By Stuart Foulds, associate, Legitimate Leadership.
Question: I have a staff member who struggles to adapt to change. I ask her to do a process, but 3 weeks later the process is not complete and she is still working on it. Her inflexibility means tasks take a long time to finalise. Also, there are often errors that require re-work. Sometimes I sit with her and work through the requirements – but this means that my own big workload comes to a standstill. What should I do?
Answer: A leader’s role has two parts. You should be empathetic in caring for your people and helping them navigate change. But you also need to hold your people accountable for performance. This person is clearly not delivering work that is up to standard.
Your job as the leader is to determine WHY that is the case … Read the full answer by clicking here
VIGNETTE CASE STUDY: RAISING STANDARDS IN PRACTICE
By Josh Hayman, associate, Legitimate Leadership
During a workshop around values and behaviour standards a Legitimate Leadership client company’s management team reached the conclusion that, despite the business having a very clear benevolent ethos – for instance, the company strives to provide free medical services to the needy as a byproduct of their paid-for medical services – they had until this point not had an explicit discussion about what their values actually were.
This was making it difficult to consistently encourage supportive behaviours – and to confront behaviours in the business that were not supportive of the work they were trying to do.
The workshop was part of Legitimate Leadership’s application module, Enabling Human Excellence by Raising the Bar, which helps managers to understand the role of standards in a business, and why it is so important to continue to strive for ever-increasing levels of excellence in standards.
ARTICLE: HOW DO MANAGERS KNOW THAT THEIR AUTHORITY IS ACCEPTED BY THOSE THEY EXERCISE AUTHORITY OVER?
By Wendy Lambourne, director, Legitimate Leadership.
The key issue for those in authority is to first gain, and then retain, acceptance of their authority by those they exercise authority over.
It is clearly naïve, however, for those in authority to believe that they will ever have total authority or power. Politicians know that their party may get the majority, but never 100%, of the votes. Managers know that in any organisation there will always be people who are anti-authority, who are disaffected and distrust those in charge.
What is of utmost importance to those in authority in organisations, however, is to know the size of the pro- and the anti-establishment groups – to gain insight into what proportion of their employees are for and against them and the makeup of those two fundamental populations.
Even more useful is to establish the degree to which, and the reasons why, employees trust different levels of leadership. Finally, to understand the patterns of allegiance in the organisation or with whom employees loyalty is vested.
VIDEO: HOW DO WE GET CONTINUOUSLY BETTER, HOW DO WE PREVENT LEVEL-OUT?
By Atul Gawande, an American surgeon and public health researcher. He has written extensively on medicine and public health for The New Yorker.
COMMENT ON THIS VIDEO BY WENDY LAMBOURNE, DIRECTOR, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP: One of the differentiators between leaders and managers is that managers don’t care how good or bad people are as long as they produce the results. Leaders, on the other hand, are relentless in their pursuit of excellence in their people as an end in itself. One of the ways of enabling human excellence is through coaching. By that is meant “watching the game” and giving the person whose game is being watched specific and detailed feedback which enables her to improve her game. Legitimate Leadership sees the leader as a coach and has witnessed significant improvements in performance when leaders suspend their own agenda to go out to “watch the game” of their direct reports and give them developmental feedback. Atul Gawande shows how coaching in birth centres in India literally saved lives. His experience irrevocably demonstrates the power of those in leadership positions in organisations coaching their people to realise the best in themselves from an ability point of view.
OUR SUMMARY OF THIS VIDEO: How do professionals get better at what they do? How do they get great?
I think it’s not just how good you are now, I think it’s how good you’re going to be that really matters.
I was visiting a birth center in the north of India. I watched the birth attendants and realized I was witnessing in them an extreme form of this very struggle – namely, how people improve in the face of complexity, or don’t. In this region the typical birth center has a 1-in-20 death rate for babies, and moms die at a rate 10 times higher than elsewhere.