“Garner was an engineer. He was used to dealing with machines. Command is about people.”
-Lee Adama, Battlestar Galactica
Recently I was speaking with a Dale Carnegie instructor who said how difficult it was to highlight the impact of leadership training.
He said, “Sales training is easy to quantify, and as a result, easy to sell. I can correlate an increase in sales production to quantifiable changes that training brings about. I can then extrapolate those top line increases to bottom line profit. With the leadership program, it’s more difficult to effectively tie leadership training to a bottom line results.”
His comment reminded me of a conversation I had with a product engineer when I was with an enterprise storage sales team.
An Example of Untrained Leadership
I was at the company’s main facility for a week to do some product training. I also wanted to perform some configuration testing with a test system on the manufacturing floor. When you are a systems engineer, you don’t get as much hands-on time with big systems as you do when you’re with the manufacturing or the development teams. So I took every opportunity to spend time in the lab with the product engineers and the systems to become familiar with their capabilities.
In this particular instance, I was in the lab when Rich (not his real name) and his team came out of a Monday morning meeting. He wasn’t looking in the best of spirits.
So in between setting up my system, I said, “Hey Bubba, you look like someone just ran over your dog. Everything ok?”
His initial response was, “Yeah, it’s all good.”
But his face betrayed his true feelings.
After a little coaxing, he finally gave me an opening with, “Bob is a good guy. I’m sure he’ll get better.”
At this point I told him to spill it.
Productivity Cost of Untrained Leadership
“Well, the company recently promoted Bob (another name cover) to team lead. Again, great guy and I’m sure he means well, but his staff meetings are demoralizing. In these meetings, he criticizes everyone’s performance. He belittles every member of our team. He highlights things that are inconsequential to the growth of the team. Everyone walks out of the meeting exhausted and unmotivated.”
“We wander around unfocused and dazed for the remainder of the day. No one really hits their stride until late Tuesday. By Wednesday, we are all fully focused and back on track. But by Friday morning, we start getting unfocused again until the afternoon when everyone is preparing for a little weekend R&R. The cycle starts again when we get back in Monday morning.”
I used that story when I started promoting Dale Carnegie Training’s Leadership Training For Managers program because it was a quantifiable example of the impact a leader can have on his or her team. Bob’s product engineering team was effective 3 days out of a 5-day work week because Bob was demotivating his team every Monday morning.
Bob was an engineer and accustomed to managing things. That mindset doesn’t work for leading a team of people.
Impact Of Old-Style Management Mindset
I was in a seminar with another Leadership Training for Managers instructor. In the discussion session of the seminar, I heard a participant say “Why should I be nice to my employees? I’m paying them to do a job.” Well, that’s one way to approach the challenge.
But as a manager in your company, if this is your only method for keeping your employees, then you’ve created a poor talent filter. Your competitors will poach your best people with the lure of a higher salary and a personally rewarding environment. That will leave you with the people who are too afraid to move on.
Or as one motivational speaker said, “The company is paying these workers just enough not to leave and they are doing just enough not to get fired.”
You can’t manage the people in your team like you can manage time, money, or inventory. Dealing with people requires knowing how to build relationships. People require leadership.
As a leader, you have to motivate your people. And one of the best ways to achieve that is by getting buy-in from them.
Dale Carnegie’s Human Relations Principles and Leadership Training
One of the basic concepts taught in the Dale Carnegie Training Leadership Training for Managers is that people support a world they help create. Then one way to motivate your team is to let them have a say in putting together their work environment.
If they have some ownership over their environment, they will hold themselves responsible to achieving outcomes that are beneficial to the company.
Don’t dictate like Bob. Having your team operating for three days out of a 5-day work week is not inefficient. Let your people take ownership of their environment and they will work to achieve outcomes beneficial to the company.
Interested in learning more methods for creating a supportive environment?
Want to know more about the difference between management and leadership?
Then I encourage you to review the processes outlined in the Leadership Training for Managers program. You can find details on the course here.
And if you are in the Modesto area and want to know more about the impact the Dale Carnegie Course can have your team members, check out the full spectrum of training programs here.