This summer was a season of unanticipated changes and transitions for me and for the Kadabra team. Now that we are transitioning into fall, we are individually and collectively forging ahead but we’re taking a new direction with the business and our roles.
You may be familiar with the old saying, “Only two things are certain—death and taxes.” But leaders can update that shortlist with one more certainty—change.
Not all changes are created equal. Some are admittedly much more difficult and unwelcome than others—such as divorce or the death of a loved one. The common denominator for all change, however, is that all human beings tend to process change in much the same way we experience loss. Given that, it makes a lot of sense that we would benefit from some social support as we attempt to navigate change.
Visualize leadership as your favorite muscle group—in my case, quadriceps. Under a certain amount of repetitive stress and pressure, in the form of difficult decisions and conversations, it grows and strengthens. Remove any stress and/or pressure for too long, and it tends to atrophy from disuse.
Unfortunately, too many leaders find handy excuses to continue doing just that. They avoid difficult conversations and challenging people-related decisions in favor of delegating these tasks to HR staff. And, while many HR professionals are incredibly skillful in picking up the slack, that habit doesn’t always serve them, their organizations, or the leaders they are picking up the slack for, well in the long run.
Many organizational leaders view leadership coaching as a one-off type of investment. It’s expensive, they think, and besides, even if it might be helpful, between a global pandemic, racial reckoning, tons of people resigning, and a lower than typical number of job applicants responding to fill new vacancies, who has time for that right now?
Unfortunately, this is the wrong conclusion to support organizational success today. There are three primary reasons your return on investment (in terms of both time and money) for leadership coaching has never been higher than right now.
All businesses today operate within one or more recognizable ecosystems. Ecosystems look like patterns of regular exchanges between individuals and organizations through which they acquire new customers (lead generation), generate revenue (selling products and services), and reduce their operating expenses (outsourcing, automation, and fractional work arrangements). Exchanges can be information-based, currency-based, or relational. All three types of exchanges can be valuable contributors to your business’s success.
Every organization has a culture, whether the leadership team has tried to build it intentionally or not. That culture sets the tone for everything that happens within the organization, from who is hired and how people are rewarded and retained to customer satisfaction and ultimately, profit. The good news is you do have a choice to build yours intentionally.
Look closely anywhere in corporate America, the government, and even sports and you’ll realize: we haven’t had enough great leadership in the past…and we don’t have enough now. It’s time to change the way we talk about leaders, how we perceive people’s readiness to lead, and how we encourage the behaviors we want to see all leaders demonstrate in the future.
Many of us have heard the story of Dan Price, the CEO who made headlines by cutting his own salary so he could raise his lowest-paid employees to a minimum salary of $70k a year.
People said his company would go under. Others said that he set an unrealistic precedent. Many said he was crazy.
In a country where the CEO of large organizations typically make 1200x more than their lowest-paid employee, we’d argue that Price epitomizes being more, doing more.
With vaccination rates increasing rapidly, offices are slowly beginning to open back up–many planning to implement a hybrid approach. And we recognize that some employees have been in person and on the job for the duration of the pandemic.
What’s important to note is that not every organization has an adequate plan in place yet to enable their employees’ success in a hybrid setting. We know from experience that face time with employees is important. And even as some recognized a benefit to slowing down (or stopping) travel for business meetings and team gatherings, we’ve also seen that Zoom-only might not be a viable long-term replacement for all of our pre-COVID in-person interactions.
Something isn’t quite right in your organization. Maybe revenue isn’t where you’d like it to be despite a significant increase in your marketing spend, or voluntary turnover is a lot higher than it used to be. You may not yet know for sure what is “off,” but you know something is up.
It might be tempting to scrutinize the activities of your sales team or human resources, but the truth is what’s off could be any number of things.