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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

If You Are A Leader - Display Leadership


I heard a director of a company talking with authority about something I'm sure he didn't believe - if he thought about it.

There had been complaints about poor communications between management and workers in his division. His response was "I'll spend more time in meeting so my managers will have more time to spend with their people."

He had to know better than that.

His managers will do what they see him doing.

Now they are justified in avoiding their "people" to attend meetings - so their direct reports can spend more time with the people. Their "people" of course will follow suit.

I think what the director was really saying is that his job security comes from hanging out with other executives - to heck with his people.

If he really wanted to improve communication he could take his managers on walks to talk with the workers - and even try to catch the workers doing something right so they could congratulate them.

Most of his meetings are probably a waste of time anyway - in terms of business effectiveness. He has at least one worthless manager that talks intelligently and plays politics well - he could assign them to attend the meetings.

Meeting and inspiring his division would require leadership - that director is obviously satisfied being a bureaucratic manager himself.

Wasting your life in meetings sounds like a dead end way to spend 70 hours a week. The only upside is his ego knows he is an executive cog in a huge organization, even if he is not quite high enough to use the corporate jet.

His own frequent comments about it being "lonely at the top," and his hair turning gray and falling out show that he feels stress - not pleasure - from his chosen route.

Ya gotta feel sorry for the guy - he could have had his own business instead - and enjoyed his life. He could have sought, developed, and shared his passions with people that would appreciate his contributions.

That would require thought and leadership.

Instead he has a business card featuring the business founder's name - and in much smaller print his own name and title - and no life of his own.




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