We’ve seen United Airlines as front page news a while back because a staff member dragged a man screaming from his seat.
We’ve seen a toxic culture raise its head in Australian politics not too far in the past with Pauline Hansen calling out a group of children with disabilities as being disruptive to ‘normal’ kids.
Surprisingly, we saw Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick, dethroned off the back of a sole blog post from a junior employee in the company, because of his appalling behaviour.
And we’ve seen celebrities fall like dominoes (or red phone boxes) in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein chain of events.
What we are not seeing lessen, in many instances, are business owners, leaders and those in positions of authority, who are still operating from a mindset that is steeped in ignorance.
Ignorance and ego has a cost.
That cost is disruption to an industry, to a business, to a life. It impacts all forms of loyalty, communication, trust and profits.
What are these people actually thinking?
Our behaviour and our actions are a cog in the wheel of business, and we all know our actions are a result of our thoughts. Our thoughts are housed in our brains so it begs the question: What on earth must be out of kilter in some of these people’s brains to think that bullying, mysogny and unethical behaviour are OK?
Is it that they want the privilege of leading people, yet don’t know how?
Or is it that they are truly ignorant and seriously don’t care?
‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely,’ is a phrase many of us have heard and power was the mainstay of the industrial economy – back in the day! At a time when those in authority could think, say and do what they wanted and nobody would, or could, question them, for fear of all types of reprisals.
But we’ve supposedly moved on from those days – twice. We’ve come through the information age very quickly, and we now find ourselves now in an age of transparency, connection and intelligence.
And that command and control leadership still clearly exists.
So what must change?
Couple of things come to mind from my experiences:
- Leaders – admit your mistakes (let’s face it, you do make them!)
- Leaders – stop blaming others (remember, the buck is supposed to stop with you!)
- Leaders – stop berating your staff in front of their peers (leave naming and shaming to tacky news programs!)
- Leaders – stop stopping your people from growing (you may be stuck in ignorance, but real leaders know expanding skill-set and mindset is key!)
- Leaders – stop stealing your teams ideas and parroting back theirs as yours (at least remember where the ideas came from and give kudos!)
- Leaders – do some inner work on yourself (it’s not all about the private planes, prestige cars and almighty dollars!)
Whilst artificial intelligence and high tech are on the rise, what is happening to leadership based on emotional intelligence and high touch? In the right context, right?
I reckon it’s time we looked at a bigger picture. I reckon it’s time we reviewed other stuff, like understanding our biology and brain to see what’s firing in what direction, checking out the health of our body and joining the dots as to how these areas impact our behaviour. Because it’s just not the spreadsheet numbers that are the all important factor in the overall health of a business. Good leaders realise that a business is made up of people, and their behaviours and activities! The health of that asset is key!
I understand there are leaders who are, let’s say it…. losers, and can’t see the forest for the trees and will never change because of that. I also believe there are leaders who feel they might be losing the leadership game, yet do want to do something different.
So, here’s a prescription you may want to get filled:
- Take a huge dose of feedback – it really tastes OK once you get used to it. And you know, it can be as simple as an anonymous survey or better still, taking someone for coffee and asking them a couple of questions, such as: ‘What can I be counted on for?’ and ‘What can’t I be counted on for?’
- Pick up a book, listen to a podcast, watch a TED talk, get yourself along to an event where you can learn from others and learn to be inspired, so you can inspire others. It’s OK. It’s called external perspective and we all need it! Take two, twice a week is all you need, and of course, you can drive while under the influence!
- Take equal measures of creativity, imagination and generosity, which means you need to play, dream and share with your people. Sharing things like what lights them up, what lights you up, what’s going on in their lives, what’s going on in your life? Aligning personal goals to business goals is a winner, every time!
- Fill your own cup up first. If you feel you want to stop the leadership world and get off, then reassess what you are capable of giving and receiving. You need to look after you to look after others, and that means adding at times you may feel like eliminating! Find a sounding board that will act as a safe, yet challenging springboard, and jump off that first!!
We’re in a time of challenging uncertainty – all of us are, and under different guises. But one thing remains fundamental – the way we treat others in our employ, on our planes, in our electorates, in our families.
- Some of you need to stop the sales leadership world and jump off completely.
- Seem need to hold on tight and be given proper training.
- Some have the goods, and simply need to be more brave in their decision to lead a
- inspire those they have the privilege of helping.
- Some are doing everything they can to grow themselves, their people and their sales.
Where do you fit?
Be Bold, Brave and Brilliant
Bernadette McClelland is CEO of 3 Red Folders – a modern day saleswoman and keynote speaker on business growth, personal leadership and sales performance.
BIO: Business environments wanting to increase their revenue and profits, and differentiate themselves in a competitive market, ask for Bernadette McClelland because of her thought leadership on sales performance, her ideas on thinking beyond resilience and her fresh perspectives surrounding personal leadership skills — all designed to master the outcomes that matter.
Bernadette has proudly coached Harvard MBA students on their sales enablement curriculum, been the Master Asia Pacific coach for Anthony Robbins across twelve countries, authored five books on leadership and sales transformation, won a coveted Telstra award for Business Excellence, and continually shares her ideas around behaviour, the brain and business growth on stages in the UK, Europe, Thailand, India, NZ, Australia and North America.
Believing that sales performance is a leadership issue, you will also find her heading Melbourne’s human potential based sales performance consultancy, 3 Red Folders, as she navigates lead generation, message to market and digs deep into sales process activities with her clients in the mid-tier sector as well as founding ‘Women Who Sell’, an initiative designed to bring more women up to speed in their sales success.
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