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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Poor Management Drives Half of Workers to Resign From Their Jobs

Half of workers have resigned because of bad management and a similar number believed they could do a better job than their boss.

A recent survey of 3,000 adults showed that one in two would be prepared to take a pay cut if they could work with a better manager. The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) said UK firms invested less in managers than their competitors — and it showed.

Many bosses described themselves as ‘accidental managers’, with no training and no ambition to manage people at all, said the report. CMI chief executive, Ruth Spellman, said: “The figures reveal the depth of the crisis of confidence in UK management and leadership and the enormous toll bad management is taking on the UK economy and people's wellbeing. If we're going to stay competitive internationally, the Government and employers need to address this worrying skills gap."

Inspired Leadership

The real performance trigger for leaders who know what they are doing is getting ordinary people to deliver extraordinary market performance. And the key to it is inspired leadership. That’s you.

The answer isn’t ‘out there’ in terms of the best talent and your job is to go and get it. The answer is in you. Can you be inspiring enough to get ordinary people to perform out of their skins, and love doing it? That’s what the best organisations do and that’s what will lead your organisation safely through the downturn.

That’s what Captain Mike Abrashoff did when he turned around a poor-performing US naval ship to become the best-performing ship in the Pacific fleet in just a few months.

When he took command of USS Benfold, one of the most technologically advanced ships in the U.S. Navy’s arsenal, Commander Mike Abrashoff inherited a demoralised crew of “order-takers.” He realised that to be an effective commander, he would not only have to completely revamp USS Benfold’s culture, he would have to do so by abandoning the Navy’s traditional “command and control” model. Employing a grassroots leadership model, Abrashoff transformed his crew from order-takers into empowered decision makers, improving morale, increasing retention from 29% to an unprecedented 100%, and yielding $15 million in savings in one year!

He got his sailors to suggest to him ways of saving money. They did the job, he reasoned, so they were best-placed to suggest how to do it better and cheaper. One nineteen-year-old suggested using stainless steel rivets instead of iron ones. Abrashoff used the ship’s credit card to buy them from Home Depot, because the US Navy’s own procurement people couldn’t supply them. The new rivets, and other initiatives suggested by the crew, saved so much money that in his first year in charge, Abrashoff returned to The Pentagon $600,000 of his $2.4 million maintenance budget and $800,000 of his $3 million repair budget. That year he operated on 75% of his allocated budget. And his ship’s performance figures went through the roof.

“We saved money not because we were consciously trying to,” he explained, “but because my sailors were free to question conventional wisdom and dream up better ways to do their jobs.”

His ability to “envision the ship through the eyes of his crew” became a seminal case study for Fast Company magazine and the Harvard Business Review. This is a back-to-the-basics leadership story that begins at the core of an organisation and transforms its culture from the inside out, and from the top down.

For more on this fascinating story, see - http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/23/grassroots.html

Respect - The Single Most Important Quality in Leadership

Here are some fascinating leadership observations from Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation SKG:

'You cannot surround yourself with the smartest and most talented people and then start looking over your shoulder or behind your back, worried that somebody smarter or better might be on your heels. Big mistake.

Being respectful of people, I think, is the single most important quality in leadership — earning the respect of people who work with you, for you, your customers, your investors. That really to me is what defines successful leadership — earning that respect.

By definition if there’s leadership, it means there are followers, and you’re only as good as the followers. I believe the quality of the followers is in direct correlation to the respect you hold them in. It’s not how much they respect you that is most important. It’s actually how much you respect them. It’s everything.'
For more, see - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/business/08corner.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1