What is the THE primary role of Leadership?

Building and running a business successfully has now become increasingly difficult, considering the volatile environment we are now in. People want instant results and gratification – which means people are impatient ;AI is the most disruptive innovation ever since the invention of the internet, so information is available to everyone, all the time. Competition is open amongst companies / corporates and in order to compete with each other on financial results, wealth / money has become more important than PEOPLE- sad but true!

To navigate this challenging environment , people needs to be motivated to face them unitedly. Therefore as leaders , it is the single most important responsibilty to make our team members feel “SAFE “, so that they can perform consistently to the best of their ability.

What is this feeling of being “SAFE“?

Unlike external environment , like stock markets ,new technology , new competition , which are NOT in your control, you need to control the dangers within the organisation. These dangers are real e.g layoffs following a bad quarter result or underperforming year ! Some lose their livelihood , if you are innovative and company loses money in the bargain. Then there is internal politics (some try to keep you down )so that they can advance in their career ;in addition there is humiliation , intimidation ,isolation , feeling useless , rejection . It is the therefore goal of the leadership to set a CULTURE free of danger from each other.

[pic courtesy Simon Sinek]

Simon Sinek , in his book “Leaders Eat Last ” mentions that with this Circle of safety , leaders reduce the threat people feel inside the group , which allows them to focus -both time and energy to protect organisation from constant external dangers . Without this circle , people are more focussed in protecting themselves from each other. The more trust you have with people around you , better equipped you are to manage external challenges Then you can work together as a unified team , better able to survive and thrive , regardless of the conditions.

The strength and endurance of a company does not come from the product / services offered by them , but how well the people work together as a team . Every member , plays a role in maintaining the Circle of Safety , and it is the leaders role to ensure that they do. The primary role of your leadership is to look after those who are inside this Circle.

Leaders are also responsible on how big the Circle of safety extends . When the organization is small , it is more prone to dangers from outside because of the size , but much easier to manage . As organizations grow , leaders at the top , trust the layers of management to look after their respective teams. However sometimes ,these bureaucracy works primarily to protect themselves, which results in slow progress, teams starting to work in silos , politics to set in ,mistakes not getting exposed. Consequently there is mistrust within teams resultling in insecurity , completely replacing co-operation and security .

Strong leadership extends the circle of safety to include all individuals to the last hierarchy . With set standards to enter this circle and competent layers of management , leaders can extend the circle’s perimeter to make it ably strong / resilient and high performing organisation.

For the Circle of Safety to be strong , the relationship has to be mutual – on days , when you are NOT performing well as part of the Circle , Leaders should ask , if you are okay , instead of shouting on the outcome! On the other hand , days that the Boss shouts ,for reasons we dont know , we should check the same with him , if he is okay? While this ideal situation is a far reaching destination , the awareness of this atleast will help you to look Leadership / teams from a different perspective.

Whether you are a Leader or part of the Circle , the most important question is , how safe do you feel where you work ?

Please share your comments as always.

#Leadership# Safety# Trust#Teams#Challenges# Simon Sinek