This was a question posed in a recent forum by an industry Chairman. The point he went on to make was:
“ Too often leaders are too alpha in their behaviours, try to be too dominant and this only pushes people away. I believe that you can only lead if you have felt loss, felt a failure. One needs empathy for those who struggle, for people, for teams, for a community. Empathy often comes from loss, defeat, failure.
I argue that we are facing a major reset at this moment; people do not want to return to offices as they don’t trust their leaders and this dates back through a number of poor behaviours over the last ten years or so. There are too businesses run by spreadsheets, not people who really care about their people, their clients, their business. This period is forcing this to change for without change, trust will not improve. There are many businesses who will see a change in leadership over the next two years.”
One may agree with the above comment or not but the idea that this period is a major reset is being voiced by many. The argument is that many businesses have technically stronger than ever but the reset is asking business to get back to basics with a stronger focus on people than arguably existed previously.
It is an old quote that notes that the “Bedrock of a strong business is human capital and that capital is built off relationships”
The conversation in the forum then moved onto discuss just how many of the problems are caused by two things:
· A fear of failure and being ever viewed to have failed. Too often business is too alpha and does not accept errors, failure as all part of the learning process. Too many companies try to control too much and allow less freedom for employees to err, to innovate and make mistakes.
o It was pointed out that a leading CEO learnt the best way to acquire companies through seeing one of their acquisitions all badly short.
· Too much emphasis is placed on a central comms strategy doing the work. Too much is expected on brand messages to cut it with both customers and employees. Comms, it was argued has become too elaborate with not enough emphasis placed on getting the basics right.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”– Dale Carnegie
As has been pointed out many times during this period, there are many being caught out as they do not possess real trust, real relationships with the clients and teams and it is no coincidence that there is a rising interest in communities and localism.
People are taking society back to its basics. People coming together where there is care, compassion, kindness and purpose.
Returning to the chairman:
“It is argued that business is more sophisticated today but it was more fun back in the 80s and 90s because we had more focus on teams and culture. Yes, many argue one can not go back but one can listen and learn and too many need to understand that they will need those very people they have pushed away. So more sophisticated? I say not. Technically more able – for sure. For better, I very much doubt it. Business needs to get back to basics”