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The first paragraph of most organisations’ mission statements declares: ‘Our people are our greatest asset’. What is your organisation’s most significant skill? Surely, it is the ability to best leverage this asset: people skills or, more specifically, leadership skills. The ability to inspire greatness from your people.
Disruption is truly part of our lives and anxiety levels have risen significantly owing to a long list of triggers. Organisational cultures often require positive disruption or realignment to healthily adapt attitudes, behaviours and performance.
Our communities, families and society comprise diverse people where not everyone is equal. Some people are more resourceful, value adding and giving than others. Leaders generate more value than the average person – they are not average – they are extraordinary. Leaders are the magicians and alchemists who have the X factor.
Leadership comes naturally to some and for many, the task of leading people is an ongoing stressor, particularly if their skill set is lacking in one or two areas. Nonetheless, ‘You’ve been appointed because you showed talent – now get on with it…’ Woah! Does this newly appointed leader have a licence to lead to your greatest resource? Too many licensed drivers are a danger to other road users. Can we afford to have our leaders create a toxic environment where people choose presenteeism? The body is warm, breathing and at work, but is the person engaged and carrying out their professional responsibilities? With every set of hands, you get one brain – this is where the value of people lies; their uniqueness of perspective and ability to appreciate in value as they learn and grow.
Change in organisations and society is driven by leaders. A leader at work is a leader in the community. The leader who has the most direct reports/members is the first-line supervisor who has the ability to positively influence people’s experience of work and life. It is these supervisors who ultimately execute the details of the exco strategy, through its people.
Be the change you want to see in the world. The behaviours these supervisors display is where high-performance team culture is leveraged. Confident, emotionally intelligent role models, who can manage themselves brilliantly in terms of time and emotions, are way more likely to create a high-trust environment, where they can successfully persuade and influence change. Think of your emotional behaviour when driving in traffic during load shedding surrounded by bad drivers. Would you feel safe and comfortable as a passenger in your vehicle? Psychological safety requires a higher level of intelligence where passengers/team members feel they are not threatened, ridiculed or ignored. A mental space where people feel comfortable to ‘be’ – to share their thoughts, to disagree – to be whole and to be their best.
Supervisors have a massive ability to reduce wastage, increase effectiveness and profitability. Would you invest money with someone who is in debt? Would you trust someone to manage your people if they are unable to manage their time? At work, it’s not even their time, it’s company time. Taxi drivers clearly know ‘time is money’.
Demonstration of knowledge and skill in a stressed environment is crucial in the people business. Trust and respect are gradually earned and lost in the blink of an eye, or through an inappropriate reaction to a trigger. As people naturally resist change, it is easy for positional power to be used to force things forward at the cost of communication, morale and innovative thinking.
Supervisors are often overpaid in that they’re busy. Busy being busy; too often getting things done by doing it themselves, doing their previous job, which they were so good at. But they’re AWOL from operating in the zone for which they’ve been appointed. They fail to delegate and coach and end up being encumbered with OPJs – other people’s jobs. When things get heated, they rule with positional arrogance – their tone is condescending, rude or inappropriate – they know they are the boss but would never dare use this tone with their boss. Supervisors are like juice concentrate. They are the core of leadership. Their energy resonates far and wide in our world.
Dyna has worked with clients like Toyota for over 18 years. Dyna is an acronym that reinforces the theme running throughout its programmes. Take ownership, empower yourself, empower others: Develop Your Natural Abilities. Dyna understands the immense pressures faced by this strategic last link of the leadership chain. Its CORE supervisory skills programme is facilitated virtually and has participating clients like Unilever, Cipla, City Logistics, Bidvest, Sturrock-Grindrod and Sumitomo Rubber Industries (Dunlop). One client measured a 6% increase in their line manager performance survey after having over 50 supervisors through the learning process.
It was decades ago, while working with Anglo American and De Beers, that Derek Wilson became determined to live a meaningful life. His purpose is to grow leadership chains that transform lives, teams, organisations and society; where people wake inspired, feel psychologically safe to be productive and return home fulfilled.