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Do you develop leaders to understand the value of being visible?

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Transformational shifts within organisations are usually necessary because a company has either lost sight of its values and core beliefs, and wants to re-connect with them once more.

Or, the company wants to find a new direction and drive change in a direction that the business leaders believe will create opportunity and prosperity.

And, more often than not, on the wish list of transformational change, is developing and opening up communication channels to bring employees, departments and teams ‘together’ in a way like never before. What’s the trigger for this apparent stream of consciousness? I read recently that the chief of a business was asked, by Channel 4, if he would participate in a television series called The Undercover Boss, where the boss wanders around parts of the company where he wouldn’t be recognised so he can get a realistic view of how “things go down”, rather than via stats and graphs in a comfortable boardroom.

Nice idea, and useful for many companies that have grown to a certain height, I suppose. Not for this particular company though, as Chris Davies explains in response to the Channel 4 executive’s proposition: “I had to stop him after about five minutes and point out a flaw – in the first depot I went into, the first person I saw would have said ‘Hello Chris, how are you doing?’”.

And there it was, yes his company had grown to the level that draws interest from television production companies, but the growth had not impacted on how Davies operates as a leader.

Being visible, understood, contactable and sometimes even liked as a business leader is essential, though very few company heads have mastered the art.

How can a workforce really engage with a business leader if they don’t know what he or she is like as a person and a character.

Small businesses can do this very well, they can align the culture of the business to their own experiences and personality, the trick to spread that culture of, no doubt, passion and desire throughout the business when you move from being small to large, and onwards.

James Pentreath
Leadership Development Programme - click for our latest whitepaper

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