The focus in this article is on what makes a successful organisation.
Recently we had a powerful leadership conversation on the Leadership Platform Show on CliffCentral with our guest Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye Gold. Also present on the show were Daleen Sechele, HR Director at Mercantile Bank and our co-host Alan Hosking, head of HRFuture.
Success can be measured in many ways, depending on what standards of success we use. In business organisations financial profitability is one measure of success and in recent times the quest for universal values or standards of conduct has taken on increasingly important meaning.
A successful worker, no matter his or her function in the organisation, has intense interest in assisting those around to be successful and profitable, because then all stake holders will benefit.
How do we know we have a successful organisation?
Leadership is all about essences; the study and application of principles that motivate and move people and situations in a positive and profitable direction. In sifting through many parameters of what constitutes a successful organisation, we have good reason to zero in on two key essences that in our experience is a sound way to evaluate successful organisations. Businesses are normally measured by financial profitability but that may or may not always be the result of a successfully functioning organisation. I recall in the past where a colleague showed a handsome profit at the end of the year and the next year he slipped into a serious loss situation. Obviously something was lacking in his organisation.
At Leadership Platform we use two major essences to measure the leadership success standing of the organisation. These two essences are:
- A successful organisation serves the aspirations of the office of the leader.
- A successful organisation is comprised of the integration of motivational forces, directional integrity and supporting structure.
We find after years of experience that when one or both of these key essences are lacking or weak, then the organisation is in trouble that will manifest in failure sooner rather than later.
Using the above two rules as a guide, we return to the leadership discussion with Neal Froneman with valuable input given by Daleen Sechele and others on the show, including thought leader Rich Simmonds.
‘A profitable organisation serves the aspirations of the office of the leader.’
We asked Neal some pertinent questions about his attitude in leading his challenging organisation. He is a profound believer in team dynamics, and makes the statement: ‘No one individual can be perfect but the team can be.’ This makes a great deal of sense and I feel sympathy for leaders who believe that it is all about themselves and their ego. In modern times it is not likely that any individual leader can make any large organisation profitable and successful without a deep-rooted respect and sound relationship with co-workers.
A successful organisation serves the office of the leader. The operating word is the term ‘office’. The idea is not to serve the ego of the leader, but his function as head. A successful organisation will serve that function and the leader needs to live up to the high values demanded by his office. His or her office embraces each and every legitimate function in that organisation. Obviously the leader cannot perform all the functions in the organisation and that is why people and management skills are so important.
On the one hand Neal expressed his devotion to team dynamics, and on the other hand he also expressed his willingness to make decisions and show leadership. This is an important attribute that leaders need to have. A leader should not let go of his or her values and steel of character. A conversational style of leadership embraces all employees and stake holders in building a successful organisation. Yet the organisation needs a leader of principle and steel or else they will falter.
The fact is that if a fellow leader or worker persists in opposing the office of the leader then the time has come to measure the cost of that leader or worker to the success of the organisation.
‘A Profitable organisation is comprised of the integration of motivational forces, directional integrity and supporting structure.’
The integration of personal aspirations into the organisational values and culture is a major challenge of good leadership. At the core of principle two is the Leadership Platform universal Law of Movement that states:
‘All movement is governed by the integration of motivation, direction and structure.’
In an important sense, each successful organisation is busy all the time in integrating motivations of all stake holders, in ensuring directional clarity of strategies, plans and projects, and in establishing and maintaining supporting structures (organisational facilities, systems, human resources, capital and environmental compliance). The integration of all three elements i.e. motivation, direction and structure is crucial for success of which motivation is the foundational driving force.
In the context of the abovementioned principles, the Leadership Platform show host Adriaan Groenewald raised the key issue of leadership fitness. A profitable and successful organisation is ALL about leadership fitness accompanied by a culture of top-of-mind leadership as the First Profession of all workers in the organisation.
Neal Froneman is outspoken about the lack of positive leadership of the political leaders of the country and as a result the need of others, including you and I, to fill the gap. It is all about leadership fitness, not so?
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