If you have had experience working with a leader who genuinely gets to know his or her people, sets the standard and follows through in his or her communication, you have indeed been fortunate. Empirical research in many sectors of industry confirms that consistent actions and behaviours on the part of leaders earn the respect and trust of individuals and teams alike. Consider the proverb: “A chain is as strong as its weakest link.” When a leader’s attitudes and follow though are inconsistent, he or she may become the weakest link…i.e. the bigger problem. Unfortunately, many leaders fail to understand the impact of this paradox.
Consider the implications of the following scenarios: Your manager arranges a meeting with you but fails to keep his or her appointment. Several apologies later, it happens again. Or, you are assigned to a specific project, begin working on it, yet the parameters are unclear. You recognize that a conversation with your manager is needed in order to clarify the details such as timeframe for completion, access to resources, purpose of the project, etc. You make an effort to obtain the essential information and find yourself becoming frustrated.
In the case of both situations, who is ultimately responsible? It is the leader whose is demonstrating a lack of consistency. In both circumstances, the team member is left high and dry, yet the manager takes no ownership for keeping his or employee waiting or delegating with vague guidelines.
Invariably, a lack of follow through will negatively impact a leader’s credibility. A lack of caring, clear and thoughtful communication has far-reaching consequences. Such actions slowly erode trust, morale and engagement. Although many leaders understand that there is a strong correlation between how their teams perceive them and the impact of being a person of his or her word, they are falling short. A recent YPO Global Pulse survey released in January, 2020 confirms the organizational ramifications of a persistent trust gap. The findings also show that leaders at the highest level are finding it difficult to build trust with teams and stakeholders, with the majority lacking a strategy to address the issue.
While there is no doubt that leaders are feeling the burden of internal and external pressures, responsibilities and time constraints, fundamentals such as getting to know their people and demonstrating genuine consideration for their needs can go a long way to achieving key business goals.
Michelle Ray (Twitter) is one of the best international leadership keynote speakers in Vancouver. She helps you discover your potential through presentations, coaching and consulting. With over 20 years of experience Michelle has worked with hundreds of companies around the world. She is taking bookings for speaking engagements and can be contacted at MichelleRay.com