Vince Molinaro opened his presentation at November’s The Art of Leadership conference with a big statement. “Leadership is broken,” said Molinaro, the author of three books on the subject.
Business strategist and public speaker Molinaro was at the Toronto event to discuss his latest book, The Leadership Contract. Molinaro began dedicating his life to teaching business leaders how to build healthy and productive workplaces after he saw a colleague and mentor he respected succumb to a cancer she believed was caused by a stressful, toxic work environment.
In it, he claims there’s a leadership accountability gap, because many leaders end up in their current positions without an adequate understanding of how to lead. The result: a disengaged workforce that is disappointed by its leaders. “Only seven percent of employees have trust and confidence in senior leaders,” said Molinaro.
To turn that around, he argues that leaders need to make a conscious decision to take on the role they were given, and sign a leadership contract to that effect. Here are the four terms of that contract.
Leadership is a decision—make it
Leadership is not a part-time job, said Molinaro. He told the story of an engineer who was promoted to a leadership position, but still thought of himself as engineer, and saw managing his employees as a part-time job. “Once you become a leader, you need to define who you are through your leadership role,” Molinaro explained. “You need to be deliberate in your position, and act like a leader.”
Leadership is an obligation—step up
If you don’t like something, don’t complain about it, said Molinaro. “Step up and change it, you are the company,” he counselled. The measure of a successful leader, according to Molinaro, is whether you left your organization (and shareholders, employees and customers) in better shape than you found it.
Leadership is hard work—get tough
“As leaders, if you don’t tackle the hard work, you’re actually doing a disservice to your organization,” said Molinaro. So what is the hard work? Managing your team members, giving tough feedback, and calling out unproductive leadership behaviours as it appears. “You have to be willing to have these tough conversations,” said Molinaro.
Leadership is a community—connect
There’s too much infighting in companies, according to Molinaro. He called for the crowd to put a stop to the exhausting infighting. “Have your colleagues’ backs, treat your colleagues like family and create trust in the workplace,” he said.
MORE MODERN LEADERSHIP STRATEGIES:
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- What’s Missing in Today’s Business World »
- The 5 Characteristics of Leaders Who Successfully Manage Change »
- Are You a Multiplier or a Diminisher? »
Do you agree? What’s in your leadership contract? Let us know by commenting below.