Rules Are For Fools?

Claire Vane
January 8, 2021

It is hardly surprising that the phone has been ringing and ringing with individuals who feel that they are being shafted through restructuring that is not being dealt with lawfully, and others who are feeling thoroughly thwarted by having their children home for another period. This is exacerbating what is already a very difficult working situation.

All of this was completely predictable as we watched the numbers of Covid cases (and deaths) rise, but what strikes us most of all is how important are the three golden rules of leadership, which we see to varying degrees both within our Government and within our client organisations. There are three that always come to mind:

  1. Do not treat your staff like children. They are adults and have earned that status. Keep being transparent and giving them information that will foster good relationships and productivity.

  2. Always start hard and ease off rather than start gently and turn up the volume on rigour and expectation. It is very important always to commence an employer/employee relationship, or for that matter, any leader and follower relationship, with the toughness and standards you require right from the beginning because you can always turn the volume down. It is a great mistake to start off soft and then turn the volume up.

  3. The third golden rule is to manage expectation. If you treat your staff like idiots, and yet the evidence makes it clear that x, y, or z should happen, then they will realise very quickly that you have not only failed to manage expectation but also mismanaged expectation by changing your mind to the extent of doing a volte face of 180 degrees. Generally, individuals will accept almost anything as long as they are primed and they are expecting it. Management of expectation is critical.

It is easy to criticise after the event, and we don’t know how we would perform in roles that we haven’t actually held, but many of our clients are in leadership roles, even if they do not consider themselves leaders, and some of them are making an excellent job of the three precepts above. It is a pity that it isn’t universal and if there is anything to be learnt from leading in a pandemic then these are certainly some of the most important and golden precepts…..

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Claire Vane

Claire is the Managing Director and Founder of Integrated Resources. She is passionate about releasing potential in individuals and organisations.

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