I kick-started a series of interviews and surveys to understand my target audience (senior managers, leaders, and decisions makers) better. One of the questions, “what’s keeping you up at night these days?” has had an array of responses that I found quite interesting. And that’s because I was expecting everyone to blame COVID-19 for their significant challenges. But here’s a list (in no particular order) that I got:
- Finding, retaining and nurturing the right people/talent
- Lack of bench strength — if people leave, we’re royally screwed!
- A reactive culture — hiring or firing people in the face of a crises
- Constant and never-ending change management (a.k.a., fire-fighting all the freaking time!)
- Identifying the ideal clients and succumbing to their expectations and demands at the times of a crisis
- Fuzzy vision with key leaders pulling in different directions
- The board and senior leadership aren’t aligned
- Me-first leadership is creating confusing and unrest. A typical example might me leaders communicating to meet their needs rather than the needs of their audience
- Painfully slow decision-making
- Embarrassingly low employee-engagement scores; leaders don’t have an authentic connection that drives employee engagement
- Superhero leaders are dominating our culture, and people won’t speak up
- Workplace-related mental health is becoming a significant threat
- Lack of accountability — leaders, are neither able to drive consistent action nor are they able to hold others accountable
- Unable to find the time to communicate their plans
- Unable to articulate their plans, goals, strategy, and business vision
(I reworded the statements above for better understanding.)
I’m expecting some more insights as I speak with more leaders over the next few weeks. I don’t know if you noticed, not even a single issue is about COVID-19 but crises, disruptions, misalignments, communication challenges, and other general leadership issues.
If you’re in the helping business (coaching, consulting, or therapy) to serve leaders or even sales, the above is a great list to work with. If you have additional insights, do let me know.