Companies and businesses across the globe are obsessed with leadership! And rightly so – over and over we see organisations soar or fail based solely on the person leading it! Even in large global organisations where thousands of employees work in separate departments with strong department heads – the CEO can be the deciding factor for success.
We know good leadership is key for success, but it still remains so elusive! One of the most common reasons for employees quitting an organisation is to escape a bad manager! Add to this the sad state of leadership development and it seems that good leadership will continue to be hard to come by. Despite increasing amounts of money being spent on leadership development, 71% of the companies don’t think that their leaders can be useful in the future!
And then there are the millennials who are openly questioning the need for leadership altogether! Highly self-regulated and motivated they seem to rebel against the hierarchical leadership structures currently in place.
In this crisis-like scenario, let us relook at the importance of leadership. How does it help in the workplace, and why is it important to keep trying to build good leadership?
Importance of Leadership
A single unifying vision is critical to keep everyone heading in one direction. Confusion and chaos are fatal for profitability. While the organisation might be filled with talented people, they can’t all have an equal say in how things must be done. The biggest job of a leader is to take ownership of finding and defining the roadmap for the company.
Once the vision is fixed and communicated, the next critical step is to give employees an actionable roadmap to get there. This duty also falls to the leader – it is his/her job to make an idea or a dream achievable.
Motivation and Morale
However, just telling people what they need to do is never enough – they must be encouraged to work hard and take ownership of the idea itself. This is where a good leader truly stands out; he must motivate his employees to work hard and work together to achieve the organisational goals. Conflict management also comes into the picture here, as with a room full of different people a strong voice is needed to keep everyone heading in the same direction.
Values flow top down – to maintain a healthy and positive work environment, a leader must set the right tone. People under him will consciously pick up on his moral and ethical values, and with time, this becomes the value system of the entire organisation. A case in point is Uber – the negative public perception of the company was compounded by the personal reputation of its then CEO, Travis Kalanick, and he was ultimately removed from his position to stem the negative backlash the brand was facing.
The reality is that humans can’t work together without conflict – differing mindsets, personalities, and opinions are bound to clash. Regardless of how talented and capable people are, they do need one person to stem the chaos, give clarity, and make everyone work together – and that person is usually the CEO of the company.
How is your leadership pipeline looking? Do you have a clear strategy for identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders for your company? If not, then you need to start now!
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