Weak leadership will destroy culture change initiatives every time. And it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve seen some of the best culture-shifting plans destroyed when senior leaders cannot (or will not) take a courageous stand when values are tested. The real travesty is that many of these namby-pamby leaders don’t even realize they are buckling. They tell themselves they are compromising or negotiating. Well, some things must be non-negotiable in order to raise the standard.
You’ve seen it too, I’m sure. So, in support of all of you who are frustrated by buckling bosses, I’ve drafted a letter you are free to share at your own discretion.
Dear Senior Leader, There is a reason you have your title and are paid the big bucks. You are entrusted to lead, not wring your hands, or shrink back when it’s time to make tough decisions. You are in your position to take action when people with bad behaviors threaten our core values.
Your reputation hinges on how you respond in difficult situations and when faced with the bullies who threaten to “take their ball and go home.”
We, your subordinates cannot respect and follow you if you say one thing and do another. We want what is best for the organization and need you to be courageous in the face of conflict.
Go ahead and draw a line in the sand. We’re here to support you and applaud your strength and courage.