Posts Tagged ‘organizational effectiveness’

Atlas and Bearing the Burdens of Leadership

From our early education, many may remember the story of Atlas holding the world. Today, my sense is many leaders are in a similar role. No they are not holding the world, but they are bearing the burdens of leadership with what they believe is with little help or relief.

burdens-of-leadershipLeadership continues to be the number one issue facing all organizations from the small businesses to the Fortune 100. Finding good leaders to replace the existing “Atlas” leaders is difficult.

Of course leadership including succession leadership of finding good leaders, is not the only burden. In another research report by Harvard Business Review shared the top 3 burdens by leaders:

  • Talent Management
  • Operating in a Global Marketplace
  • Regulation and Legislation

Yes today’s leaders carry many burdens and these burdens of leadership are not recognized by employees to the general public.

Some of these burdens are beyond the control of leaders such as regulation and legislation as well as global economic operations.  However some of these burdens of leadership are totally under the control of leaders especially:

  • Talent Management
  • Succession Planning
  • Organizational Effectiveness

To deal with these  burdens or if you wish barriers begins with the strategic plan.  Again from my experience, probably better than 75% (I think it is closer to 90%) of all small business with under 100 employees do not have a strategic plan. They are firmly entrenched in the roles of Captain Wing It where they spray their actions all over the place and then pray something will stick.

Some of the burdens of leadership are self-enabled. What this means is those in leadership roles have enabled their business partners to employees to:

  • Take advantage of them as leaders
  • Set their own working conditions
  • Restrict sustainable business growth

If you enjoy being Atlas and bearing the burdens of leadership without any assistance and if that is working for you, then continue holding up those business burdens all by yourself.  However, if you prefer to relinquish that role of self-enabled leader, then make a decision to change your leadership behaviors.  This may result in hiring an executive coach, finding a mentor, talking to colleagues or all of these actions.

At the end of the day, you must ask yourself “Am I tired of holding up my small business world?”

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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