Leadership…..Actually it is all About the People!

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I was part of a conference group of 36 leaders for a division of a major company in Australia. We were being addressed by our General Manager of Operations. The group consisted on Four Direct Reports to the GM and 32 Indirect Reports. His speech that day, changed my path.

We are not a training company”
“It is not my job to develop you, and it is not my job to develop you to the next role. If you believe that you are sadly mistaken”
He made it clear, that we are all paid to do a job, nothing more, nothing less. The expectation of anything resembling development was not on the table…….. actually it had obviously fallen off the table and had been kicked out the door.
The overlying message was clear. Do not look to me for development. The underlying message was also clear…..We do not care about our people, only results. Get those results any way you can and that is the only path to the top.
Since then, that company has seen a steady stream of these key leaders leave the company, myself included. Sufficient time has now passed for me to correct these statements. The company does have a strategy of attracting top level talent and potential, but recent history is showing they are unlikely to stay under the current leadership thinking.
Leadership, Sir…is actually all about the people. Developing your people is a key leadership skill, as better people build better business. It’s actually simple but is harded for people to do as you need trust, respect and rapport to do this. Without the focus on people, and the focus on building better people, leaders resort to fear, intimidation and manipulation to achieve results, something the politician GM is adept at. 
These comments are in line with an outdated mode of management that aimed to suppress people and get them to conform to requirements, as opposed to one that empowers and builds better ways. An environment of check-lists, tick and flicks and cost reduction as opposed to engaged team members building continual improvement with a desire to succeed and build revenue. I would always prefer an environment where teams are striving to achieve their very best, opposed to a “do your job” where the minimum standard is the norm.
Leadership can be trained and within my new world, we aim to make leaders AWARE, build ACTION from awareness then create an ACCOUNTABILITY process. Even Leaders who have come from outdated modes, can change, if they have a desire to learn and activate change. Sustainable results only come from engaged teams. Short Term results always cause loss and pain for both people and companies.
The interesting thing with this company, is that they have had a change of legislation that now sees a limit to the previous marketing they applied. Truly now, any continual revenue increase needs to be aligned to a “better people” philosophy as this may become the sustainable difference. It will be interesting to see if anything changes in that space.
Tony Curl

Email Marketing You Can Trust

Tony Curl

Tony Curl

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