Prioritize your work!
Don’t Make Excuses!
Stereotypical leadership traits like these roll smoothly off the lips of corporate trainers and business columnists when they teach us what to look for in managerial candidates. Expanding organizations are often taken by surprise by growth and managers scramble to fill the leadership roles they leave behind. However, the time for preparation is gone once it’s time to pass on the torch of leadership to the next generation. And the inconspicuous skill that is rarely cultivated in model employees being groomed up through the ranks is addressed in a recent article of INC magazine—that is, the ability to lead.
My organization’s HR department has developed an AMAZING “Leadership Pattern,” which hasn’t been fully implemented yet. Why not? The audience is still in question—should this just go out to our managers? Or should every workforce employee be a leader? I sense that there are many Church employees that would rather not engage in leadership training; they are content where they are. I would ask them to remind themselves: what is our purpose on earth? For those unfamiliar with Latter-day Saint dogma, we believe that one of our chief purposes on earth is to become more and more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our organization’s workforce is divided into the creatives and the businessmen. Businessmen don’t know the trade. And the creatives lack political and managerial competence—a training infused with religious principles that only our Church can provide. We need to learn how to roll up our sleeves and effectively engage in politics, instead of imagining they don’t exist, or engaging in “feel-good” management. Samuel Bacharach, the director of Cornell’s Institute of Workplace Studies argues that a leader [or organization] who doesn’t do politics is not going to go the distance.
We have good things going for us. We are unified around a spiritual mission. We are skilled at what we do. We prioritize and are accountable for our work. However, when it comes to acting rather than being acted upon, like Elder Bednar invites, technological innovation and professional development will continue to be stunted due to our fear of engaging in corporate politics fueled by our ecclesiastically-appeasing culture.
Read the next post, The 5 Traits of High-Potential Employees, to see my inspiration for this post.