In today’s market, you can look at companies that are thriving year after year based on the symbiosis their leadership has. Everyone is focused on how to move the company to the next level. The visionaries of these companies are looking at the bigger picture. They are inspired on how to reach out to extend what they are doing by truly innovating. You can look at some of them like Apple, Amazon even Medtronic. Those are only a few examples.
If you listen to what Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos visions are, you can see today how their companies are performing.
In the case of Apple, Steve Jobs’ legacy will continue because he set his own course based on what vision he had. They are innovators, true visionaries, and again, they also have people around them that help them to archive their goals, bold enough to go where no one has been.
Those companies are thriving because they believe in what they are doing. They have put their personal interests after the company. Some of these companies have great coaches and advisors surrounding them as well. They are going to continue to succeed because of that fact.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have companies that continue to struggle internally to stay on track. The only thing that keeps them afloat are their sales. Their lack of performance is not due to the company’s products but rather who is in the driver’s seat.
Many companies like to use, in their core values, the word “innovation”, “cutting edge” and so on. If you scratch the surface of those companies, you quickly realize it is not the case. By looking closely at their leadership, you can see the dysfunction, based on personal agendas that unfortunately supersede the company’s goals and mission. You can see a decline in organizational structures. One of the most important factors is the communication breakdown that cripples everyone in the company to perform well. One of the “side effect” is the work environment. Coming each day to a place that doesn’t allowed you to excel at your job is not ideally a good place to work. The negativity of the work environment is palpable, it is extremely abrasive for your soul as well as the soul of the other employees. You are trapped! As much as you try to get out, you feel like you are in quicksand sinking slowly.
Some of those companies try to hire a coach or an advisor to help them. In some cases, they have chosen the right coach/advisor and the company is moving out of that phase and become productive.
On the other hand, when you choose the wrong coach/advisor you can expect to move from quicksand to a black hole. Let’s break this down further. Let’s say it is necessary to hire a key person for your organization. Your coach/advisor introduces you to a potential candidate. You have this individual going through the hiring process. Instead of considering the feedback from your employees, you are only listening to that coach/advisor. Well if you are lucky and this is the right person good, but if not, then you hired one more person that will not help your company. But another employee with a personal agenda. Let’s put this into perspective. Your company is a nice fluffy chocolate cake you want to make. If you let it rise with the right ingredients, it will become a voluptuous cake. If you currently have bad ingredients in the batter and add one more, that cake is not going to be a beautiful cake it is going to be a disaster.
Now, let’s say you have been working with this coach/advisor for a few years and nothing has changed. Your company is still in a state of flux or chaos. It may be time for you to part company with the coach/advisor.
As a Coach/Advisor, I provide unbiased feedback to ensure a company will become successful. One of the factors. I look at is the visionary. Is he/she open to hear what I have to say? Is he/she open to integrate some changes to their behaviors? Is he/she willing to shift people in their leadership to get the company back on track if necessary? If he/she says yes to these, changes are going to trickle down in the organization. The impact will be a boost to your organization. Employees will be more engaged, sales will continue to grow, the office atmosphere will become positive. But if the visionary is not willing to make any changes then that company, that is supposed to grow and succeed, will stall or close their doors.
Running a company is not an easy task. If you are in a state of chaos but you are passionate about what you are doing, and you want to continue to grow, at this point you are not going to been able to do so. Something must change, it always comes from you FIRST! You are the one who sets the tone in your company. Behavior will only change if you are the first one to implement it at your level. You lead by example. As a leader you need to be able, even if this is not easy, to hear feedback.
Turning a quarterly meeting into a “dog and pony” trick show to try to rally your employees will not work. “We are one happy family” theme will fail miserably. Employees are not going to buy it. It must be genuine.
I have witnessed these types of meetings. It was a great experience for me to be sitting at the far end of the room listening to what others had to say. Nothing I ever heard was positive and the look on most faces was one of indifference and “when will this ever end”.
Give a lot of thought to these questions. What kind of company are you? What kind of visionary are you? Do you really thrive on “innovation”? Do You have the right leadership surrounding You?