For command to happen, there has to be an acceptance of command. For authority to be exercised by those in authority, there has to be willing submission by those over whom the authorities is being exercised …
CASE STUDY: GIVING MEANING TO A CAMPAIGN FOR HIGHER PRODUCTION
The plant manager deliberately left the plant early, on the afternoon of 30 November 2017. His staff phoned him at 8 PM and at 9 PM with status updates, but at the 12 PM deadline he heard nothing. However, at 2:30 AM, they phoned to tell him that they had achieved the target production.
This marked the successful achievement of a campaign to lift production from 10.5 million units a month to what had always been seen to be the plant’s optimal and planned output at the time of commissioning in 2006, of 12 million units.
The result, on the last day of the month, marked the successful completion of the month-long “12 million units” campaign.
The plant manager had previously, in 2014-15, achieved a significant turnaround in employee attitude and plant performance – for details on this, click here.
Since then the plant had run at around the 10.5 million unit level with acceptable levels of quality.
But in fact the plant did not need to produce 12 million units because market demand in late 2017 was around 10.5 million unit. And in fact extra production would result in extra, unnecessary stocks which would entail negative consequences for working capital and risk, and possible shelf life problems.
The ‘Why’ of the Vision
So why did the plant manager embark on the seemingly-pointless exercise of raising production on the plant to its nameplate capacity when the extra production actually wasn’t needed?
By Stefaan van den Heever, associate, Legitimate Leadership.
With the change of presidency in South Africa, I have been fascinated with the number of people calling into radio stations about the question of “legitimacy” of leadership. This has generally been in the context of politics – but there have also been examples where this question of legitimacy was raised in relation to organisations.
The Legitimate Leadership framework can offer a perspective on what constitutes legitimacy when it comes to leadership. When leaders are seen to have a sincere and genuine concern for the people they lead, and when they enable their people to realise the very best in themselves, then people willingly follow leaders. Another way to say this is that people willingly follow leaders who are there to care for them and who are there to grow them.
When Legitimate Leadership does work across the world, we always get these same answers to the question, “Who would you willingly work for?” People from China to Canada, from miners to executives, all say they will willingly work for someone who cares for them and who grows them. This is, then, a universal expectation we have of people in authority
By Wendy Lambourne, director, Legitimate Leadership.
For command to happen, there has to be an acceptance of command. For authority to be exercised by those in authority, there has to be willing submission by those over whom the authorities is being exercised.
This is true of those who govern, at least in a mature democracy. As the saying goes “the queen rules by the grace of God but the president only leads by the grace of the people”.
It is equally true of other authority figures, be they religious leaders, police and army officers, doctors, parents, teachers, managers and even sports coaches. For anyone of them to perform their role, to actually do their job, requires in the first instance the consent of those in their charge for them doing so.
COMMENT ON THIS VIDEO BY WENDY LAMBOURNE, DIRECTOR, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP: The essence of Legitimate Leadership is “benevolence in the heart but steel in the hand”. We call this care and growth. Of the two, care is primary. It is what gives leaders a licence to grow. Because true leaders genuinely care about their people, they want them to realise the best in themselves. Making people the very best that they can be is not possible by always being nice to them. Growth is not easy and it is typically not pleasant. Legitimate leaders evidence care AND growth, or put another way, tough love.
OUR SUMMARY OF THIS VIDEO:
In 1998 Fortune Magazine named a relatively unknown bank in Columbus, Georgia – Synovus Bank – the best company to work for in the United States.
It had achieved 57 consecutive quarters of double-digit profit growth, 15,000% growth in employees in the 10 years from 1988 to 1998, and a personnel turnover rate one-fifth of their industry average. They beat the pants off all their major competitors in every market they were in.