We all know that every boss is responsible for providing support to the workforce. Support generally includes such elements as training, discipline, rewards, tools, parts and materials, technical advice, guidance and direction, planning information, documentation, procedures, rules and, last but not least, peace of mind.
Each element of support projects certain value standards. For example, tools can be of high, medium or low quality. They can be clean or dirty, easily available or hard to get, of the latest technology or the oldest, always or rarely there when needed, easy or too difficult to replace, complete with or lacking in adequate documentation, always or rarely operable, or somewhere in between these extremes. The same is true for every other element of support. Taken collectively, they constitute the boss’ leadership, actually the leadership of all bosses in the chain above the worker. This leadership stares in the face of every worker every day.
So, now that it’s out there for all to see, what does a worker do with all this leadership, these hundreds if not thousands of leadership messages? The vast majority of workers use these messages to determine how; industriously or lazily, safely or unsafely, courteously or discourteously, knowledgeably or ignorantly, expertly or sloppily, cleanly or uncleanly, openly or close to the vest (admit to errors?), caringly or uncaringly, honestly or dishonestly and so forth to do their work.
Did I say caringly? Yes, the worker figures out from the quality of all this support whether or not the boss cares about the worker. In addition, whatever that standard for caring is, the worker turns around and uses it to treat the company’s customers and other people in the workplace.
Did I say honestly? Yes, if the boss states that a particular tool or piece of equipment is adequate while the worker knows this is not true, the worker assumes that the boss knows better and thus concludes that the boss is being dishonest. The message is that a low standard for honesty is OK. “If you can do it so can I” takes over from there.
Please stay tuned to tomorrow’s article on the Gateway to Superior Leadership.
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.