Are your Employees Over-managed and Under-led?

Are your employees over-managed and under-led? That describes the state of leadership in most of the organizations with which I have consulted over the past 20 years. It’s too bad.

I am not sure how we got this way. I think it’s from two generations of leaders taking too-much-to-heart the old adage: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” I think we have lost sight of what the “it” in that sentence is supposed to refer to. As your high school English teacher used to say, the pronoun “it” in this case has a vague antecedent. Continue reading

Are you Working for a Bunch of Hypocrites?

For years, I have listened to company owners lament: “If only we could get all our employees to act like owners.” To which I have replied, “But they are not owners, so how could you expect them to act like owners, unless you favor hypocrisy. Is that what you want…a company of hypocrites?

Unless your organization is willing to set up a meaningful ESOP, stop bellyaching about the fact that your employees don’t act with the same ownership mindset that you do.” That’s my usual diatribe. After it settles down, I continue with a bit of explanation. Although (in most cases) employees are not owners of the company, what they are owners of are: their own lives, their own careers, their contributions to the quality and quantity of work they produce, and the degree of joy and satisfaction they gain from their work. Continue reading

How NOT “Holding” Employees Accountable Improves Performance

What’s wrong with holding employees accountable? Accountability is a good thing. Isn’t it?

At the very least, it sure is a popular word in leadership circles. Next time you’re around a gathering of leaders, listen to the conversation for a while and you are sure to hear the question…. “What one thing do you wish you could do better?” And the most common answer you’ll hear is: “How can I do a better job at holding employees accountable for results?

You want this too, correct? I used to want to do the same thing. Eventually, though, I came to realize that this leadership thing is backwards. I had been thinking that the subject here was accountability. But look at the question again… “How can I do a better job at holding employees accountable for results? Continue reading

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