Leadership and Bonding
Dec 20, 2010
People value four aspects that they feel will nurture and drive their career growth. These four aspects are closely interrelated. First is their own ability to contribute. Second is the challenge from the assignment that constantly draws their best. Third is a nurturing and enabling work environment. Fourth but not the least is the guiding beacon that comes from the nearest leadership influence.
Everyone wants to produce results that are valued by the organization. They also want to produce these results in a differentiated manner than others so that they can express themselves well. These are fundamental instincts that work in a normal human.
What is valued by an organization differs from one another. In some organizations, doing things right first time is valued. In some other organizations, quickly and effectively dealing with crisis is valued. While this tends to sound negative, if we think of emergency response centers in healthcare and public safety, we will get a complete picture. There is a significant play of right first time during crisis in the examples cited. There are also organizations which value only profit, irrespective of how it is made. We therefore understand that organization values can be extremely positive or extremely in the other direction. Corrupt governance, whereever it happens, is the example of organizations with negative values. In a command and control structure, what is valued by the organization is predominantly decided by the leadership. Nearest leadership influence plays a significant role in further shaping or distorting what is valued by the organization.
A human constantly compares his/her results with the organizational benchmarks for success. His/her ability to lead self (combined with the inborn survival instincts) drive this behavior. Where the personal value system aligns with the organizational value system, there is a first level of alignment. Once this alignment happens, a normal human naturally strives to produce above average results through a closed loop process of learning, trying and producing desired results. The next step is expectation of recognition for such results (or seeking support for remediation in case of below average results). For consistent above average performance, usually the recognition comes by elevating the level of challenge that the person can handle. There comes the notion of career growth. People eventually grow tired of their jobs when it becomes routine and they dont have an opportunity to differentiate.
A leader cannot support growth without vacating his/her roles and responsibilities for higher order ones. Therefore, it is a leader's job to seek growth proactively and vacate previously held positions. That is why someone who leads and produces outstanding results in a given assignment but wants to protect the success and status quo (by keeping his/her people where they are so that results are guaranteed), will eventually not strike strong bonds with them. All humans value growth in personal ability to contribute to larger causes over everything else (including money) and will prioritize on a bond with a growing and nurturing leader.