Getting Top Talent Fighting To Stay With You
I need to ask you an important question. What’s your business doing? Is it growing, staying about the same or losing ground? Now let’s be brutally honest — and I suspect if you are like most business owners, you may be tempted to deny this–but if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying!
Now that you’ve caught your breath, let’s get clear about what I mean by growing. Growing in this context is NOT about experiencing 1%-3% growthdue to the fact that you laid off a bunch of people or radically cut cost and potentially the quality of what you do/produce. That’s not growing. That’s slowing the dying process.
Real growth is more than temporarily increasing the profit margin. If we are going to talk growth in business, one of the key areas we have to discuss is the quality of the leadership.
It could be argued that leadership is the most important quality for any business professional to have. With quality leadership, nearly any and every task can be accomplished. Think about a leader you have known in the past. This could be a boss, a teacher, a pastor, a congressman. Did this person inspire you? Did they make you angry, or did they not affect you at all?
If you said they didn’t affect you, you’d be wrong. Despite what you may believe, there is a powerful and somewhat destructive impact of having leaders who don’t inspire us. And the main reason leaders don’t inspire is because they are disengaged.
We know from a 2011 Gallup Poll that 71% of American workers are “not engaged” or are “actively disengaged” in their work. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just the worker bees who are disengaged. Many top level C-suite executives are just as disengaged. These leaders close their office doors and distance themselves from the group they are supposed to be leading.
Obviously, this sort of leadership is not the kind you desire in your organization. But I hate to break it to you, but there’s a very good chance that you have leaders like that in your own organization. These “leaders” have positions of authority and you may even be assuming that they are leading in the direction of growth. However, where they are really leading is in the direction of keeping their position, title, status and or lifestyle. They are not mission, purpose or growth driven. They are not actively engaged in the corporate value system. They are, however, tremendously engaged in increasing their own personal bottom lines.
They are disengaged leaders!
Now you may still want to argue that it’s not the leadership that is the problem with lack of growth in your company, but with employees who don’t care.
Let me let you in on a dirty little secret. Employees disengage for one of three reasons:
- 1. They are being led by a disengaged leader.
- 2. They are at odds with the organization’s mission/purpose and or values.
- 3. They are a bad fit for your corporate culture. (Assuming your company actually has a corporate culture that’s more than a concept.)
Here’s the hard line truth behind all three of these reasons: employees disengage because leaders are disengaged at some level and therefore not authentically leading!
Let’s take a closer look at those three reasons.
First, if employees have a disengaged leader, you can pretty much guarantee they will become lazy themselves. This is not necessarily because employees are inherently lazy, but rather, because employees (like children) do not do what they are told; they simply model the behaviour of their superiors. If the leader doesn’t care about the growth of the company, neither will the employees.
When a team is led by a disengaged leader, there’s a good chance that team members will simply just do what they have to do in order to meet their job description, and not do anything to grow themselves or your organization.
Second, when employees are at odds with the organization’s mission/purpose and or values this again indicates poor leadership, because your leaders need to be crystal clear that every person who enters your employ fully understands the organization’s mission/purpose and or values. This is not possible if the leaders themselves do not understand it.
Let me give you an example. In 2006 a multinational company brought us to Europe to work with their leadership team. This was a dramatically impactful training that clearly rattled a lot of cages. Instead of my just coming in and doing the usual rah-rah, look how great you folks are, now let’s just pat each other on the back, I challenged the heck out of them.
Why did I do this? In my pre-interview with the individuals on the team, it became obvious that they were relationally disconnected from each other. This told me they were likely disconnected from the company as a whole and were therefore in all likelihood working in a silo mentality.
After a lengthy discussion with the global CEO about the need to break these silos and get the team to genuinely not only connect but bond, we went back into session.
I began by asking a single pointed question that they were required to answer out loud in fort of their peers and without the assistance of their peers. This simple question clearly caused the blood pressure of the CEO to rise. The question was: “Would you please state out loud the mission statement of this company?” Each answer clearly demonstrated a challenge at the core of the company because no one (with exception of the Global CEO) actually knew the answer.
No wonder they were disengaged. You cannot expect your team to be fully engaged in the growth of a company when their only connection is a paycheck. Everyone in your organization must be aligned with the mission, purpose and vision of the company if it is to experience true growth.
Finally, if an employee is a bad fit for your culture, this again falls on leadership. If the corporate culture isn’t lived by the leaders, it indicates to employees that the culture doesn’t matter and therefore it doesn’t matter if a person fits or not. In a “momentum culture” there is congruence at every level from janitor to the C-suite.
It all comes down to this… For your company to grow you have to have all the obvious things like a rock-solid business plan, great procedural implementation and everything else we all know is the back bone of a business. However, for growth to have momentum, it must have legs. The three legs on which your company must be built in order to continue to grow are authentic, inspiring, and transparent leadership. In other words, A Full Monty Leader.
Now, don’t get the wrong idea. The Full Monty Leader is not a rah-rah leader. Absolutely not! A Full Monty Leader will occasionally anger their team, not because they are being adversarial but rather because a Full Monty Leader is required to hold a greater vision of each of the individuals of the team than the members hold for themselves. Only then can team members begin to adopt the vision for themselves. This is an essential principle that will deeply inspire the people who are in your organization for more than a paycheck.
Full Monty Leadership is about developing a culture of authentic, engaged leaders at every level of your organization. Leaders who feel deeply emotionally connected to the mission purpose and values of the company.
When you have that kind of leadership, you not only generate fierce loyalty but develop a company that is actively growing.
So let me ask you again– What’s Your Business Doing?
Want to retain your top talent? Then my “Fiercely Loyal” book is for you! Plus get your free: “How to instantly bond any team” infographic.
Dov Baron is first and foremost “The Dragonist”. As The Dragonist, he teaches us how to recognize, find, retain and nurture dragons (top talent) hidden within our organizations.
Want to learn more about what Dov has to offer, and how you too can become a Dragonist in your realm? If you and your leadership team are dedicated to getting the result you set out to achieve in the most meaningful manner, bring Dov in to speak to your organization about the strategic advantages of Dragon Leadership. Go here to get started.
Copyright: Dov Baron International 2020