Monday, June 05, 2020

Business Killers

Poor business leadership styles
It amazes me that more businesses don’t realize how much conventional leadership and management styles are holding them back. They’re like someone in a car with their left foot on the brake and their right foot pressing the gas pedal. The engine — the people in the business and all the business systems — is revving flat out, but they’re getting nowhere fast. After a while, all those extra revs lead to burnout and collapse. If they’d only take their foot off the brake, they would be able to achieve so much more with far less effort. Instead, they drive their people harder and harder. Extra effort cannot make up for a lousy style of management, but no one seems to have time to stop and question what’s going on.

Look at the options above. The “quick-fix” mentality seems to offer fast results for little effort. In reality, it simply postpones the problem. Sometimes it adds its own extra sources of later difficulty as well. And where leaders resort to dictatorial, driven styles of management, can you blame the good people for voting with their feet? There’s only so much anyone can take of finding whatever you do, it’s never enough.

Short-term, results-driven businesses may have some immediate success, but few survive very long. Whether they’re swallowed by a rival, or simply collapse under the pressure of trying to meet Wall Street’s stupid expectations, they’re like shrews or hummingbirds: Nature’s high-speed, short-life creations. Both the bird and the shrew conduct their lives at a frantic pace, but neither lives much more than 12 months as a result. Elephants are slow and live for many decades. Giant tortoises are even slower and live for centuries. There seems to be some inevitable link between the pace of life and its length.

Of course, if all you want as a business owner or leader is to make a quick buck and get out fast (more likely many millions of quick bucks in some of today’s corporations), building a business for the long-term will have no appeal. That’s why there’s been a spate of corporations sinking to cheap and nasty tricks to ensure success — until they’re found out. True excellence isn’t a flower for one day only; it’s something that lasts. Trickery and dubious ethics may fool people for a while, but nothing that’s great was ever produced by smoke and mirrors. As Jim Collins writes in Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't:
[There is an] …extra dimension that helped elevate their company to the elite status of an enduring great company, a vital dimension for making the transition from good to great to built to last. That extra dimension is a guiding philosophy or a “core ideology,” which consists of core values and a core purpose (reason for being beyond just making money). These resemble the principles in the Declaration of Independence (“We hold these truths to be self-evident”) — never perfectly followed, but always present as an inspiring standard and an answer to the question of why it is important we exist.
Civilized organizations produce civilized workplaces. Civilized leaders produce civilized organizations. Civilization is always under attack from the forces of barbarism. If we want it to survive, we need to come to its defense.

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JKB said...

Unfortunately, these days there seems to be no appreciation of the longterm fix. The rewards seem to go to those who hack and burn. They're busy but usually developing the same answers over and over. Immediate results are the order of the day which leads to constantly doing the same work over. Just get it done and move on. But a little extra effort can produce extraordinary results.

Recently, I had to respond regarding base and overtime pay to a complaint. I'm new to this part of the organization. Although complex, the system hasn't changed much in decades. However, I never found the person who could explain the whole picture so I compiled an explanation from the disparate sources. I'm sure this question has arisen many times over the years but never was the answer developed for a response generalized into a frequently asked questions. A few moments taken to do just that has proven invaluable as it takes on a moment to email the file with links when a new question comes in rather than a wasting half hour trying to explain it verbally only to have them forget it an hour later. Not to mention, the consistency of information this allows thus reducing misinformation.

It may seem quicker to just answer off the cuff and move on but extra time taken to create a resource eliminates having to repeat yourself over and over again. If your only responding to a problem, your not solving the problem and will be doomed to repeat yourself. Over a decade, are you getting 10 years of experience or 1 year experience 10 times?

8:22 PM  
RCFerebee said...

Looking at this through the eyes of someone who works in the realm of church leadership and development. Lots of crossover applicability. Tried to follow the rabbit warren of blogs to learn more of the 8 principles of slow leadership to no avail. Will keep reading lots of other interesting comment/commentary.

12:22 PM  
Carmine Coyote said...

Don't worry, RCFerebee, my book "Slow Leadership: How to Make Your Workplace Civilized" will be out in the fall, with lots of extra information.

2:42 PM  
Mellowdrone77 said...

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8:46 AM  

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