Leadership + Management | By Tom Murphy,

Is Your Organizational Leadership What You Need it to Be?

Strong organizations need strong leadership. It’s as simple as that.

If you’re struggling to figure out if your company has the kind of leaders you need to take the organization forward, here are some key symptoms that can help you diagnose a potential leadership problem.

No one said it was easy

The thing about bad leaders is that they aren’t necessarily bad people. In fact, they can be some of the nicest people you know. But if the leaders in your organization aren’t thinking strategically, making tough decisions, getting your team fired up, and empowering them to succeed, they aren’t actually leading. And your organization may be suffering.

If you’ve got managers who seem afraid to commit to true leadership, you’ll need to help them get onboard. Or help them off the bus.

Note: If you are in a leadership position and the thought of doing either of these things scares you to death, you are part of the problem.

If you’re not in a leadership role but want to know if you’re working for a leader who can help you develop your career, you’ll want to start paying attention.

Leadership matters to everyone

Whether you’re at the top looking down or the bottom looking up, you’ll want to assess the effectiveness of the leadership within your business.

Take advantage of team sessions and one-on-one meetings to start asking some questions about where the company (and your future) is headed. Here are some to ask:

  • What is the company vision for the next 3 years?
  • How will you help get us there?
  • Are specific goals in place for the organization? For this department?
  • How will you measure and reward success?

Any great leader would be thrilled to be asked any or all of these questions.

If that’s not the case, you may be dealing with a weak or reluctant leader. And reluctant leaders often have a hard time performing the way you need them to.

Leaders gone AWOL

Great leaders may be ridiculously busy, but they always show up when you need them to. If you feel like your top people are playing hide-and-seek instead of follow-the-leader, you need to take a closer look at what’s going on.

Absentee leadership can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes, people are just too comfortable. They’ve done their time and now they want to coast. Other times it’s the opposite. They could be overwhelmed by what’s going on in the organization and/or uncomfortable addressing certain circumstances or challenges. Or there could be something entirely different going on, such as a personal situation or illness they may be dealing with.

No matter the reason, an absentee leader isn’t what you or your employees need.

But it is an opportunity to showcase the kind of leadership you want to see in your organization. Don’t ignore the problem. Take action. Once you’ve discovered the root of the issue, then you can come up with a plan to address it in an effective and encouraging way.

Have those tough conversations, make those difficult decisions, and keep moving forward. That’s what leaders do.

But what if I’m just an employee?

You may not have the power to affect change at a company level, but you can make changes for yourself.

If you’re happy in your role but think you could benefit from some additional leadership in your life, start looking for it in other places.

  • Find a colleague you admire to be a professional mentor
  • Seek out opportunities to work with other teams and leaders in your organization
  • Volunteer for or participate in business groups in your community

If you still find yourself craving an environment that will allow you to innovate, try new things, come together as a team, and be inspired on the job, you probably won’t be happy until you’re in an organization with a strong leadership culture.

In other words, you may need to hop off the wrong bus and get on the right one.

And if I’m the leader?

Don’t sit still and watch your people walk out the door.

Start by giving your leaders the skills they need to excel in their positions. Then step up your own game and be the leader your organization needs you to be.

Your team is counting on you.

Recruiting and retaining employees is easier when you can proudly offer a comprehensive benefits plan that makes your team members feel as valuable as they are. At Sonus Benefits, we build cost effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health. Our goal is to take your business where you want it to go.