By Neuza Chaves, senior advisor at FALCONI
If the survival of organizations depends on their results, and such results, in turn, depend on leaders, then not all companies dedicate themselves to investing in the quality of their leaders?
I often hear leaders say they have been promoted because they were good technical professionals, but they were not prepared for their new role. The practice of promoting employees has been increasing because, in addition to providing opportunities that stimulate retention and motivation, there are no recruiting costs and people are already familiar with the values of the company, living its culture. On the other hand, not everything is ready. It is necessary to prepare workers to execute their new role, preventing the company from losing an excellent technician and gaining a bad leader.
This is a rather ordinary scenario, which leads us to believe that a good share of leaders does not do their best due to ignorance. We need to be prepared to turn the key.
We employ the concept that leading means obtaining results (achieving goals) with the right people and in the right way (as proposed by Professor Vicente Falconi in his book O Verdadeiro Poder (The True Power)). By combining the needs of the business and of the people, and presenting practices that guide the systemic development of leadership, the organization trains leaders to confidently take over their responsibilities.
You don’t learn how to be a leader just by “listening”. We must develop contents that go beyond technical knowledge, something that makes leaders practice a new skill, a new behavior, in a continuous way. Leadership is a process, not an event.
We provided services to a company in the retail segment, with problems such as elevated expenses, heavy structure, low productivity, low quality of deliverables, etc. There were so much bad indicators and despite the intense pressure from shareholders, leaders were still resisting changes that had to be carried out. If leaders did not believe in the changes, they wouldn’t happen. However, not everything was lost. A manager strongly took over leadership of his are, and started making the work flow more easily.
He knew that, in order to achieve a goal, you need to engage people. However, his previous attempts were not very successful. When he met with his team, he talked about commitment, sense of ownership and that people needed to truly be part of the team. Therefore, we suggested that he should use analyses, facts and data that we put together and created a space for his team to ask questions. We started preparing him to become some sort of teacher to his team. From then onwards, he showed what were the problems that were threatening the company, the results of competitors, what the goals were and where they came from, and at the end he asked his team for questions. The consultancy services only helped him with the method. He started understanding that people needed answers, and if there was no opening, they would be insecure and end up imagining things and not become motivated to contribute. Instead of the sense of ownership and commitment discourse, participation practices were implemented, such as the creation of groups that would help each other with simpler issues.
Afterwards, people with special training needs were identified. Some team members were more qualified to receive orientations for the leader himself, who explained how they should train their teammates at the workplace. A scoreboard was also implemented so that the evolution of results could be monitored. The leader, who was not used to acknowledging and celebrating improvements with the team, started doing that and there were very positive impacts in the environment. Whenever a give indicator worsened, he called people up to talk and listen to their ideas about how to straighten the path towards success. Both sides learned, as teammates were not used to seeing this kind of behavior from their leader.
Actions were carried out, and results soon started to improved, being promoted throughout the company’s internal communication channels as “Management at Sight”. This manager was recognized by his results, and in the same year he was promoted to director. This is a strong sign that meritocracy was in place. The results appointed the director. By achieving his goals and train people that could replace him, the leader becomes free to make contributions in other positions.
Leaders have more difficulties in learning how to manage people; maybe this happens because for so long they were used to the idea that this is under the responsibility of Human Resources. They even say the most important thing in an organization is people. However, in order for this to be real, leaders need to spend at least 50% of their time on this particular aspect. There are those who say they are too busy, but they forget that is the standard measure for priority. We can only find free time on our schedules for what is really important. A strong team means a strong leader.
As a consultancy company recognized by market players for helping clients improve the result levels, FALCONI dedicates a lot of attention to leaderships in organizations, as it has been proven to be a critical element in success.
This experience, and other experiences as well, can confirm whether the organization is serious when it says it wants to improve its results or not.
Text published in the ediction dated 4/4/2016 of Super Varejo magazine.