Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Leadership in Business - Symptom #1 - Angry: Lack of delivery

 Area – Business
Category - Leadership

 Symptom #1 - Angry: Lack of delivery


Andrew Smythe, CEO of ‘A Company’, could feel the heat rising inside him. His fists were clenched, as was his jaw, as he listened to his executive team give him yet another round of excuses as to why the organisation was not hitting targets, had blown the budget for the 5th month in a row, and now they were all blaming one another. Andrew thought ‘I don’t get paid enough to deal with this, seriously!’

The Head of Sales was blaming the Head of Marketing for poor leads. The Customer Service manager was flicking through the complaints and pointing the finger at both of them, and the CFO was running his fingers through his ever-thinning hair. Andrew had to front up at the next Shareholder meeting and explain what was going on – the problem was, he didn’t know what was going on himself!

This is a typical scenario in many organisations when a combination of things are happening.

Here are a few things to note:

1.    Anger – this is simply a warning sign that ‘the wall is crumbling’, in fact, in this case, Andrew is fearing the worst. Deep down he know that trust has broken down on multiple levels, although he won’t necessarily have made that connection. His trust in his senior team is shattering, they don’t trust each other, and he know that the shareholders are going to lose trust in him is he can’t pull this together.

So, our emotions are simply warning signs to tell us the level of risk our trust is at.

2.    Lack of delivery – despite having a great product, if everything else is not aligned throughout the organisation, the whole system can and will collapse. Often what happens is that Marketing will have a great campaign that draws customers in, Sales people are great at getting customers over the line, but the back office, customer service and the people responsible for delivering the product or service are often clueless as to what was promised. So, the customer experience does not match what was promised. Complaints rise, repeat sales drop, and that bottom line sags as quickly as the fingers come out and start pointing the blame.

Ensuring everyone in your organisation is aware of what has been promised to the end user, your customer, and ensuring that they can deliver on that promise is critical to your organisation – to its success, to its bottom line, and to the emotional state of your leaders, employees/ volunteers, customers and shareholders/funders.

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