As the new superintendent of the Philadelphia School District, Tony Watlington faces many issues that need to be addressed. In addition to the adequacy of teacher pay and the difficulty in hiring teachers to fill classroom vacancies, I would hope that the transition teams he appointed will focus on four areas.
Effective leaders know to push down decision-making to the lowest possible level in their organization, as the Ukrainian military does. You want to hire people who will take the initiative. Having decision-makers throughout the organization owning their results is much more effective than top-down command and control.
When going up against a competitor, you want them to think, “Oh no. Not those guys!” That’s how good you want to be. That’s how you win business in a competitive marketplace.
The test of any leader isn’t when things are going well. It’s when they face difficult challenges. The individuals who embrace these universal traits and practices in this article will more effectively overcome those challenges and be successful in their careers.
A personal brand helps differentiate you from your peers when competing for your next job. It is just as important as your resume. A hiring manager will ask, “Why should I hire you?” The elements of your personal brand will help answer this question.
Pursue mission-critical objectives with a laser-like focus. Spare no expense committing both talent and capital resources to ensure these objectives will be achieved. Commit these resources as early as possible. It is better to overcommit resources than under commit them, which may jeopardize the outcome.
There is no reason why your company’s compensation system should not be transparent and easily understood. It builds trust and credibility with employees and allows them to focus on their job and not compensation issues, which leads to better company performance.
Emotional intelligence is recognized as a key leadership trait. EQ is also important to the success of everyone who interacts with people, regardless of their position within an organization.
“A toxic corporate culture is by far the strongest predictor of industry-adjusted attrition and is 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover …. Toxic cultures include … workers feeling disrespected and unethical behavior.” Ensure your corporate culture is not toxic.
Effective leaders recognize that challenging paradigms and thinking “out of the box” are crucial for achieving breakthrough results and building competitive advantage. Employees who challenge paradigms are your change agents. Listen to them.
What do I recall as the best personal experience of the horrible tragedy of 9/11 and the days that followed? It’s that we were united and pulled together as a nation, and we had genuine concern for each other.
The job of a director is governance, not operations. Don’t get involved in operating decisions. It only undermines the CEO.