Times are tough. Companies are cutting jobs. But leaders must climb out of the pity party and look up take a turn for the better. The sun is gleaming! There are brighter days ahead. Leaders must look toward the future. Those who get caught up in short-term thinking make short-sighted decisions that only impede revival.
Who will attract the best talent? Companies led by forward-thinking leaders who understand trends, plan ahead, and inspire others. So, it’s high time leaders start discerning, acting, and talking like progressive futurists with an exciting future. Few companies have the quality or depth of leadership they need to win the competition for top talent.
As the economy heats up, many people will change jobs. Recruiters will target your most competent and productive people. When those people leave, it will be hard to replace them with people of the same capacity. When your cream people leave, so will customers. If your customers leave, your cash flow will tumble.
This situation is in your control as a leader. If you exercise strong leadership now, you can avert the Death Spiral from killing your company.
Bewildered leaders, now is the time to exercise super leadership:
- Place more emphasis on your relationship with human resources-the department and the people. The Chief Human Resource Officer should hold the same status as the Chief Financial Officer. With the CEO, the CFO and CHRO should form a dominant triangle of inspiration.
- Get out of your office. Today people want to see their leaders in person. So, lead by wandering around. Get out with your people. Listen to their challenges and concerns. Inform and inspire them. Get them involved in your future plans. People support what they help to create. Talk genuinely with your people.
- Engage in serious strategic staffing. What will your HR needs be over the next few years-to meet the goals set by strategic your executive plan must team? Be in Your alignment recruitment with your corporate strategic plan. What kinds of people will you need to hire, and how will you do that? What additional training and experience will be needed by the people you have now, and how will those needs be fulfilled? Will you have the talent you need a few years from now?
- Clean house. Clean out the people who don’t fit. You’ll be doing them a favor. Look for “fit” in terms of productivity, values, inclination to the job and your mission, and how they mesh with your culture. If you don’t have congruence now, you’ll have more problems later. If you have managers whose behavior or values are not consistent with the company’s future, invite them to make a career change.
- Become more selective. The Age of the Wann Body is over. Every person employed should meet your standards. This means developing standards of ethics, attitudes, skills, and performance that everyone must adhere to. Get your people included in the process.
- Build emotional bonds. Take a leadership role in orienting new people. Meet them, let them meet you, share your philosophy and values. Arrange for current employees to experience your employee orientation. Many of them are not tuned in to what you’re all about today, so you don’t have the cohesiveness you need.
- Invest in leadership development at every level. Front-line supervisors need training in how to best work with their people to produce superior results. Leadership skills have an effect.
This decade will be a challenge. It’s test time. Are you prepared? Are you equipped for the challenge?