The Real Reason Leaders Fail Despite Incredible Talent — People Matters
Pinterest is synonymous with idealism. It allows its users to create the perfect version of everything – from their house to their garden, meals, clothes, hair and even cupcakes. Although Pinterest is the epitome of all things perfect, her workplace was not.
This became evident when Pinterest shareholders sued the company’s executives, including CEO Ben Silbermann, for fostering a toxic work culture in December 2020. As alleged in the lawsuit, the Pinterest CEO went repeatedly presented in front of the company, surrounded himself with yes-men and, worse, ignored or silenced employees who raised concerns.
In cases like this, it’s hard to understand why an experienced leader with a track record of success is suddenly unable to meet expectations. What’s wrong ? As you grow in power, confidence, and control, it’s easy to get carried away with the act of leadership and lose sight of what’s really important.
The Barrier to Leadership Success
Even before the pandemic, an unforeseen leadership crisis plagued many companies. Organizations lag behind not because of circumstantial changes, but because of leaders’ aversion to adapting to them. To stay competitive, leaders must not only be able to adapt, but also have the foresight to do so. Take the Great Attrition, for example. Employees are leaving their jobs at a record rate and cite lack of connection with the company as the main reason. In addition to a desire to feel valued and to be treated as individuals, employees also want companies to act in a more compassionate way – a need that compels leaders to consider the well-being of their employees and to establish a human connection that goes beyond business.
How can they do that?
Building adaptability is a way to establish a human connection with your collaborators. When you are adaptable, you create an environment where your relationships with employees can flourish, while cultivating your own self-awareness. As we continue to witness the remote work scenario of Covid-19, stress is continually impairing productivity, well-being and motivation. Ultimately, leaders must adapt to re-energize their teams, identify and diagnose recurring problems and help them when needed.
To achieve these goals:
Know your ingredients, not just the recipe
In order to inspire employees, it’s important to know the people you lead. Leaders are expected to understand their employees’ tendencies, skills, and behaviors well enough to inspire them and work better with them. Spend time getting to know your employees. The more a leader gets to know an employee, the more likely they are to feel inspired by them. To create the best recipe for success, great leaders take the time to learn the ingredients, which is their people.
Create an environment that fosters employee growth
In a survey conducted by CareerAddict.com, 82% of respondents said they would leave their current job due to lack of career development opportunities. This is a call to action for all leaders. What can leaders do to foster employee growth? One way to do this is to provide career advancement opportunities. This motivates employees to persevere in difficult times and remain loyal to the company.
Working with your staff to set development goals is an important aspect of your leadership role. So, first, discuss the type of career your employee wants to pursue. Then, develop a plan that involves both their professional development and their personal interests. Finally, give your team a chance to visualize their future and help them on their journey to grow both professionally and personally.
Imagine leading a group of motivated people who are eager to come to work and do their best every day. You can see it in the best workplaces, such as Google or Microsoft, where employee well-being and mindfulness are top priorities. Google is a great example of a healthy corporate culture. Comparably awarded Google nine awards in 2021 based on employee feedback, including “Best Global Cultural 2021” and “Best Places to work in Los Angeles 2021”. 80% of Google employees rate their work environment as positive.
Conscious leadership yields results like these. Being aware is not only a life changing process for yourself but also for your organization. An organization that adopts a 24/7, 360 degree mindfulness model for its business will have an unparalleled culture and employee performance. It’s a simple equation, if you show your employees you care, they’ll pay you back a million times over and make sure you always thrive.
When the question is “why don’t leaders succeed?” The answer is a reluctance to deal with the workforce in a compassionate and conscious way. By showing their employees appreciation, respect, and care, leaders can avoid many leadership pitfalls. All it takes is a little time and a lot of compassion.