I was attending a regular weekly employee meeting of a new client my first day on the project when the entire group of 15, including the company’s owner, recited in unison the company values. Within 10-minutes of that exercise the company owner, in responding to an issue brought up by a team member, violated about three of the values just proclaimed as being important to the organization.
It was a perfect example of why low employee morale was rampant throughout the organization, and a great thing for me to witness to start my coaching and consulting intervention.
In the realm of leadership and developing an organization with high morale and motivation the strategy of “do as I say, not as I do” is a loser.
The highest value a leader can bring to an organization is “congruency.” Congruency is “walking the talk,” “doing what is expected of others,” and being an examplary role model for the espoused values and behaviors that build the foundation of championship organizations.
People follow people they respect. People respect people with integrity. Leaders gain integrity by being the role model and modelling the behavior they expect from those they lead. Its virtually impossible for leaders to hold others accountable to expected values and behaviors when they themselves blatantly violate those values.
Therefore, its time to do a self-assessment. As a leader are you showing up consistently as you expect others to show up? Are you fulfilling the values and behaviors t which the organization proclaims its commitment?
How could you be better at leading yourself first? If you were, what message would it send to the rest of your team?
One area I’ve found in which leaders fall short of leading themselves first is procrastination. Two of my present clients came to me to help them fix the challenges they were facing in their business because they themselves had procrastinated on key issues. Their inability to stop procrastinating caused low morale, and low employee engagement throughout their organizations. As simple as it sounds they needed help to end procrastination.
If this is a challenge for you and others in your company, you may want to download a couple of free chapters and an exercise from my End Procrastination NOW! System, available free at this link.