The purpose of leadership in any organization is to advance the mission, vision, scope, or return on an investment. It is the strong leaders in an organization who can take your mission farther, faster than trying to do it alone. Unfortunately, some organizations or senior managers (leaders) do not foster a leadership culture.
When this takes place, everyone and everything loses. The organization loses. The senior manager loses. The community loses. The investors lose. People lose. Everyone and everything loses.
There are many reasons for this. And I will not take time to deal with them here. But fear plays a huge role. Fear that they will get cast aside by the new leaders. Fear that they will not be able to compete against a younger and often a more energetic crowd.
But a leadership culture works both ways. Older leaders mentoring young leaders. And young leaders honoring and respecting older leaders who have paved the way to make their success possible.
The following are 10 Signs Your Organization Does Not Have A Strong Leadership Culture:
- Senior managers do not prioritize building relationships with management and supervisors down the line.
- Junior or younger leaders are often ignored. Their contribution is not appreciated. They are not consulted prior to key decisions or given a seat at the table when key decisions are made.
- The leadership level becomes a closed group or an exclusive “club”.
- New positions are not created for rising leaders.
- Entrepreneurial leadership is not celebrated. Because of bureaucracy or lack of vision, leaders are often sadly forced to leave the organization to seek a culture willing to take some risks.
- Leaders are not properly resourced. They are not given the tools or facilities needed to reach their full potential.
- Leaders are controlled. If their areas of involvement become too successful, they are reigned in and sent to a staff or functional area.
- Young leaders are not identified and developed. The next generation is not valued.
- Results are not measured. Real leaders care about ROI. They want their life, their time and their contribution to matter and make a difference in the lives of people.
- Leaders are not thanked or appreciated for their contribution to the organization. They are taken for granted.
Does anything on this list describe your organization or company? If so, are you prepared buck the culture and to make the necessary changes to begin creating a leadership culture? It will not be easy. You will face opposition from senior managers who feel threatened by your new enthusiasm and energy. And you will face opposition from your peers who see you as no longer one of them.
And here is the saddest part of this. You may not be able to change the culture of your organization. You may need to seek more “fertile or friendly” environs in order to grow as a leader.
But leaders are risk takers by nature. We are not necessarily reckless risk takers. But we are measured and calculated in seeking great rewards. And we will find a place to lead. And your organization does not have a leadership culture today, it will have a leadership crisis tomorrow. And then it will be too late.
Think about the culture where you are. What is it like? Do you feel valued there? Or, do you need to move on. Both options are valid. And we will examine both options (Stay vs. Go) at some point down the road.
Leave us a comment about your culture and your experience.
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Photo credit: US Embassy New Zealand / Foter / (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Photo credit: US Department of Education / Foter / (CC BY 2.0)
Photo credit: Nathan Reading / Foter / (CC BY 2.0)
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