Open your eyes Big Business and lead your people

Author: Luke Hannebery

“The New Normal” for business today (an environment shaped by new structures, new leadership, new innovations, new channels, new competition, new products and new rules) is challenging leaders of organisations more than ever before.

There is no longer a business as usual. Adapting to a changing workplace and changing consumer demands has become the way of life.

And with this change comes pressure.

Deadlines, tight budgets, not enough resources.

All resulting in businesses losing sight of their vision and what’s important.

Problem solving through spreadsheet analysis (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) is not going to put your organisation on the path to future success and, to be brutally honest, it’s time many leaders of big businesses had a good look around to see what other high performing organisations and brands are doing to unlock sustained performance.

Over the last 24 months, the C-Suite are telling us that they looking for ways to solve complex business problems plus smart and engaging ways to get teams to be more connected, positive and excited around the challenges they’re taking on. They are also looking for more support from the organisation around leader-led communications to ensure consistency of messaging.

The C-Suite are finding it exceptionally difficult to keep focused on the Big Picture due to short term challenges and issues that crop up in everyday business. Many leaders are losing touch with what the Big Picture really is for their organisation – other than a set of short-term financial numbers.

And, to be honest, they’re not alone.

Recently, recruitment firm Robert Walters released a whitepaper, interviewing almost 700 professionals across different industries in Australia and New Zealand to gain further insight into how leadership plays a part in the performance of a team.

The results reveal that 80% think poor leadership decreases trust and openness, 66% think it blocks their performance and 51% think that it prevents team alignment with organisational goals.

In fact, when asked what negatively impacts team performance most, poor leadership appeared at the top of the list, followed by not having clearly defined goals and objectives.

So what does all this mean?

The reality is many of these organisations have very sophisticated and well thought out strategies.

Most of them have outstanding talent who get paid exceptionally well to deliver on those strategies.

Most of them have the right intentions.

But an organisation with thousands of employees, often working to their own agenda, many with little empathy for other people and their respective roles…

  • requires great leadership to constantly reinforce a shared vision.
  • requires great leadership to set the tone and energy for the organisation.
  • requires great leadership to bring a connectedness between the plan and the people to deliver it.
  • requires great leadership to communicate in a way that makes people actually feel something.

Because if people don’t feel it, they’ll never believe it.
And if they don’t believe it, they’ll never do it.

Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop once said:
“The most important tool you’ve got as a leader is communication. Make it bold and enlivening and passionate. And when you are exhausted from repeating your message, and you think everybody else is exhausted from hearing it – repeat it again! You’re probably just getting your message across”.

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