Workin’ 9 to 5 (…and assessing leadership looking forward)

“If your thoughts, opinions, and perspectives don’t evolve, neither will your ability to lead.”
~ Mike Myatt

In 30 Outdated Leadership Practices Holding Your Company Back, leadership advisor Mike Myatt asks the question, “Are we producing better leaders or just more people who hold positions of leadership? ” and challenges us to broaden how we look at leadership and explain where the focus needs to be moving forward. While we’ve heard many of these buzzwords, companies of all sizes need to let go of the ego involved in the way “we’ve always done things” or what we THINK is working, and focus on getting things right in a way where the people (who create the product) are both happy AND productive.

Too many leaders say “our product is our number one priority” rather than “our people are our number one priority” – and it shows. You can’t have a great product/service without hiring and retaining good people. And you can’t do that unless you open yourself up to the diversity that is out there in not only in the EEO categories like age, gender, ethnicity, etc, but also in diversity of thinking. Way too many folks say “we promote collaboration” or “we invest in our people” when we all know working on the inside that collaboration is usually meant to say “this is where we’re going, now work together to make it happen”, rather than “here are the goals – let’s figure out together where we’re going and how we’re going to get there successfully”, and that investment in people is Friday afternoon happy hours and a foosball table, and not actual training and development.

Myatt’s infographic can serve as a great starting point to audit your company’s leadership – and that means by asking the people who are not in management to tell you the cold, hard truth – without fear of reprisal (we all know that most employee surveys are never wholly truthful). So…are you and your company ready to truly evaluate who you are as an organization and where you want to be?

Here is the infographic, and the only thing I’d change about it is rather than the line about trivializing youth, I would change that to trivializing women and older employees, as well as non-technical staff  – something that happens in the youth- and male-focused tech startup world. Everyone should have a voice and the opportunity to grow,  contribute, and feel they are heard.

What’s it like at your company? What’s it like – for real?

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