by Ravi Elangkoh

 

Image - Dis con ectWe are fascinated by the success stories of Kellogg, Wrigley, Nike, Apple, GE, Facebook, etc. We envy successful people and are inspired by them to become better.

Likewise, we listen to experienced gurus teaching the right behaviours of leadership, we spend millions of dollars in leadership development, and we attend the best Ivy League business schools that advocate all the right things.

But we still get it wrong. Why?

 Simply because there is a great disconnect between the “know” and the “do” in leadership.

Marshall Goldsmith once remarked, “Many of our leadership programmes are based on the faulty assumption that if we show people what to do, they can automatically do it.”

It’s really hard to start doing what we’ve learned. It’s hard to get things moving. It’s hard to start the change process.

The “do” part might seem daunting, but why not start with modest change first?

The “do” part might seem daunting, but why not start with modest change first?

It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering change that sees an immediate huge leap in dollars and cents. It could begin with some simple positive attitudinal changes.

To illustrate this, let me share with you a typical scenario in almost 80% of the organizations that I have come across.

In principle, companies implement the following guidelines for meetings:

  1. Punctuality is important.
  2. Meeting agenda must be followed.
  3. Agenda must be given one week in advance to all parties involved in the meeting.
  4. Usage of mobile phones during meetings is prohibited.
  5. No usage of laptops and electronic gadgets to answer to emails at meetings.

But in practice, many leaders themselves flout the rules. They think it doesn’t matter.

What they don’t realize is that this so-called “small” matter about disregarding “troublesome” rules is actually a tell-tale symptom of a much bigger leadership problem.

What they don’t realize is that this so-called “small” matter about disregarding “troublesome” rules is actually a tell-tale symptom of a much bigger leadership problem.

A minor crack may be a sign of an oncoming collapse. A small leak may lead to fatal explosions.

Catch the giveaway misbehaviours before they snowball into leadership disasters that do irreparable damage to the company.

Stop kidding ourselves and seek reliable help early. Let us reconnect the great disconnect.