Updated: Jul 6
Take Home Message: Your leadership is evident when you are not around.
This book is a fun parable on effective leadership.
Corporate leadership was influenced by the military with an attitude of ‘it’s my way or the highway’. This might have been beneficial in the past, post world wars, but it doesn't cut it anymore.
Leaders show integrity, build culture of partnership, and affirm people by letting them know what they do is important. When you tune into what people really want, you outperform.
Truly great leaders are few and far between. More often than not, leadership is lacking at all levels, government, corporate, and non-profit organizations. The landscape of business is changing but there are no signs of leadership changing.
The Leadership Pill is the latest trend, a quick and fast single pill that will enhance your leadership ability with a money back guarantee. Its results include getting tasks done quicker, meeting tight deadlines and outperforming competitors. Its tagline is ‘The Leadership Pill - When You’ve Got the Need to Lead.”
Every idea has a person or group of people opposing the idea. This fable is no different. An Effective Leader, who has been in leadership for years says; “I have observed people who use the leadership pill and find they are only concerned with results. Truly effective leaders will trust and respect their team members. They excel at empowering others and letting them know what they do is important.”
People don’t want to be controlled, they want to be led.
So the Challenge was decided. Two under performing teams were selected to compete for 12 months, one team leader taking The Leadership Pill, The Effective Leader being pill free.
They were judged on the Triple Bottom Line of the business.
Provider of Choice
Surveying customers on how well the team meet expectations
When you turn a customer into a raving fan, they become part of your sales force
Employee of Choice
Survey internal morale and work performance
There is a powerful link between a gung ho motivated team and an inspired team with solid productivity
Investor of Choice
Reviewing the financials
Profits need to be looked at with performance
The Secret Blend
Leadership isn’t something you do to people. It is something you do with them. Some leaders are only concerned with getting results. This isn't the only aspect, because you are forgetting the people.
Every team has the capability of being a high performing team. Let’s not forget the basic principle that with every high performer there is a low performer team mate, every team member you are infatuated with, there is a team member you resent.
They walk their talk. They lead people instead of trying to control them.
They lead one of the team working in partnership with the team members. This partnership will create the team potential.
They affirm their team’s work as important so they feel valuable.
The Effective Leader finds out what each person's uniqueness is on the team.
They use the strengths of the team to work together.
The challenge begun, the first quarter was off a slow start for the Pill Free Team. The effective leaders win the trust and respect of their team members through integrity. Leadership had to be inspired from within each team member.
One of the first steps the Effective Leader had to do was walk his talk. Trust happens when what you say and what you do match. He was doing his part to enrich the evolving culture of integrity. He didn't beat people down for their deficiencies but worked out ways to improve them. This means people are more able to make mistakes and share those mistakes without fear.
One of the first changes the Effective Leader gave access to his calendar, so the team would see that he is not taking 3 hour long lunches and that he has dedicated time each week for team members to speak to him if they so choose.
At the end of the first quarter the results showed a big increase in Triple Bottom Line of the business but not for the Effective Leader. He stated “It would be unrealistic to expect we can go from dysfunctional team to high performing team in 90 days.”
He has a strong vision and plan on how to get the team to where he sees possible.
The Effective Leader wasn't affected by the other team, he focused on his own objective. He was bust working. He worked an overnight shift to demonstrate leadership is a team effort and for the team to see what they do is valuable. The key to Effective Leadership is the relationship you build with your team.
Next, he had a team meeting to bring everyone up to speed on the bigger vision of the company. He gave a preview of the budget and revenue forecast and showed last quarter's results. They were on the same page, working together for a common goal and there was transparency for the first time.
He decided to implement lunch and learns each week. This was an investment into the team so they would grow themselves, which would eventually grow the team. An Effective Leader fosters a partnership of cross training and job rotations for new career paths and collective skill sets of the team expanded.
Team members want to grow, and would love the opportunity to grow. Some leaders are so concerned about pushing their own agendas and protecting their own turf that they forget that they are on the same team. Effective Leaders teach what they are good at so others can do it too. Partnership harvests the potential of the team. The leader focuses on growth and success of their team because the easiest way up a hill is to do it together.
Second quarter results still didn't come close to matching the Leadership Pills Team but they were making some strong headway.
The Leadership Pill, being driven by action and outcome was becoming low on team morale. In contrast, team morale was on the up and some real gains on the Triple Bottom Line indicators.
This is where appreciation was brought in to boost team morale even more. The Effective Leader thanked the team for showing up, he affirmed by letting people know what they do is important. Not praising people every time they do something right, means they look within.
Effective Leader implemented Health Hygiene Break, knowing that people had a life outside of work. They received massage vouchers, free gym memberships, time out from work because you will go further if you stop and refuel.
Clear results are now showing in the Non Pill team. Results are decreasing for the first time in the Leadership Pill team.
Throughout the year, the Effective Leader shares with the team they have grasped the ideas of integrity, partnership and affirmation. He challenges them to now decide how these will come to life for themselves. People will think of themselves when you quit doing it for them. No longer is he saying how it will be, but empowering the team to own how they want it to be. This way, your leadership is evident when you are not around.
Leadership is about getting everyone to the same place they are supposed to go. They all were living the Secret Blend. It was a part of who they had become. Not only was the leader walking their talk, the team was too. Leadership is for a lifetime, not found in a quick easy pill, like a lot of things in life.
After 12 months, the Pill Free Challenge came to an end and congratulated the Effective Leader for their efforts. The Effective Leader congratulated his team who he said deserved the credit for making it happen. He has the vision, they fulfilled it.
What one insight will you implement into your leadership style this week?