By pa360, Sep 20 2015 09:40AM
The potential of leadership is boundless. Yet it is amazing how many organisations struggle to harness leadership capability in a way that enables them to empower their workforce; de-risk their operational environment and increase their competitiveness. Deployed effectively, leadership can be highly profitable - saving time & money and creating new income streams from new ideas. On the flip side, ineffective leadership is costly, often leading to needless duplication, inefficiency and unproductive effort.
So how do you translate leadership capability into organisational productivity and profitability? Well set out below are seven actions that will help you to do just that.
1. delegate– when a leader delegates they do three things: first they empower leadership potential further along the chain; second they contribute to organisational efficiency by circumventing bureaucracy and third they control risks associated with delayed decision making. Therefore, delegation not only increases productivity it also cuts costs and increases profits.
2. promote innovation – nobody is better equipped to solve organisational problems than those who deal with those issues on a day to day basis. An organisation that promotes innovation empowers others to lead with ideas and design better systems and processes. Better systems and processes contribute to increased efficiency and increased efficiency contributes to higher productivity and profitability.
3. set examples – it is amazing how the actions of one can impact upon or set the tone for others. I cannot think of anything that will make a more powerful contribution to dynamic organisational productivity and profitability than a good example that is applied consistently. Examples not only set the tone, they establish the trend and the trend once firmly established will become the norm.
4. be fair and be seen to be fair - if you want to get the best out of your employees in terms of productivity; loyalty and improved performance then treat them as you would want to be treated. Employees are not robots or units of production, they can be enthused and motivated or disempowered and demoralised. Create environments where people would choose to work in, not ones where they feel they have to work in.
5. share skills and knowledge – one of the biggest risks to organisational effectiveness is key person dependency or single point of failure. This often happens when knowledge about a business or activity is retained by one individual or postholder. That may be all well and good when that person is available, but it represents a significant risk to productivity when they are not. Sharing skills is a way to de-risk your organisational environment and safeguard productivity and profitability.
6. share success – sharing success could mean anything from sharing recognition to profit sharing. However you define it, if you give people something to share you give them something to own. An employee who is a ‘shareholder’ in the success of an organisation will feel a sense of belonging to, and ownership of, that organisation. This relationship is more likely to yield productivity and profitability benefits for an employer.
7. take the hit when it goes wrong – during times of crisis, leaders must be in the front to shield the group. Courageous leadership engenders loyalty, boosts morale and underlines the value that an organisation places in its staff. In turn, employees with a high morale are more likely to be motivated and productive.
In conclusion, getting the best out of leadership requires more than a recognition of what needs to be done, it actually requires a determined commitment to do it.