When flat is not enough!

April 20th, 2010

I espouse the virtues of encouraging the heart of each employee and asking them frequently what they have learned about the marketplace and their customers. Today this is even more paramount as leaders have such a limited supply of time. Leaders do not have the luxury of simply planning and strategizing any longer.

Leaders have had middle management and supervisory roles stripped out of their organizations to stay lean and lower costs. Also, because those roles were often not creating as much value as needed to exist in the business! The consequence is that leaders are doing and producing more. Sales Managers are selling. Operational Leaders are helping in more hands on way. Never has there been more of a need for Leaders to encourage staff to “think like owners” and to help you collaborate on simple and complex problems and opportunities in the business. Stripping out the layers is not enough!

This makes me think of a new television show, where CEOs of big organizations get out from behind the desk and go “experience” their organizations first hand by performing many difficult front line jobs. Many of the CEOs can’t meet the very performance standards they set. Perhaps more leaders should “get out from behind their desk” and lead and work side by side with their staff to find out what is really going on. And of course, to learn what they need to learn to make their organizations a better place for employees and customers alike.

What strikes me as funny is the reaction of the managers who have to hear the report from the Boss after he/she has been out in the field. It is a difficult thing to hear when you supported ideas that don’t work in the field and that leadership is difficult today. Sort of “Darned if you do” and you know the rest… Makes me think that these organizations have too many layers!

Have you asked for help from your staff today? You are producing and doing more. Are you leveraging your team for strategic input? Start that dialogue today!

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