In this insightful article, Bernard Koch highlights the serious effects of bad management and leadership styles. He also shows that if we create an environment of trust, engagement and acknowledgement of successes, we will reap huge dividends. This can, however, only be done by equipping managers in their ability to manage in this dimension.
by Bernard Koch
Bernard Koch is a management consultant, motivational facilitator and executive coach with a specific emphasis on culture transformation and sustainable behaviour change at both an individual and team level. He has developed his thinking, processes and methodology over 25 years in business. He has worked as a managing director as well as a shareholder, and as the senior manager of a large well-known managing consulting firm. Bernard’s approach is based on two truisms: that culture drives performance and that leadership influences culture. Bernard is currently the Executive responsible for Human Capital Solutions at LabourNet and a partner of CXO-Advisor
It is a perfect summer morning as Mandla winds his way through the usual Monday traffic to the office. Mandla has grown to love his job in the last few months. Recently promoted as manager of a large project team in his company, he has revelled in the opportunity to design, develop and implement a new “state-of-the-art” ordering system using some of the latest technology and gadgets available. The salesmen he has spoken to are excited about the new system. They will soon be carrying high-tech touch screen tablets to their appointments, where they will be able to show the customers the latest designs and place orders on-line. This is expected to shorten the delivery lead times by as much as 50%.
Not only is Mandla becoming a rare expert in the new technology, but the success of the project will give him profile in the company and will set him on the path to Ö who knows what? In addition, so far the project is running on time and within budget. Mandla is looking forward to today. It is his first project feedback presentation to Exco since the new CEO was appointed. Although he has heard that Hennie Barnard is a hard task master, he only has good news to convey.
Ready and excited Later that day, Janie, Mandla’s secretary pops her head in the door to inform him that Exco is ready for him. Mandla has been rehearsing his presentation over the weekend, and personally checked the projector in the meeting room beforehand to ensure that technology would not let him down. Full of optimism and energy, Mandla decided to take the stairs up to the executive suite and on his way enjoys smiles, jokes and even the odd high-five for some of his colleagues and team members. “Yes”, he said to himself, “this was going to be a good day”.
On arrival at the boardroom, he was surprised to see that it was deserted except for Lisa Jones, Hennie’s PA, who was frantically tidying up bits of paper and placing bottles of ice cold mineral water in front of each of the delegates. His cheery good morning was met with nothing more than a casual lift of the eyebrows. A quick jibe from Mandla elicited a half smile, and Mandla was happy that he lifted Lisa’s day after what was clearly a difficult start to the week for her. As the company’s Exco, most of whom he was on first name terms with, filtered back in, he sensed that today’s meeting had not gone particularly well so far. He hoped that he would bring some good news to the proceedings. »