Leadership

Why is Employee Engagement Stagnant?

Why is Employee Engagement Stagnant?

Idleness, indifference, and irresponsibility are healthy responses to absurd work—Fred Herzberg.    
 
Employee engagement concerns the relationship between employers and employees. Highly engaged employees are enthusiastic about their jobs and committed to performing assigned tasks at a high level; disengaged employees work to earn a living and could care less about their jobs.

Organizational research shows there are positive relationships between employee engagement and organizational revenues, productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction, although the causal nature of this relationship may be in question. 

Leadership and the Vision Thing

Leadership and the Vision Thing

“The vision thing” is a commonly acknowledged reason why George HW Bush lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton.

A decorated war veteran, successful business owner, Congressman, Ambassador, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Vice President, and President of the United States, Bush certainly had a better handle on foreign and domestic issues than Bill Clinton, who at the time had only been the Attorney General and Governor of Arkansas. 

Powerlessness, Employee Engagement, and Organizational Change

Powerlessness, Employee Engagement, and Organizational Change

How employees with little power get even.
 
We often associate power with corruption—dictators run kleptocracies, business leaders make selfish decisions that do little for shareholders, government and political leaders squander taxpayers dollars on pet projects, and some non-profit and charitable organizations are run more like personal fiefdoms than contribute to the social good. Although we easily recognize the corrosive effects of power, Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s 2010 article in Harvard Business Review maintained that powerlessness plays an equally toxic role in many organizations. Leaders and employees with limited power jealously guard whatever they have by not sharing information with others and insisting those who need their help follow all rules, complete all forms correctly (and in ink!), and abide to their time lines. Those who fail to pay the appropriate tributes will experience expertly honed examples of passive-aggressiveness, as their calls will be ignored, forms lost, and time lines extended.

Is Your Leadership Development Process Broken? Using the Wrong Methodologies

Is Your Leadership Development Process Broken? Using the Wrong Methodologies

A fourth reason why most leadership development programs fail is that most suffer from serious methodological shortcomings. First, many leadership development programs are “one and done” type events with participants not being held accountable for applying what they’ve learned. Second, learning complex skills takes considerable time and is not likely to happen by attending one or two-day training programs. Third, those delivering leadership development programs are generally individual contributors who lack the leadership experience needed to translate theory into practice. Finally, having only those in charge rather than intact teams attend leadership development programs makes it difficult for teams to apply whatever lessons are learned.  

Key Differences between Successful and Effective Leaders

Key Differences between Successful and Effective Leaders

 About 25 years ago researcher Fred Luthans published a highly insightful but mostly ignored article on the differences between successful and effective leaders.

Luthans identified successful leaders using promotion rates--those who had been rapidly promoted over a five year period. Effective leaders were those who had achieved results that consistently beat the competition.

Additional Thoughts About Top Teams

Additional Thoughts About Top Teams

My observations comes from my work with over 500 teams and the work of Hackman, Salas, Katzenbach and Smith, Lencioni, and others:

L1. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team makes some very good points, but it is important to keep in mind the book's sub-title: A Leadership Fable. Lencioni deserves credit for recognizing the importance of teams and giving people a framework for improving team dynamics, but there are no data to back up anything in the book and much of the advice contained therein is off base.