Just back from delivering an updated keynote – Leading in Uncertain Times – in Port Washington, WI to a conference of people from across the nation involved in the healthcare industry. They are feeling the uncertainty of the future as acutely as any of us. Indeed, their entire industry, from patient expectations and habits, to service delivery and especially to those involved on the payment end of things find their view of the future foggy at best. That makes crafting strategies both difficult and perilous and all that uncertainly creates fear, which keeps people from performing at their best.
The compounding factor for these leaders and for you is that the people looking to us for leadership expect us to stand in the front, point to the compelling “True North” and to do so with clarity. That’s critical and, in the absence of our clarity, our people see us as poor bosses, poor leaders. Here is a link to the White Papers and Docs section of this site. Click on the “Are You a Bad Boss?” link to download a summary of a Harvard Business Review Blog on the topic.
The authors studied 30,000 – 360-degree evaluations of leaders with an average of 12 respondents each. From them the authors determined what American employees say makes for a bad boss. This top ten list is a rogue’s gallery of dispiriting things that leaders do that result in their people giving less than their best. Be sure to note item number 3: It is all about clarity of vision and keeping people focused on what is most important.
Your vision is why your people should give all of their discretionary effort. They need clarity about that from you now more than ever, because when things are changing, as they are now in nearly every part of our economy, your people feel shaky and need the solidity of your clarity.
Final note: Look at that list once again and imagine that you were to do the opposite of each of those ten dispiriting things. You’d be a great leader for your people and they would want to give their best.
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