bad behavior. Taking over, not listening, showing preference for certain employees, ignoring feelings, considering a need for support as weakness, yelling, or too much focus on short-term results. The list is long. And the statistics on lack of engagement and turnover are concerning. According to Gallup*, 33% of US employees are engaged, 49% are disengaged, and 18% are actively disengaged. According to 24-Seven**, salary increases decline from 12% in year one of employment to 4% after four or more years — which may explain why 66% of employees are planning a job change in the next 12 months. And according to Boston Consulting Group*** the companies who were “most capable” at “On-boarding and retaining new hires,” “Managing talent,” “Improving performance management,” and “Improving leadership development,” enjoyed double the profit margin of those who were “least capable.”
In a perfect world, strong individual contributors are promoted to positions of leadership. From there, they use their considerable expertise to mobilize a team to perform. Unfortunately, unless the organization is providing tools to learn how to manage people, as well as tools to grow their mindset, new leaders can fail or under-perform. They may have a few direct reports who “get them” and do well, but they won’t consistently motivate the diversity of behavioral styles required to support all the roles in a team.
Often leaders who have been successful doing it “their way” struggle to see why they need to change. Nevertheless, there are resources that can gently give leaders insight, and the tools to evolve on their terms. A few that I use in programs to help support leaders are: Strength Finder 2.0 Tracom’s Social Style and the Hogan Assessments.
Good leadership and management increase productivity, efficiency and profitability. And being more profitable gives companies the breathing room to compete and innovate to handle today’s constant change. Are you willing to take an objective look at your leaders? What could be possible if they were even better?
*Gallup Employee Engagement Survey
**24-Seven 2016 Job Market Report
***BCG 2014 “Talent requirements for the future of Beauty”