By Hank Moore
Every company has stakeholders, though a few with their own proprietary interests chart the course in their own vision, or lack thereof.
Within every corporate and organizational structure, there is a stair-step ladder. One enters the ladder at some level and is considered valuable for the category of services for which they have expertise. This ladder holds true for managers and employees within the organization, as well as outside consultants brought in.
Each rung on the ladder is important. At whatever level one enters the ladder, he-she is trained, measured for performance and fits into the organization’s overall Big Picture. One rarely advances more than one rung on the ladder during the course of service to the organization in question:
- Resource. Equipment, tools, materials, schedules.
- Skills and Tasks. Duties, activities, tasks, behaviors, attitudes, contracting, project fulfillment.
- Role and Job. Assignments, responsibilities, functions, relationships, follow-through, accountability.
- Systems and Processes. Structure, hiring, control, work design, supervision, decisions.
- Strategy. Planning, tactics, organizational development.
- Culture and Mission. Values, customs, beliefs, goals, objectives, benchmarking.
- Philosophy. Organizational purpose, vision, quality of life, ethics, long-term growth.
Value-added leadership is a healthy way of life that puts collaborations first. When all succeed, then profitability is much higher and more sustained than under the Hard Nose management style. Value-added leadership requires a senior team commitment. Managers and employees begin seeing themselves as leaders and grow steadily into those roles.
The ideal company could hopefully make the following answers to questions posed above, per categories on The Business Tree™, including:
- The business you’re in. You’re in the best business-industry, produce a good product-service and always lead the pack. Customers get what they cannot really get elsewhere.
- Running the business. The size of your company is necessary to do the job demanded. Operations are sound, professional and productive. Demonstrated integrity and dependability assure customers and stakeholders that you will use your size and influence rightly. You employ state-of-the-art technology and are in the vanguard of your industry.
- Financial. Keeping the cash register ringing is not the only reason for being in business. You always give customers their money’s worth. Your charges are fair and reasonable. Business is run economically and efficiently, with excellent accounting procedures, payables-receivables practices and cash management.
- People. Your company is people-friendly. Executives possess good people skills. Staff is empowered, likeable and competent. Employees demonstrate initiative and use their best judgment, with authority to make the decisions they should make. You provide a good place to work. You offer a promising career and future for people with ideas and talent. Your people do a good day’s work for a day’s pay.
- Business Development. Always research and serve the marketplace. Customer service is efficient and excellent, by your standards and by the publics. You are sensitive to customers’ needs and are flexible and human in meeting them.
- Body of Knowledge. There is a sound understanding of the relationship of each business function to the other. You maintain a well-earned reputation and are awake to company obligations. You contribute much to the economy. You provide leadership for progress, rather than following along. You develop-champion the tools to change.
- The Big Picture. Approach business as a Body of Work, a lifetime track record of accomplishments. You have and regularly update-benchmark a strategy for the future, shared company Vision, ethics, Big Picture thinking and “walk the talk.”
Value-added leadership embraces these characteristics:
* Prepare for and benefit from unexpected turns, rather than becoming victim of them.
* Realize that there are no quick fixes for real problems.
* Find a truthful blend of perception and reality…with sturdy emphasis upon substance.
* Continue growing as professionals, questing for more enlightenment.
* Have succeeded and failed…and learned valuable lessons from both.
* Learn and do the things it will take to assume management responsibility.
* Be mentored by others. Act as a mentor to still others.
* Don’t expect status overnight.
* Measure their output and expect to be measured as a profit center to the company.
* Learn to pace and be in the chosen career for the long-run.
* Don’t expect that someone else will be the rescuer or cut corners in the path to success.
* Learn from failures, reframing them as opportunities.
* Learn to expect, predict, understand and relish success.
* Behave as a gracious winner.
* Acquire visionary perception.
* Study and utilize marketing and business development techniques.
* Contribute to the bottom line…directly and indirectly.