Friday, October 19, 2007

Relationships Critical in Effective Leading

This month's issue of Center for Creative Leadership says "the ability to build and maintain relationships and work well with others is in big demand - and in short supply."

While I might think a leader is the one on point setting the pace, it's the manager who collaborates amongst departments to share resources, develop programs, and train personnel while simultaneously integrating direct reports' career and family desires with senior management edicts. So who really adds more value to an organization?

CCL says "Organizations are increasingly operating in ways that involve interdependent, boundary-spanning work - creating a greater demand for leaders who are skilled at participative management, building and mending relationships and change management."

Today's Navy Nurse manager [Division Officer] usually cannot offer choice job assignments although senior management does try to match career desires with billet openings. I have found that giving an expected timeframe for this transfer to a coveted position helps as well as exploiting opportunities for cross-training when workload is light. It also helps that nurse develop relationships with nurses already working in that department so this person is not only getting the benefit of me "pushing" this person to that department, but the department is "pulling" that person to come work with them in staffing meetings.

We cannot pay someone more for working the off-shift, weekend or holiday. This past summer, when staff members were working 18-20 twelve-hour shifts and on-call for more, the Nursing Middle Management Council wanted to reward those staff members with----a pizza party. I rolled my eyes. "Why not reward them with something that REALLY matters?" I asked. "Why not submit a nomination for a Navy Achievement Award---something that would appear on a fitness report and be presented in front of peers by the commanding officer?"

The response? "I'm really busy. I don't have time to write up a nomination." So, calling Pizza Hut or Dominoes is the ineffective leader's gift to direct reports. And it gives me a very good insight as to this manager's relationship abilities.

1 comment:

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