Leadership Lessons

The most recent edition of the Life Strategies News highlighted 10 Leadership Lessons for Transformational Times. Each of the lessons was adapted from our recent workbook of the same name and outlines such things as Ignite Employee Engagement, Make Time for Transformation, Embrace Diversity, and Show Appreciation.
During transformational times, organizations are likely to be shifting priorities, adjusting goals, and struggling to be responsive. The tendency, during these periods of uncertainty, might be for leaders to communicate less. After all, what can be said about a vision for the future when the future is uncertain? It is in these times, however, that open communication is most important.
Through a study conducted in 2004, the Hay Group found that “Trust and confidence in top leadership was the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization” (Source: www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadcon.html). The report went on to note that effective communication regarding the company’s vision, and how each employee contributes to organizational success, are key components of earning the trust of employees. Going silent or waiting until there is something to announce should be avoided at all costs. Great leaders don’t shy away from difficult conversations; instead they communicate organizational challenges and what they feel the future might be.

John Kenneth Galbraith once said, “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”

It could be said that British Columbia’s career development sector (particularly the portion of the sector offering services via government funded programs) is currently going through a “major anxiety.” Now more than ever, organizational leaders must instil trust in their workforce by communicating plans, exploring other opportunities, and preparing employees for life beyond business transformation.

Originally posted February 3, 2011 by Deirdre Pickerell

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