Posted by Kerry Gird, Senior Consultant on 20th March 2015.
As a recruiter, I understand the importance organisations place on recruiting the right people at the top. The processes are lengthy, strenuous at times and involve varying levels of scrutiny. All being said and done, it’s important that the people leading the organisation are the right ones, or is it?
In the Evening Standard this week there was an interesting article on the popularity of the main party leaders vs. the party itself. A survey done by Ipsos Mori showed a massive 62% of voters disliked Ed Miliband, and yet 52% still intend to vote Labour. While David Cameron was the most liked politician (at 39% I’m hardly feeling the love), only 33% intended to vote Tory. So is having the right leader all that important? Then we have the news about Jeremy Clarkson, I don’t need to repeat the story and, while the outcome is uncertain, more people signed the petition to get him reinstated than did to save the NHS. Clearly Top Gear is nothing without Jezza for a lot of people.
For me, a good leader creates an organisation that can go on without them. Is there any better legacy than a company that works well without you? I am constantly meeting experienced HR professionals who end up making their own roles redundant by bettering processes, creating new opportunities for junior team members and improving the picture so much so that their (more expensive) skillset is no longer needed.
Undoubtedly, setting a vision and having a strategy to achieve it comes first, but engaging the organisation to enable you to reach those goals is the crux of it. As more companies open their eyes to the fact that an engagement survey once every couple of years, even once a year, is hardly the most effective way forward, organisations and leaders are looking for new answers. The Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends showed that 78% of business leaders have highlighted retention and engagement as their most urgent issues. The old adage of people leaving a manager not an organisation seems to be falling by the wayside. People leave when they are not engaged, leading to poor performance and the litany of consequences that come with that.
If you put the building bricks in place to construct an environment that people want to be in, where they feel valued, have fun, do their job to the best of their ability and have a team of people that will follow through on this mission, who (like bees building a hive) continue in the same way even when they get a new Queen Bee, then, surely, you have achieved success?
Thomas Huxley: The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.