The purpose of leadership in any organization is to advance the mission, vision, scope, or provide a 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 all of 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.
I recently had the opportunity to speak to an organization about a particular leadership topic. Clearly, they are building a leadership culture. And I applaud them for doing so. But, what about your organization? Do you have a strong leadership culture? If not, consider the following signs and see if you recognize any of them in your organization.
The following are 5 Signs Your Organization Does Not Have A Strong Leadership Culture:
- Senior leaders do not prioritize building relationships with their people as much as they value building a relationship with their leader (manager).
- Young leaders are not identified and developed.And when they are identified they are often ignored. They are not consulted prior to key decisions nor are they given a seat at the table when key decisions are being made.
- There is no clear path for rising leaders to develop into the leaders who can one day lead the organization from an executive perspective.
- Entrepreneurial leadership is not valued. Instead, entrenched ways of thinking override creativity and these potential leaders leave the organization to seek a culture willing to take some risks.
- Leaders are not thanked or appreciated for their contribution to the organization. They are taken for granted, they get burned out, or they just fade away.
If you consider yourself to be an emerging leader, does anything on this list describe your organization or company? If so, are you prepared to buck the culture and to make the necessary changes to begin creating a leadership culture? It will not be easy. You may face opposition from other leaders 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 reckless risk takers. We are measured and calculated in seeking great rewards. 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.