Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Leadership Crisis!

Is the loss of enthusiasm in graduating students a systemic failure of Leadership in Organizations!

Recently after a very long time, I was facilitating a program on Transition from Campus to Corporate for young graduating Turks!

Programs for the mid, senior management take their own time to evolve in terms of energy in the room for learning. Often the group is reserved, keeping to themselves and it takes a lot to break the pattern. This age group probably comes into the program with a goal to complete the mandated training hours for the quarter, half yearly or yearly requirements and or their promotion cycles. I often call it the ‘tick in the box’ need!

What needs to be looked at with caution is that this energy is contagious, just like any other.

The young group that I worked with had tremendous enthusiasm, made a lot of noise, was eager to learn and had a million questions. All the traits of an eager mind and body to make a difference. The energy in the room was palpable and it rubbed off onto me!

It then dawned on me on how this energy gets depleted, almost wiped out in a very short time, at the most a year and dread of the work world sets-in. These willing and able bodied group suddenly become lethargic, dis-interested, just go about doing what is told, maybe not even that and very soon fall into the emotional pollution trap that is existent all around them!

Why does this happen? I really do not know the answer, but I am willing to hazard a guess and my assessment is, it is because of the team that they are currently involved with and more so their current existing Leadership.

Leaders in teams give a clarion call for collaboration, but recognize and praise individual performance, they ask for creativity and innovation, but beat down new ideas, there is talk of empowerment but often micro-manage, emphasis is on flat structures but leaders expect positional respect, leaders talk of work-life balance as a culture and ask for unreasonable work hours.

Over a period of time, in fact a very short period of time, the reality vis a vis practice starts to drift apart and it becomes apparent to the intelligent mind that the youngsters possess, and then the disillusionment dawns!

In the race for what is urgently important in terms of deadlines, bottom-lines and what not, what is fundamentally important with regard to individual personal development, shared vision, empathy and compassion is sacrificed by the Leadership.

And then we complain that the new Gen Y are not predictable and cannot be trusted!

We need to ask, ‘Where does the blame lie?’.

Reverse the order: Look at their personal development, give them a road map, allow freedom at the work place and become a part of the transformation! These are the traits of a Emotionally Competent Leader.

That’s the legacy of a true leader.

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