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Markus LehtoNov 17, 2022 1:52:54 PM2 min read

O Leadership, Where art Thou?

Whether we take a look at the discussion about businesses, education, healthcare, politics, media, or even religious institutions, one particular subject seems to raise up. Many recent organizational studies are bringing up the same challenge. The leadership is broken.

We see the results of broken leadership all around us. Many teachers and nurses are quitting. Difficult political decisions are left on the table. Traditional businesses have a hard time finding new employees. Individual tragedies in the form of depression and mental problems are getting out of hand. We are all paying the price of bad leadership.


Few facts:

  • Globally, the cost of poor management approaches $7 trillion -- or 9% to 10% of the world's GDP (Gallup)
  • 65% of employees would rather have a new manager than a pay rise (Forbes)
  • 57% of employees quit because of their boss (DDI)


How did we end up like this?

It’s easy to blame the leaders. Simply expect them to do their job better. But what if the problem is more complex than that? What if the organization’s culture is damaged? In a toxic environment, the possibility for an individual leader to make any difference is limited.

What if leadership, like culture, is the result of multiple variables? How to grow better in something that is in large part out of your hands?

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The anatomy of an organization 

Every organization, regardless of size, the field of business, or societal status, can be evaluated in four measures:

  • Capability (how well the operations and people skills are aligned)
  • Efficiency (how well the operations get done)
  • Leadership (how well the organization is led)
  • Culture (how well company strategy is doable in the everyday life)

When these four are measured properly, the shortcomings of leadership became visible, and better yet, measurable. So the good news is that with the right data broken leadership can be fixed.


5 steps to becoming a better leader


1. Humble yourself before probabilities

If you are a leader, it’s just statistically likely that there is room for improvement in your leadership. Realizing that is the first and the biggest step on your journey to becoming a better leader.


2. Find out where you are

Select a tool that helps you measure where you are as a company in terms of capability, efficiency, leadership, and culture. Get actual data in numbers. Even the best map doesn’t help, when you don’t know where you are.


3. Trust your team

It’s your journey, but everyone on your team is on board. As a leader, it’s your job to lead, but when you involve your team in improving capability, efficiency, leadership, and culture, you’ll be surprised how much easier everything gets.


4. Make a strategic plan with tactical and measurable steps

Calendarize your plan and make it transparent for everyone to follow the progress. Remember, building better leadership is teamwork, so ask and give considered feedback.


5. Measure

Keep coming back to the original data. How have your numbers improved over time? Remember to be merciful to yourself and your team when there are setbacks and do celebrate the progress.


As a leader, there are a million things you can't control, but it's up to you what you do with the things you can.

Because being a leader is a job.


Markus Lehto

Communications professional with a marketer's heart. Creating a better world with one PLG project at a time. Because nobody needs another demo.