Should Leaders Listen to Current Trends and/or Follow What They Say?

As one who trends current practices, tendencies and even fads that impact the world of work, I am often amazed at not just how these trends get started but how they catch on and followed by the masses. The recent Pokeman craze is a bit beyond me – I never played it when I was younger; however, it does have its pros and cons as we can see the downsides, such as accidents and even a few deaths. But it certainly has its pros as it is helping bring people together as well as bringing in business for those who capitalize on this craze.
I often wonder, though, as I’m following workplace trends, if leaders within an organization are listening to them and doing something about them. I hear daily in my work with clients and in my graduate classes of problems that are continuing to occur within organizations and leading to a continuing unhappy workforce. Recent Gallop numbers (July, 2016) indicate that disengagement levels are back up around 70%, and are even higher for governmental workers. Is this a trend that is paid attention to in order to turn this around and create a new trend of happier workplaces?
If newer leadership studies and practices are indicating that heartfelt and transformational leadership is needed to increase more engagement, why is it that the old traditional ways of leading people are still going on, which is based on production and output? This is not to say that these are not needed or should not be the focus of an organization; but when the focus is only on them it can lead to decreased performance, dissatisfaction, and even burnout.
Effective leaders know this – they are aware of what is trending in their field as well as in their organizations. They survey and test these trends to determine their validity and applicability and get to the needs of their workers. Good leaders read, study, and look at how they can apply positive trends, while reducing those that are negative. For instance, boredom is becoming common among workers and reasons can vary from routine tasks to no skill variety; if a leader was aware that boredom can cost organizations money in term of lost productivity and work not being produced, they can look at job redesign to increase knowledge and skill use, or get workers involved in creative problem-solving activities for how they would make their work more appealing.
Good leaders are not afraid to release the reigns to their workers as newer trends show that worker engagement goes up 71% when leaders recognize strengths and give empowerment to workers (Gallop, July 2016). So, my advice to those of you in a leader position, or if you are aspiring to be, is to research and follow current trends in your industry and become more involved in your organization to determine if these are occurring and how you can either overturn them or capitalize on them. Don’t be afraid to take some risks and talk to your employees to get their opinions, or just get to know them – when workers know you care about them they will follow you anywhere, which is one of the biggest trends today.

Goal Check-In and Your Own Olympics Competition

Happy August! Here we are at another new week and new month = plenty of time to get those goals accomplished. This is my birthday month, also – hate the numbers but am blessed to be alive another year with plenty of opportunities available for me to create.
This is also a time for other celebrations, as I have six other family members who will be celebrating birthdays in the next two weeks – watch Leo power when we all get together! Another celebration will be for my Uncle Lou, who passed away last week.
The Olympic Games will be starting this week so why not think of your goal accomplishment like your very own Olympics competition?

  • you may compete in the sprint race, where you will run to the finish line to get your goal finished;
  • you may be the archer who will laser focus on your goal to really hone in on one decisive action you can take to get it done;
  • you may be the one who runs the mile or swims the 1500 meter, where it is slow and methodical but focused on the gold at the end; or
  • you may be on the soccer or rugby team and need to have a group around you to help you get the goal done

We sometimes need to ‘trick’ our brain to make our desires more pleasurable and reward-focused so we will go after them, no matter what. Keeping the end in mind is the appeal, IF that ignites our passions and we can see, hear, feel and taste it; igniting the senses is a great way to ignite the brain into getting what we want. Begin to visualize the goal, rewrite it out in detail (include sights, noises, people, etc.) as these make it more real and attainable; track your progress to ensure you are on the right track.
I’ll be watching the Olympics and I encourage you to do the same as this is a great way to be inspired and to see the results of going after a goal; if they can, so can you. Wishing August to be productive and a success!