When leaders go AWOL

Do you sometimes feel like you are speaking to a wall at a meeting with your boss?
Does it seem like no one listens to your ideas when you report your thoughts to upper management even when your colleagues think you have a brilliant plan?
Do you think that your senior management team has lost its stellar performance?

Sometimes leadership can go AWOL [absent without leave]. A study by Thomson Gale indicated that what happens in these situations is that employees who own their work take charge. I’m sure you’d agree that as someone who value the worth of your own work, even though your manager is ineffective, you continue to make sure you do an outstanding job and will take charge of whatever is within your power. The resulting annoyance that comes with this behaviour is that leadership that who continue to be on AWOL do so because they will look good as their employees are doing all the work necessary to ensure efficiency of the team even if they don’t. Whether the leader takes credit for this job-well-done or not, the negative morale will creep into attitudes of the employees who will soon realize their worth and would either move on or speak up against their superiors. And with easy access to online opportunities to speak up, their voices are heard globally instantenously.

What seemed to have been a series of discussions from CNN’s Is your boss and idiot? back in 2003 to this year’s MSN boss survey shows that the more people are placed in management roles without appropriate training there will be more opportunities for management rating services to progress like here, here, here, here and here. A sister thread of rating websites includes K-12 teachers, college and university professors, and even doctors; among the many professions.

My ideal would not have any rating websites anymore because everyone performs at a stellar internationally validated and tested level of competencies. Ok that may not happen, but its a great starting point for mission and vision realignment for leaders as they rebuild or recheck their organisational strategies for the upcoming year. Companies are starting their new fiscal year this coming month (at least I know a couple of Global Fortune 500 companies I’ve work with are) and this is the perfect time to ensure that leadership training is in the agenda with appropriate metrics, appropriate development programmes and alloted time for energy to focus on what matters not just for the now but for the consistency of the organisation’s performance in the coming years.

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