Leadership Makes Great Customers

Seamless teamwork is one of the most effective things that enhances a customer’s experience. And yet in the mulit-dimensional and multi cultural organisations we work with here in the UAE, teamwork can be a real challenge.

As always, exemplary teamwork comes from exemplary leadership. Poor leadership is always the underlying cause of a failing team. You can have great leadership without a team, but great teamwork without great leadership is pretty much impossible!

At WLP Success we believe that leadership is everyone’s business and that leadership is not just a title. Much more than that, it is a state of mind and an attitude. The earlier you can start developing leadership skills in your organisation, the more likely you are to get great teamwork and great results!

We use The Leadership Challenge® as the cornerstone of all of our programmes because it approaches every aspect of leadership development as a measurable, learnable and teachable set of behaviours. The Leadership Challenge® first began back in 1982 when Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner set out to understand those times when leaders performed at their personal best. They conducted hundreds of interviews and reviewed hundreds of cases studies and survey questionnaires. What emerged were five fundamental practices common to extraordinary leadership achievements. Now known worldwide as the most practical model of leadership development, The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® continues to prove its effectiveness in cultivating and liberating the leadership potential in anyone—at any level, in any organization—who chooses to accept the challenge to lead. Today, over 1.3 million respondent surveys have been analyzed and over 500 dissertations and research projects have been based on The Five Practices. And ongoing empirical research continues to reaffirm that leaders who engage in The Five Practices are more effective and successful than those who do not.

Leadership development, more than any other single factor, drives engagement. A work environment where people are highly engaged means higher performance, less absenteeism and a 41% lower retention risk. That means your best people are more effective, get better results and the chances of you losing them are greatly reduced.

But more important than that, engaged people are happier, more motivated, work better in teams, are optimistic and stay focussed and committed to the task in hand. And in a service environment all of these lead to happier customers. So leadership development is not just for those in senior positions, in fact by the time people get promoted into leadership roles it’s probably too late. In 2013 Gallup research into employee engagement showed just 13% of leaders are fully engaged. Overall the figure was 37% – so the people who are empowered to have the most influence over an organisation are actually 50% less engaged than the average employee. Stephen Covey suggested that it takes 10,000 hours to reach mastery, and yet research by The Leadership Challenge®  shows that most people don’t start leadership development programmes until they are in their 40s, That means that by the time they reach leadership roles they have pretty much checked out – they’re more focused on retirement than they are on driving the organisation to greater heights! And yet the same research shows that most companies think leadership development should start around the age of 23. This mismatch is the main cause of the lack of engagement.

“A highly engaged workforce means the difference between a company that thrives and one that struggles. When employees are engaged, they are passionate, creative, and entrepreneurial, and their enthusiasm fuels growth. These employees are emotionally connected to the mission and purpose of their work. When employees are not engaged, they are indifferent toward their jobs — or worse, outright hate their work, supervisor, and organization — and they will destroy a work unit and a business.” Gallup

There are huge bottom line benefits to having a fully engaged workforce, but fundamentally it means your people are happier. And happier people are likely to make for happier customers.

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