Leadership is behaviour
Last week, this page was with the articled ‘beyond influence and result, leadership is behaviour’. The response I received was overwhelming. Today is the second and concluding part of last week’s article.
All leaders want to influence their followers and produce results. The results are either short-term with or without links to the long term objectives of the company or sustainable results which meets the expectations of the stakeholders all the time.
Daniela (a pseudo name) recently changed her role from being a Director of one of the top fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies to be the Country Director of a new company in a different sector. The new company is like a start-up but with enormous potential to match competition. Daniela want me as her executive coach to discuss and guide her on the how to establish footprints in the company focusing on bottom-line results and market share. He read last week’s article and she wondered if what I wrote is relevant to her as the start-up director for her new employer.
Given her previous experience and level in the FMCG industry, she has both the technical competent and relationship skills to influence and achieve results. Her new role is an opportunity to make things right at the beginning, go beyond influence and result by ensuring that the behaviours by her team leaders are in sync with and towards the objectives of the company. When the foundation is right in term of attitude or culture of the organisation, achieving sustainable result through and with quality product or service will be a pleasurable ride. What should be Daniela’s priority as a leader? Is it influence, result or behaviour?
The foundation for leadership influence and result is behaviour. A leader is the one who knows the way to the appropriate behaviours that set his or her team on fire to get the work done (influence) for the expected outcome (results) with bye products of self-fulfillment and commitment to the process and the brand that connects the team together.
The foregone paragraph is what the rest of this page will center around with focus on business entity.
What connects the team together, breed commitment to the objectives, and foster the loyalty to the brand is the culture of the company. I have defined culture as the attitude and behaviours allowed and exhibited by the company’s leadership.
For Ade, the starting point is ensuring the culture allowed and exhibited by his inner circle aligns with the business objectives in relation to the customers and the market. Behaviour that gets market share but violate the relationship with the customers or consumers will erode the brand and its power to attract repeated patronage in the future. I was in a coaching relationship with a company at a time. The competitions between the sales team violates the territorial arrangement and leave the customers to wonder if the company is orderly or not. The behaviour that achieves results but violate the core values of the company, or the processes meant to support the vision or mission of the business will endanger the entire company if allowed to thrive.
The question is what to do to a person who is achieving results but with no respect for the value and the culture of the organisation. I have been asked this question time without numbers and my answer is without repentance. For example, a leader once uses vulgar words like ‘your head is incorrect or you are better off in the mog’ for people who he or she should be achieving results through in a company that claims to be a world-class entity. If leader should be uprooted after receiving coaching to mend his behaviour with the culture of the company irrespective of the results he or she is posting. It is highly probable that such a leader result is for personal egoism and will never be sustainable after his or her exit from the company. His or her behaivour would have damaged relationships with the people, customers and polluted the culture or the atmosphere in the office. The most dangerous effect of celebrating results without value for the culture is the tendency for the upcoming leaders to emulate the style of manipulating or abusing people to get temporarily results for the company.
Where self-fulfillment and commitment of the goose that should lay the golden eggs for the company is destroyed, the influence and the results of the leaders will be a mirage and an achievement that will eclipsed within a short period of time. Therefore, the starting point for Ade to ensure he achieved sustainable results with commitment and fulfillment of his team is to be mind of the culture he allowed. He must entrenched a result or performance oriented culture which harbor self-respects for all the team members and fair in dealing with people who are either not contributing to the result or are achieving results with destructive processes or behaviour.
Babs Olugbemi FCCA, the Chief Responsibility Officer at Mentoras Leadership Limited and Founder, the Positive Growth Africa. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org or 08025489396.