Before writing her 2009 book, “Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst “Best” Practices of Business Today” – manifesto located here – Susan Scott writes that her #2 leadership rule was:
“Names and ideas will come to me. The ideas I will write down and act on immediately, or if I don’t have the authority, fight for. The names are of people I will make available to industry, because they are sucking the joy and life out of everyone and everything they touch, or they are the people I will promote and to whom I will give heaping handfuls of freedom and encouragement to break the rules.”
This follows the theme of several blog posts recently… that is, if you really want to change corporate culture, you have to believe in the change, then act on those beliefs, in order to see results.
There is risk. Those in charge of organizations do not necessary believe that any change is necessary, or they second guess their own lieutenants. Performance evaluations are done the same, damaging way as always (maybe the technology is new, but the exercise is the same). Rules, even silly ones, are important. Transparency and openness are promoted in name only. We’ve seen insecure executives ask for opinions then punish those who offered them. We’ve seen employee satisfaction surveys undertaken and results presented back to the teams with zero intention of addressing the issues raised.
Is driving change this way worth it? Absolutely, do not be dissuaded. You’ll either succeed in changing the business you’re in or be asked to join another. You will be a happier and better leader (and colleague) for making the effort.
And the results will be that your teams excel because better, more challenging ideas become the norm.
If you’d like talk with me about how we could apply some of these learnings in your business, click here for access to my calendar.