I was fortunate enough to share an office with a senior leader for a client I was partnering with and as is always the case when I am available to others, this leader decided to engage in many micro coaching sessions.

He was not only seeking personal development, but also wanted to share ideas and concepts with me as a form of re affirming his ideas would work.

During one of our micro coaching sessions, we were interrupted by another senior leader within the company.

They were sharing that they needed to meet to discuss an operational issue. The difficulty was that the other leader openly said “I have checked out – I have gone”, meaning he was not engaged in his role or loyal to the company at that time.

The leader I was sharing the office with went on to share with me that a number of skilled leaders had resigned, meaning the company was going to fall short of technical capability.

When I dug deeper into what was happening, it all came back to the fact that the executives in the company were using old school management principles.

  • Micro managing
  • Telling people what to do
  • Over analysing history – paralysis by analysis
  • Over committing people in non value add activity
  • Having no reasonable executable plan
  • Not engaging technical experts
  • Questioning and doubting everyone
  • Believing they know it all

As you would expect

  • The company is underperforming,
  • Has high levels of staff turnover,
  • People are focused on protecting their job
  • People feel insecure
  • People feel undervalued
  • High levels of unplanned outages

Within this client there are more external consultants than are necessary, of which RdL is included. All that is needed is to have the right leaders in place and the transformation would be instant.

It is not that the capabilities are not there. This company was delivering more than double its current volume with the same tools and labour in the past.

The only thing that has changed is the leader.

As the saying goes, “There is no such thing as a bad team, only bad leaders”.

I know RdL could make a difference, but with the existing leaders in place governing the company, there is unlikely to be any acceptance of the suggested changes.

A leader’s core role is to set the tone and workplace culture for the company. When they focus on their people and the customer everything else falls into line and the company benefits from significant financial returns.

What kind of leader are you?