Is Your Company Dysfunctional? Find Out How to Right the Wrongs
By Maren Hogan
Companies are hard to run and can be dysfunctional. Take it from someone who knows. Especially hard to run are bootstrapped companies (again) take it from someone who is intimately acquainted with the subject. Managing people to scale is something that can go very wrong, very quickly, if you’re not careful and here’s how.
Putting your top performers in management.
This is a classic first time CEO mistake and one that I’ve made time and again. Look, someone who is consistently batting 1000, is not going to want to take the coach job right away. They want to continue to see how high they can go in terms of an individual contributor. This mistake is really easy to make with employees because many times they confuse responsibility with power and think they want to manage, when in fact, they are nowhere near ready. More than 70% of employees who are considered “high performers” lack attributes essential for their success in future roles.
Right this wrong: Avoid putting people in management before giving them various projects and teams to lead in the short-term. If they loathe the assignments, you have your answer. If they love what they’re doing, you have time to shape them into a healthy leader who has the time and experience to pass along his or her unique brand of leadership.
This issue usually starts at the top. A recent survey found that 72% of employees rank respectful treatment of employees as the top factor in job satisfaction. If you’re afraid to call people out on unacceptable (or even substandard) behavior, this will permeate your firm. A true leader will have that uncomfortable conversation, and will honestly critique his or her team. A true leader will do it because bullies cannot be tolerated at work, or because gossip is getting out of hand or because someone fell asleep in the middle of a meeting (usually a bigger issue). If you do NOT confront you may never know that someone’s significant other is suffering from alcoholism or someone’s mom is very ill and facing surgery or someone is facing financial ruin and thus having difficulty sleeping.
Right this wrong: Start practicing confronting “same-day”. You can do this via email or any other area in which you feel comfortable (we use our intranet, email and our feedback platform iRevu). It may shock you how many problems have simple and effective solutions when confronted right away. Confront and learn and then lead.
Confusing leadership with enabling.
Guh. Yet another role I’ve confused in my lifetime. Leadership is empowering and serving people to do their best work. Enablement is doing that work for them. Leadership is giving people enough feedback to make the next great decision for their work and empowering others to succeed. Enablement is turning yourself into a bottleneck in order to feed your own ego. Leadership is graciously giving credit for a job well done, even if you feel you were pivotal in getting it Go to the full article.