When children are in distress, they yell, “I want my Mommy!” There is a reason they do that. Because the mother leads. The mother sets and enforces guidelines. The mother establishes all the little things that make up a culture. Everyone in the family knows what the mother means when she says, “This is not how we do business around here.”
Be sure to pat someone on the back for a job well done. Ask about your employee’s kids or pet. Host a team lunch to build camaraderie. These are all good things, but they are not the basic elements of leadership. They won’t prevent injuries, to stay with the metaphor. Poor performance is the most painful leadership injury and to prevent it we need to do the basics.
Hiring employees into executive leadership positions is not always a crap shoot. Sometimes the perfect person comes along, who is a perfect fit for the job, who is committed and motivated, and is a great leader. The other 99% of the time we hope we’ve hired the right person based on their resume and interviewing skills. How do we improve our odds of selecting and empowering the leaders we want and need?