Before the holidays I met with a HR VP who works at a mid-size, privately owned company. We were discussing the cultural and leadership challenges the company was facing. He had suggested to the CEO that there were signifcant issues emerging around employee retention and engagement. Leadership comptency was in large part to blame. He suggested that an employee survey would be a good place to start analyzing the problems. The CEO balked because his leaders were fine and there wasn’t a retention issue. He said he didn’t need to ”worry about ‘this engagement thing”.
How did this CEO find himself in sucn a senior leadership role? Well, first he works for a privately owned, family run firm (STRIKE ONE). Second, the firm has never invested much in leadership development (STRIKE TWO). Third, in his previous role the CEO was a ‘deal guy, a M&A expert’ and he got results (STRIKE THREE) so that means he is a natural leader, right?
Leaders like this get results. For a while. But over time the company won’t achieve their performance potential becuase the employees never fully commit themselves to this type of leader. Never.