I was told the other day that large corporations have begun to use outside firms (full of behavior scientist) to decide who specifically will get laid off in a downsizing initiative. This absolutely floored me. Leaders (supervisors, managers, directors, vice presidents) get selected and paid for ONE primary purpose. That is - to lead PEOPLE.
Apparently, the definition of what it exactly means to "lead people" is being further lost in corporate America. Mid-sized business owners be aware. Don't let this happen to your company.
As a refresher, let me share what I believe it means to "lead people".
A leader (1) inspires, and motivates their people to achieve a goal or objective they (2) have communicated. They (3) set expectations and (4) insure that proper resources are there to get the job done. They (5) influence hiring decisions based on written qualifications and performance standards. They (6) use the strength of their position as well as their influencing skills to break down barriers to success. Most importantly, they (7) evaluate their people against job standards and previously set expectations and in doing so (8) reward strong performances and coach when needed. When coaching fails, leaders (9) take action by firing the individual from that position.
To suggest it is better for a company to employ an outside firm for steps 7, 8, and 9 to me is unconscionable. It undermines the very people who are suppose to be looked up to to lead and guide the growth of a company by constantly making these tough decisions. It is also a cop-out - an expensive way of deflecting responsibility to some outside third party. I wonder if corporations who employ these outside firms considered reducing the salary and compensation of the leadership - given that they have just relieved them of one third (3 of 9) of their responsibilities?
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Have a great day.
About the author: Mike Gomez is the President of Allegro Consulting, an Atlanta-based business growth specialty firm. Allegro provides operating advice to businesses and organizations on a wide range of management issues that effect growth, such as strategic and organizational planning, marketing, sales and business process improvement. www.AllegroConsultant.com