Written by: John Faulkes
Most large organisations have a published set of leader behaviours. Sometimes called 'competencies', 'commitments', 'standards' or whatever; they are hammered out by Human Resources, endorsed by senior management and shared globally. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with this - the corporate competencies are generally aspired behaviours - they provide a framework for managers in the organisation to think about how they operate and the sort of development they need - and this stimulates required training. It's no surprise that in any list, there will be competencies about hitting targets. Taking action, an achievement mindset - critical stuff for business leaders. Also, around decision making. Critical to keep steering a business on the right course. Managers these days must engage people, not simply give orders. So several other competencies in the list usually feature the proper informing of people, and also acting with integrity - delivering on management promises. In many sets, there will also be something about developing the capabilities of people and teams. What these competency sets have in common across many organisations, is that in surveys and leaders' 360 analysis reports, these staff development skills rate the lowest of all. This observation of mine across several companies, is reinforced by a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey, which sought views from people across industry sectors about the most common 'management failures' as they saw them. These conclusions are not surprising. The principal expectations of business leaders are to achieve results, work efficiently and minimise costs. This resonates with a typical leaders' mindset - an expert, a decision-maker, a 'fire fighter' more often than not, and a leader of enthusiastic and willing followers. This is not entirely compatible with the task of enabling others to do these things. Senior leaders need to coach their people - to give them challenging experiences in a structured way - and it's not a skill that comes naturally.
John Faulkes - 28th July 2020 @ 08:28