Saturday, May 31, 2008

Energize Leaders

There is a lot of focus today on employee engagement, but what about leader energy and engagement? Everywhere you look there are signs that leaders are not doing very well. Leader turnover is an all-time high; confidence is down, engagement scores are down, and leaders are being asked to answer the phone 24x7, track email nonstop, be on call for questions from employees and peers, firm performance is lower than expected for many organizations, and the list goes on. I continue to find that leader energy is lower than they want it to be, and their confidence in themselves and their support systems is low and declining.

In the last leadership pulse, I asked the respondents what exactly is affecting their energy at work. Below are some sample responses from the CEO respondents:

"Too many unrealistic deadlines can cause problems."

"Overtired conditions due to working late in the day and less sleep "recovery" time"

"Since I own the company, I am sought after for answers from many directions. This limits the work goals I personally set. I lose energy when I don't see my own goals to fruition."

"The feeling of being overwhelmed continues unabated. I try to set a certain number of things that I must accomplish each day to give myself a sense of momentum and achievement. Sometimes I am successful, sometimes I am not and I feel guilty when I am not.... I am leaving too many things to that last minute which is partially because I have convinced myself that I work really well under pressure (that may be a personal myth)."

"Need more assistance-To hire employees when profits increase"

"Family Issues, Economic uncertainty, employee issues, account receivables"

How do we help leaders? I'm sure there are many answers, and I'll start the list with one.

Monday morning - rather than make the long to do list of all the overwhelming things you have on your plate for the week, take a moment and think about last week. What did you do well? What worked? Then go into the office, or make a call, and take a few moments to share that information with your team.

I'm looking for other tactical ideas - that can be done on Monday morning. If you have some thoughts, please share them.


1 comment:

Ian Turnbull said...

One of the problems that i see is that "Monday Morning" no longer exists. Certainly not for leaders, and rarely for the rising stars.

The instant nature of our society, and in particular of business, means that IM and email pervade 7/18 - or more.

I sat on a dock with 2 executives yesterday and watched as they spent 40% of their "down-time" texting to others and wondering why those others were "in the office"