Several of my clients and prospects have recently asked for my coaching help to elevate the management teams in their organizations. The question often asked is how do you go about improving leaders and managers?
A strong case for the best example of leadership is John Wooden, the former UCLA Bruin head coach who won more NCAA basketball championships than anyone. How did he believe leadership can be improved? “The best way to improve your team is to improve yourself.”
Wooden is not alone in this belief. In Strategic Learning it’s noted, “In the final analysis, our leadership mission is to bring out the best in ourselves and each other. If we can’t win hearts and minds, the greatest strategy in the world won’t go anywhere, let alone help our organizations advance from knowing to doing to excelling.”
It often surprises people to read Jim Collins Good to Great and discover he believes People are the most important building block to a successful organization. His quote is, “First who than what!” In other words it matters not what type of product or service you sell, it matters more the people you have in your organization.
This clearly matches Napoleon’s answer from my last blog, The High Ground, which was more important: material or spiritual resources? His answer: spiritual resources—by a factor of three to one.
Many companies struggle with why it’s important to discover and post their Core Values and Core Purpose. It’s the basic element of spiritual resources that demands this energy be spent to discover this. If spiritual resources are more important than the material resources to run a successful business, then you must discover the reasons why your people will join your effort to build your business. Core Values and Purpose [or a mission statement] provide the spiritual resource that your team is searching for to deliver the goods for your business.
The leadership and management of your business must have high ideals and principles to live up to. Your Core Values and Purpose provide these. Building a great business requires finding people who believe in your Core Values and Purpose. Building great leaders and managers requires them to invest in themselves to improve themselves.
Howard Gardner in Five Minds for the Future offers this definition of leadership, “A leader is someone who is able, through persuasion and personal example, to change the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of those he seeks to lead.” How well do you and your managers fit this description? Does your team know your Core Values and Purpose? Are your leaders on a course of personal improvement? Are they clear about their personal mission?
Communication is a critical component to providing spiritual resources in a great organization. What questions are in the minds of our employees that must be answered clearly and credibly to nurture spiritual resources? Next blog a look at three questions employees are asking and why your business needs to answer them to achieve your goals.