domingo, 9 de janeiro de 2011

True leadership and the reality as a whole

True leaders consider reality as a whole, avoiding previous judgments. If they want real feedback don't exclude pieces of reality. Moreover, they're not moved by fear or arrogance. And when employees opinion is needed, they consider all, without exception.

But most of the time it doesn't happen like this. Doing organizational diagnosis could be easier, were not the hardship created by leaders. Unfortunately, they think they know everything and the diagnosis results are just confirmation of their knowledge. Unfortunately.

When I applied organizational diagnostic questionnaires in Portuguese prisons, some people asked me why everything if their opinion had no value?... The operator of a prision asked me to go away because she was sure «they» didn't care her opinion. Some of cleaning staff argued that it would be losing time because nobody care what they said. Some guards thought all that was a farce. Anyway, I realized that those people were not considered by its leaders. They had low self-esteem and the results of the diagnosis threatened to suffer from this situation.

In another ocasion, I did some work for a company in the industrial area. Organizational climate, motivation and leadership style measurement. I provide questionnaires to about 40 people, divided into four groups: management team, sales team, operational team (workers) and leaders.
When a director handed me the completed questionnaires for data processing, I was astonished, because he lacked the operational area, of about 25 people.

Explanation for this situation: «I haven't given questionnaires to these people, because most of them would not know how to fill them. You know, people with little academic education.They wouldn't understand all this stuff. Big problem. Soon they would begin to argue and would be suspicious. Please make the diagnosis only with this data.»

Asking for diagnosis and skew it immediately, assuming that most people are limited and are not entitled to his opinion about the work and the leadership is something strange and a bad investment (in time, money, reliability and motivation). And for sure an act of arrogance. It is a bet on a dysfunctional climate. In these situations it is better not to make any survey because if it isn't possible a true characterization, it won't be possible too any changes or improvements.

If you, leader, want to know what the company actually is, it's important the whole people opinion, clerks or managerial staff. Improving performance is a no exclusion operation, towards the characterization of a all.
Unless you are afraid of something...