Tuesday, August 30, 2011

7 Warning Signs that Politics should be Part of Your Executive and Leadership Development Program

When we research Executive and Leadership Development Programs, we consistently find one area lacking – Politics.

Ask any executive - each business day, a corporate version of "survival of the fittest" is played out. Power plays, turf battles, deception, and sabotage block individuals' career progress and threaten companies' resources and results.

As a leader, if you are observing any of the following warning signs at your organization, you are witnessing typical “closed shop” behavior telling you that Politics Should be Part of Your Executive and Leadership Development Programs.
  1. Blind Spot: Executives or upper management has a blind spot or hands-off approach to Overly Political leaders.

  2. Consolidation of Power: The Overly Political leader consolidates power by hurting the careers of direct reports, peers, or consultants who challenge him.

  3. Limited Access: She guards access to people in her organization and tells direct reports to not communicate or share information with specific other parts of the company.

  4. Circle of Trust: When people outside of the team ask for information from direct reports, they’re uncomfortable and guarded. Direct reports can get in trouble for being seen talking to someone the Overly Political leader doesn’t like or fears.

  5. Micromanagement: Direct reports often say, “I need to check with my manager.”

  6. “Yes Men:” Team meetings lack candor or real debate, and people learn not to challenge the leader.

  7. Favoritism: Clear, personal favorites exist on the team.
In our opinion, the establishment of the type of environment listed above works against building a sustainable business required to attract, retain, and develop top talent. To succeed, organizations need to build “Savvy Leaders” through well designed executive development and leadership training programs.

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