I have written many times about the importance of a leadership “down line.” What that means is, as important as leadership is at the top of the organization it is every bit as important at other levels of an organization.
The leader at the top of an organization can be a very Authentic Servant Leader but in many organizations, especially large organizations, their leadership must be carried to other levels of the organization by their leadership team. If the team is not made up of effective leaders then the message, and likely the culture, of the organization does not reach very far.
That’s what it’s so important to have effective leadership spread out at every level. The vast majority of leadership comes from the middle of the organization, not the top. The top leadership may set the tone but if mid level leaders can’t carry the tune the broader workforce never hears it.
Leadership cascades down through the organization. Poor mid level leaders act as a dam that stops the flow of Authentic Leadership. It has been said many times by many people that employees quit their managers, not their companies. That is absolutely true. That’s why even organizations with solid leadership at the top continue to lose key employees. Employees who could be the future of their organizations.
It has perhaps never been more important that organizations identify their key employees. They must make certain that they are being led by an Authentic Leader and not being managed by someone who merely holds a leadership position.
Quality employees will no longer settle for being managed. They insist on being led, as well they should.
If you’re a leader at the top of your organization then you need to ensure that your future “stars” are working under someone who understands the difference between trying to manage someone and actually leading them.
Your “stars” need to be nurtured, challenged and informed. They need a leader who can mentor them, help them grow and set forth for them, a clear and obtainable career path.
As a leader, you can stop the Great Resignation or whatever the heck you want to call it in it’s tracks. But to do so you must make certain that you have authentic leadership throughout your organization. You must especially be certain that your stars, who are the future leaders of your organization are being led and not managed.
The next time you’re considering the effectiveness of your leadership be sure to consider whether you have “dams” that are blocking your leadership from reaching everyone in your organization.
That’s important because if everyone can’t feel your leadership then your leadership may be more limited than you think.
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