There’s a lot to take in when you take on a new leadership role. Whether you are new to the organisation and facing a steep learning curve, or it’s an internal step up and you are navigating new dynamics with your colleagues, it’s important to pause and prepare a plan before jumping in. These are three mistakes we’ve seen made time and again by new leaders – typically three important things that they DON’T do in the rush to establish their new role.
The Board is ultimately responsible for the direction and performance of their organisation. How do you spot a Board that isn’t working at its best?
Stacy Zeiger in the Chron lists 10 indicators that a Board might be dysfunctional. These include hostility, lack of confidentiality, lack of order and respect, dominating or not engaging in conversations, conflicting agendas and a lack of trust. We would argue that lack of trust is what underlies all of the other symptoms. As Stephen Covey has written “Trust is not a soft, social virtue. It’s a hard, economic driver for every organisation.”
Trust is the cornerstone of effective relationships, great work, brilliant teams. When we have trust we have freedom to try new things, to give and receive feedback. Without trust it’s very hard to improve what we do and the way we do it. At Big Goals trust is the core of our business. Our clients trust us with their most precious asset – their people. And we ask them to trust us in the advice, support and direction we give. This mutual trust enables us to achieve great things together. I think we’ve always instinctively known that trust is key, but now we are empirically being told that it is.
Ever wonder why things don’t happen when you have been doing so much? Sometimes busyness is confused with achievement and we continue to do things without realising that we may be missing the mark.
Recently I worked with a client who had been trying to implement a project for over three years. There had been extensive work done on the project and they had frameworks, structures, maps and detailed plans. Yet virtually no one in the business was doing things the new way and one of the senior leadership team had openly declared it was not his problem.
Do you work with people you know are not performing well? Do you feel like you are ‘carrying’ people in your team? So often we speak with people who are frustrated because, to them, it is so obvious that people in their team are not performing, yet no action is taken. In one organisation, we spoke with people who promoted poor performers in order to get them out of their teams without having to deal with the issues. So, why does this happen so often?
So often at work we avoid having difficult conversations because, for many of us, it is just too hard. We have worked in plenty of organisations where people tell us they have recommended people for promotion just to get rid of them and avoid having the difficult conversations about their poor performance or behaviour.
Often we hear about this pattern from people who are performing well but are demotivated because they see poor performance and bad behaviour by others being ‘rewarded’ with promotion.
So, what do you need to think about before having a difficult conversation?