Last week I introduced you to my soon to be published book, “I See You”. I have written it because I have a dream. As I think about leadership, what rises to the surface of my mind is how much more impact good leaders can have beyond themselves for the growth of those they lead. My dream is simple – it is that every person in an organisation can experience the kind of leadership that recognises their unique value, seeks their highest good and enables them to bring their best work. This creates a series of wins for all concerned: a win for the leader, the individual, the team and the organisation as they achieve greater team productivity.
How engaged are people at work?
My observation is that for many this is not the case. The analytics company, Gallup, has interviewed millions of employees over the years. Their research put the following statement to employees: “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day”. How would you respond to that statement? It may or may not be a surprise to you to know that only one third of the responses were “strongly agree”! One of the strongest drivers for me in putting this book together is the scarcity of this positive response.
“Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything for better or for worse“. Simon Sinek
All the evidence points towards great culture being the environment in which high performing teams exist. Think about your own workplace culture. What do you see in that culture that undermines the performance or potential performance of the people who are part of the team? In tackling team culture, are you looking to explore what environment is healthy for all those involved? If people are enjoying the work they do and the team environment in which they do it, the result will be greater output, greater resilience and greater service.
The Key is Culture
What are the costs of teams who don’t reach their potential? The underlying message of the Gallup research is that two thirds of the work force are not as engaged as they could be. As Simon Sinek says, culture matters. My dream requires leaders to think about the environment that they create around them. Poor leadership has consequences not just for the bottom line but for the people who work under them. That there are people in teams who have never experienced the benefits of great leadership fills me with a sense of injustice. It is possible, intentionally, for great leadership to be developed and to multiply.
Great leadership means greater potential for engaged people in the workplace.
In order for employees to be engaged at work and bring their best contribution, I believe leaders are key. There are simple factors that enable and empower you to bring your best. To get to that point it is clear that the leader who sets the culture has to be able to see the impact that they have. Leaders must understand what it is like to be on the other side of them as people. In my experience those of you in leadership may want to see things go well in the team but perhaps lack the tools and understanding to make that happen.
“We desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear.” Brené Brown
What’s your workplace and team culture like? Let me know. My aim is to encourage leaders so that they can encourage those they lead. Tune in for further instalments as I continue to lift the cover on my book.
Photo by Oussema Rattazi on Unsplash