We have analyzed thousands of employee surveys across the world and conducted live interviews with employees on six continents. We have discovered that when the “superior leader” approach has outlived its value, the employee experience includes three damaging impacts: fear, mechanics, and manipulation. If these experiences dominate long enough, it could kill your business.
This approach is, at best, benevolent domination. Many leaders have produced significant value doing exactly this. The results, however, are rarely sustainable after the organization grows enough to require self-supervising work. There are exceptions, but they tend to feature unusual competitive advantages like unique technology, market opportunity, or a creatively disruptive business model – and even those eventually deteriorate.
Take a moment to self evaluate your organization, or better yet, ask around and see what people have to say in these 3 areas:
We are not saying that superior leaders are committed to fear, mechanics and manipulation; we are saying that the this leadership approach frequently generates these experiences as the enterprise outgrows the personal brilliance of its leaders. If your associates are reporting these types of experiences, it is good evidence that it is time to consider a shift in leadership development.
Employees of a connected leader organization report very different things. They report a culture of energized high performance – a vitality exists within the company. When asked what explains their energy, commitment, and success, employees report these things:
Looking to learn more about how to make the shift from the superior leader to the connected leadership approach in your organization? Take our connected leader review and then begin to focus on these seven leadership qualities: