Defining Leadership

Creating a Culture of Truly Effective Leadership

Stan the Mann asked:

The most successful companies are changing their culture to promote truly effective leadership.

By organizational culture, we mean all the attitudes, beliefs, values and behaviors, both conscious and unconscious, that define “how things are done around here.” Top management are the models for their organization’s culture. They set the standards for the integrity, values, priorities and goals. Management sets the tone. For instance; if they expect their people to be friendly and warm to customers, they had better be friendly and warm to subordinates.

Truly effective leaders:

1) Communicate clearly their vision, goals, strategies and priorities

2) Get buy-in from their people at all levels to pursue these objectives

One of the most effective approaches to achieve enthusiastic cooperation within an organization is the coaching model. With its emphasis on working collaboratively, focusing on results, just in time learning, and growing and stretching workers; coaching skills contribute to truly effective leadership. Creating a coaching culture where executives and managers becomes skilled coaches and learn a new collaborative way of working will turn a company into a high-performance organization. Such an organization reaps the following benefits:

1) Leaders become truly effective

2) Conflict is more easily resolved

3) Organizational change is more easily implemented

4) People become engaged in their work and have more fun

5) Retention rates go up

6) Real collaborative teamwork occurs

7) People receive the kind of attention that enables them to grow

8) More energy is available to solve customer needs

9) Just-in-time learning reduces errors and cycle time

Turning Registered Nurses Into Happy Managers

St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto was having the typical problem with its registered nurses. The nurses loved to nurse but hated managing staff. St. Michael’s came up with a solution.

St. Michael’s nurses were dedicated to helping patients and looked upon their managing duties as a distraction from this goal. They wanted to change bandages, ease the patients’ suffering; not instruct less trained nurses in patient care and monitor their performance.

The hospital CEO and his executive team decided to have a Coaching Clinic for their registered nurses. They taught them a method of management that supported their value of help to others. Rather than a “Tell them what to do, and then make sure that they do it” method, the coach method stresses a collaborative, helping approach to managing.

The supervisee is invited to share her ideas on how to achieve her duties. Then both supervisor and supervisee agree upon a method, plan of action and method of accountability. Creative thinking and growth is encouraged. The supervising nurse sees herself not as a task mistress, but as an enabler that helps her people grow. This supports her values of helping people. Specifically, the nurses were taught:

1) how to empower their people

2) hot to use the power of asking questions

3) how to establish the focus

4) discover possibilities

5) plan the action

6) remove barriers

As a result the nurses were referred to as “great bosses.” Resistance to performing managerial duties melted away, morale improved and retention improved dramatically.

The Coaching Clinic is not limited to nurses. The Harvard Business Review stated “The goal of good management: to make the most of an organization’s valuable resources.” The Coaching Clinic has been used and acclaimed by many Fortune 500 companies.

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