For the past week ESPN has been a frenzy of NFL free agency stories, with players changing teams faster than you can say, “Goodbye Tim Tebow.”
When I was a kid, this did not happen. For one, there was no ESPN. Yes, I am that old (Looks are deceiving).
Second, players were loyal to one team for their entire careers. They wore the same color of jersey for the duration. Today, the only color that matters is green. Can you say, “Show me the money!”
Much of the free agent movement is a statement about organizational health. One of my favorite authors, Patrick Lencioni, has a new book out on organizational health, titled The Advantage.
In the book, Lencioni makes the case that, “Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave.”
This is a high standard for any organization, but one that is attainable. Whether such health happens or not depends on one factor more than any other. Its leadership.
Take a look at your company and ask yourself if you are outperforming your competition. Is your environment a political place where people bicker and step on each other to get to the top of the org chart? Is there confusion, apathy or disengagement among the ranks? Or the most telling sign . . . are your best people looking to change jersey colors?
The most important thing a leader can focus on is organizational health. Spend some time thinking about what steps you need to take this week and then do something to promote health.
If you will give this concept the attention it deserves, don’t be surprised if the free agents start coming to you.
What are some things a leader needs to do to ensure organizational health?
1). Constantly monitor the “mood and morale” of the employees. Do employees talk more about the upcoming weekend than your work/clients, etc. Are tensions high between departments or teams?
2). Customer feedback more positive or negative? Trending one way or the other?
3). Upper management in agreement about future direction? Does the mid-management and lower management know what is the future direction of the company? Do they have “buy-in?”
4). Do people want to work for your company? Are applications increasing or decreasing? Are employees leaving on their own (i.e. not due to corporate downsizing)?
Good list Todd. Thanks!