Doing the necessary to get results
Two major companies one in transportation and the other in the beverage industry experienced financial losses over several years despite having sales running into the millions of dollars yearly.
The leaders in both companies analysed key performance indicators and concluded that the staff needed motivational training to boost morale and increase productivity.
The transport company hired a motivational expert who was a top selling author to organise training sessions for the employees. These sessions were conducted in a classroom style setting at the work place. The employees felt motivated and inspired by the training. They came out of these training sessions with positive experiences and a “feel-good” state of mind. However, upon returning to work these employees very quickly returned to doing things the same old way.
The beverage company on the other hand got a training organization to organise a weekend retreat at a training centre out in the countryside. The centre had the feel and amenities of a well-run luxury hotel. The surrounding grounds were beautifully landscaped with gardens, patios and recreational facilities. The entire leadership and management team joined the rest of the employees in this program where everyone had to dress casually and address each individual by their first names. No job titles were used.
The program encouraged everyone to get to know their colleagues personally with encouragement given to share personal experiences with the group. At the end of the program strong personal bonds were created between individuals across job hierarchies. There was a sense of shared determination to do better for the company. The leaders, managers and the rest of the employees returned to work energized.
At the end of the year both the transport and beverage companies once again showed losses with performance continuing to slide. The transport company continued in business with additional capital injection from investors. The beverage company was wound up a year later.
These two companies were examples of a failure of leadership. Making people feel good by building positive human relationships alone does not improve performance and increase productivity. Leadership is about making the right decisions and taking timely action.
High growth leaders take action, get the right people and establish productive relationships
to achieve goals.
The Right Action
Business plans work best when leaders are able to implement an action agenda that state what needs to be done in the right order of priority, importance and urgency.
A leader must know how to decide on the best course of action when more than one option is available. The leader needs to ensure that such actions are carried out in a timely manner. This requires the skill to make informed decisions based on feedback and advice from specialist.
The Right People
It is essential to utilize people with the right qualifications and competencies to carry-out specific task. It is also important to ensure that these people buy into the leader’s vision and sense of mission. This will encourage them to perform their duties conscientiously and professionally.
The Right Relationship
High growth leaders focus on building productive relationships. This should be distinguished from merely creating “feel-good” relationships. An effective leader knows that people who experience a sense of personal accomplishment when business goals are achieved will work to improve their performance.
The high growth leader will invest time into establishing a productive relationship by providing his people with the right resources, challenges and motivation to create a shared prosperity for the business and themselves.
International Business Consultant
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