Boards and staff have to set the records straight. They need to define their roles and responsibilities. The Board needs to set the general direction for the organization and look at the long-term viability of staff, programs, and assets. While the staff is hired to look after the particular operations of the organization.
When hands-on Board becomes to muddled up in too much detail, the staff feels disempowered and frustrated that every decision including what nails to use or plants to buy or how many colors of the logo needs to have is a pain in itself. Boards are not meant to make those calls!
It is important to leave it up to the staff to figure it out. They are to be trusted to make those important operational decisions because they are close to the problem, they know what works because they have the experience working in this role, and that they need to exercise their creativity and ingenuity. Respecting each other's roles is highly critical to the success of this relationship.
When Board and staff work constructively, then it can be heaven on earth. It is important that staff can consult the Board when....(state those reasons) and stick to those as much as possible. Constructively in the sense that while roles and responsibilities are delineated well, the relationship is very supporting of one another. If both Board and staff collectively use their energies and their strengths together, they can solve problems, anticipate future challenges, and deal with setbacks with resilience.
It is a tango- takes two steps forward and one step backward. As a dance, partners have to be in one heart, soul, and mind so that it doesn't become a labor but of an art in itself. So it does with Board and staff relationship.
If there is high commitment, it beats compliance any day.
If there is no commitment, then you have rules and more rules to compensate for the lack of real and genuine engagement.
Governments and regulatory agencies slap rules and more rules when it is more wise, productive, effective, and affordable to elicit more engagement, thereby in the long-term, you get commitment and fierce dedication.
Business leaders, owners, and managers must clearly understand this differentiation. If there is no real accountability and commitment to staff and employees, you will get compliant but mediocre and low-performing average crew. Businesses cannot thrive in the atmosphere of compliant, obedient, but brainless individuals whose task is to keep their jobs, stay away from trouble, and always say yes to the boss.
Committed employees take their time to understand their roles, participate in efforts to improve their work and their performance, and show their best towards the customers or clients of the organization. They are enabled, empowered, and do not ask permission to make a decision that will redound to the greatness of their organization. They are permitted to cherish the customer and showcase their talent going sometimes beyond their duties to accommodate what seems to be the right thing to do versus what is comfortable at that time.
There is a risk taking that is not merely tolerated but actually acknowledged and encouraged because the rewards for action make the difference.
When nobody is looking or paying attention to their work, are your employees able to showcase compliant behaviors or committed behaviors? Find this out for your self.
There's a saying, in matters of principles, stand like a rock, in matters of taste, stand like a bamboo (that's my way of putting it!).
The world will throw everything at you, even the toilet sink if you permit it. When it comes to your principles and values, stand firm and do not compromise.
Norms and trends may change overtime, creating polarized societies that come from very extreme positions. But values of compassion, kindness, generosity, civility, justice, and fairness -all these things make up for better people, better societies, better citizens.
Fairness and justice are words spoken easily but hard to advocate and reflect in your own life. It is not about the money. It is not about exacting revenge or causing aggravation. It is about claiming what is due, no more, no less. It is about saying, "there is no real peace or moving on, or forgiveness, or reconciliation, when there is no real justice."
And real justice is elusive in this day and age. But when we all aspire to become just, fair, and peaceful, there is always room for dialogue, for meeting of the minds, where win-win is possible.
Many people count their miseries more than their blessings. Wrong, count the blessings more than the miseries.
The miseries get bigger when you concentrate on their negative impacts. When problems are treated objectively, it means that you do not accept more negativity than what it is you are having.
Blessings and good things that come in your life are the sources of inspiration, power, confidence, and hope.
Hope - things that you aspire for but cannot see yet. Hoping for the best yields better outlook for you and for your family. A healthy dose of optimism and hopefulness is always welcome.
This year ending season take time to pause, reflect, and count your many blessings.
It will definitely bring you to the right mental position you need to tackle another year.
In the Philippines, we have a traditional song that goes....
"Planting rice is never fun"
"Bent from morn till the set of sun"
"Cannot stand and cannot sit"
"Cannot walk for a little bit"
It is not fun at all when you have a water buffalo that wanted to do something else! Life in rural Philippines had changed dramatically but in very remote locations, you can see a farmer with his buffaloes.
I don't know about you but planting the seeds of consciousness starts with preparing the mindset for a new thinking, acting, and doing. It is laying the ground work for future action that will take place in not so distant future. It happens in organizations that are thinking strategic, thinking long-term, and thinking about investing further along. Managers need to think carefully how to set the stage, create an environment where the status quo is no longer adequate to account for challenge, let alone, to compete effectively.
The best scenario is the one that comes from the decision-makers themselves and this goes not by serendipity but by actually nurturing and creating those needs for action, the ownership will be there, and of course, the resourcing will never be behind.
Leading from behind is more art than science. Let your nudge take them where you want them to go.
Fence-sitters and pretenders are scared people. They refuse to be involved or pretend to be involved but never to the scale that most people who are committed would. They ruin the possibilities for organizations because they not only favor the status quo but also block meaningful efforts to create waves and progress for the organization.
When you have fence sitters and pretenders, they sit on the sidelines, ensuring that things would hopefully get bad so they can pat themselves in the back and say, "see I told you guys, it wont work because....." There are too many people like that who refuse to be accountable for their actions and how it is affecting the whole organization.
If you are the manager, supervisor, or the boss of the company, make no mistake, these kinds of people are creating the kind of climate that do not serve the purpose of the business and ruin it all for everybody.
Don't put a decaying apple with the rest of the bunch. You know what will happen.
What is the most scary is when these people govern the organization and things are stalled for no logical reason than to protect what is expedient and 'normally done around here." First, they can't lead. Second, because they can't lead they micromanage. And third, they think they are being effective worst, being serving the organization well.
The good and bright people should muster the courage to step up to the plate and either eliminate or dilute the damage that these pretenders can inflict the organization. Ultimately, they should be caught and be rid of.