Don't let a dramatic event stop your tracks before you get the lessons learned or get the message.
Improve your value and organizational value rapidly by cutting off the status quo that no longer serves your mission, purpose, and strategies.
It is easy to be riding on the waves when the economy is on an upswing, everyone likes the ride up there, the air is thin but fresh.
When the economy tanks out, everyone thinks about cutting their losses and downsizing to manageable levels.
It is time to stop reacting to world events, economic catastrophes, outside offers, and deals. It is time to start innovating and building a better base for tomorrow by thinking for the future, not for the past and the present. It will be stale by the time you launch it.
Remember- stop waiting for a dramatic event. By that, it means one thing- you are being let go and the organization has suffered more to deserve a radical shakedown.
This is not about the legal profession or how the justice works in this country.
The reason for this metaphor is that some organizations refuse to become more accountable by having structures and systems in place that will permit more accountability, shared responsibility, greater transparency, thus creating a better managed entity. This is good for the shareholders, stakeholders, partners, clients, customers, staff, suppliers, contractors, donors, funders, collaborators, and other constituencies outside the inner circle of influence. This is good for reputation, image, credibility, integrity, and being trusted is always the best compliment.
There is the ideal checks and balance approach to ensuring that those who are in positions of power share the burden of decision-making, risks management, financial management, oversight with a committee duly elected/nominated to carry the responsibilities. There is a balance of power in a sense that no one person or group holds enough sway that could tip the organization to undesirable direction.
There are powerful clichés within organizations that tend to overrule the rest who are the 'silent majority.' Sometimes, they are the ruling minority and with that being said, can create move havoc than anticipated. For clichés to proliferate, there is an ideal environment for it. Sounds familiar?
When there are no clear accountabilities, lines of responsibility, agreed-upon performance evaluation, sound rewards and demerits, shared power structure, things can go sideways any time.
When one person becomes the proverbial judge, jury, and executioner, don't expect much from the organization that's only intention is to survive any coup d'etats or hostile takeovers. Or even yet, wait until the founder dies.
Leaders like parents would say "Do what I say, not what I do."
The behavior of the leader will be the litmus test whether he/she will be believed and followed by his/her subordinates.Words don't mean a thing.
While some CEOs have a sort of veneer of respectability over their persona, what matters at the end of the day, is that they are present (not absentee) leader, one that people will follow, believe, and will trust to direct them to a new direction in the organization, and has the interests of the organization at heart.
One of the loyal Marcos henchmen during the martial law was asked by President Marcos to jump out of the building. The henchman said, 'from which floor, sir!" This sounded like a joke but this rings true today.
Loyalty and faith in the leader can come from the relationship that the leaders had forged. It cannot be just about promotions, favors, and any other externalities.
Are you creating and forging real and trust-based relationship with your followers? Have you demonstrated enough integrity, commitment, and above-board excellence that they can trust and believe in you to light the way forward?
If you are the best at what you do, then you are the expert.
Then, stop doing these things to undermine that.
1. Asking people about what to do next.
2. Accepting bad advice from people that do not have the credibility or success for themselves.
3. Asking people to give you the chance. You are not auditioning.
4. Having self-doubt all the time.
5. Getting intimidated in front of people with PhDs, and other initials in their names.
6. Getting intimidated with people in high positions.
7. Trying to be somebody else's that you are not.
8. Creating opportunities for people to doubt you.
9. Agreeing to every one's opinion no matter how incredulous it is.
10. Complying instead of negotiating for your interest.
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.