Being “present” is a big challenge for most executives and many are failing to see the consequences of not being present in terms of their impact on others and their relationships.
As executive developers at PPI we are often engaged in discussions around the characteristics of good leadership. Most of us will know that in recent years there has been a huge debate around how leadership is supposedly changing. We have all been urged by many gurus, writers and commentators to consider that leadership is becoming much more “collaborative and distributed.” Technology and social networking have been key to driving this notion. We have been constantly advised that old style “command and control” is being assigned to the trash can.
Ask many leaders to think about their personal brand and they’ll struggle with the task. Some will say they’ve never given the idea much thought or that it is for others to judge. But the reality is we all have a brand, whether we think about it or not. What our bosses, colleagues, customers and suppliers say about us is a strong indicator of our brand and it’s probably one of our most important assets.
Consistent organisation research studies show that a majority of employees have a trust issue with their leaders.
For example a Gallup Poll published in January 2015 identified that 51% of US workers were “not engaged” and 17.5% were “actively disengaged”. *
Being true to others involves providing a psychologically safe environment, facilitating upward communication, giving performance feedback, and helping people to grow through delegation and coaching.
Being true to your responsibilities involves having clearly thought about your organizational impact, your leadership brand, how you collaborate with others and build effective team working. It also includes constantly making sure you maintain and develop your knowledge and skills.
Be true to yourself means finding out about your blind spots and unknown areas of potential through feedback, validated psychometric tools, connecting with your values, and then challenging your habits to do something about it.
The very recent July /August edition of the highly influential Harvard Business Review has a cover title that reads “It’s time to Blow up HR and Build Something New - Here’s how.” The magazine then contains three detailed articles all based around the current role and challenges facing HR. While it may be interesting to debate the strategic value of HR and how best it should add value to the business the articles do not provide conclusive evidence that will be of practical value to HR professionals. We present our opinion on the debate and what HR should do.
Of course the fundamental concept of partnering is not that new to many finance professionals. It can be strongly argued that successful finance professionals have always operated as close business partners with the evidence being how many ultimately move into general management and corporate leadership roles. But equally it is true that many aspects of the traditional finance function have grown apart from the core business activities. They have become diverted from their central goal of adding business value. The distractions include:
Increasing the value added role of the Finance function