Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese general and philosopher, stated that if a leader has earned the will of the team and has communicated clearly, then the leader must hold his direct report accountable for action. There must be consequences for inaction or underperformance. If you are not willing to enforce a consequence for inaction or underperformance, then you should re-evaluate your expectations or directive. Are your expectations realistic or are you uncomfortable dealing with conflict? If it’s the latter, it’s a sign of weak leadership.
There will certainly be cases where discretion and judgment will play into the consequences delivered. The key point is to focus your time and energy on your best employees and quickly remove employees that don’t fit your culture – it will be better for all in the long run. Holding team members accountable requires as much discipline from the leader as it does from the employees.
Often our coaching engagements include an element of change management to support implementing the Performance Culture System, which I created for Cornerstone Business Advisors. Often there will be at least one employee who resists the change and disrupts the process. Unfortunately this often results in a separation. However, there is a benefit to this consequence because overall buy-in is increased tenfold by those who remain with the company. In most cases, morale is improved because employees are happy to see the employee with negative behaviors leave.
The difference between good leaders and great leaders becomes much more visible in extreme or challenging situations. Leaders who have honed the three leadership principles described in the Performance Culture System will be the ones who can carry your organization through the storms. The three principles are:
Johanna F. Still - May 16, 2022
Staff Reports - May 16, 2022
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