I was listening to Steven Covey in my car the other day, he wasn’t in my passenger seat of course, I was listening to one of his audio-books through the blue-tooth connection in the car; I can still remember when a cigarette lighter in the car was a luxury…where would we be without technology eh! Anyhow, he opened up this particular audio-book by talking about a question that he asks at the start of his seminars. Firstly he would ask, “How many of you believe that the people in your organisation possess more skills and abilities than their present role allows or even permits?“…not surprisingly at this point almost if not everyone’s hand goes up. Then he would ask, “How many of your organisations are under pressure to achieve more for less?“…at this point no-one needs to raise their hand; they just get it. Its a beautifully crafted and very poignant opening; in the world of sales it would be called a killer close.
We all live in a climate of more for less, and increasingly different for less, yet in the Public Sector we are hamstrung by poor systems and old management cultures which are focused on controlling and not empowering people. We have been so successful at alienating our most precious and potentially powerful resources, our people, that according to well respected polls, only 1 in 3 people will actually know about their organisations mission and vision. And only 1 in 5 people will actually care about it!
Apparently 7 out of 10 people who leave their jobs don’t leave their jobs, they leave their boss. The lesson is obvious and managers should take note, you can control things, but you need to lead people.