Clean it up!
Around the world, more and more executives, CEO’s and Presidents increasingly realize and embrace the need to be closer to those in the trenches. There is no better way to learn about troop morale for a military leader, than to be on the ground with the boots of his soldiers. Remember Herb Kelleher, who would frequently fly aboard his Southwest airlines aircraft to serve and entertain customers?
He was quite a cookie, saying silly things such as “people come first” or “everybody is a leader, no matter what their job is“. Sounds fishy, huh?
Here’s a PDF that outlines a first few good steps on how to be ethically sound, while being the fearless leader of your organization: Association Ethics is a little guideline that applies equally to Association leaders, Executive Directors, Presidents and other big guns, tasked with making the impossible possible. I try to lead my tiny its y bits y Seaplaneforum.com site according to these simple steps and even though I am probably far from perfect, people seem to like it. At least so far I have not been asked to resign and I have not had to defend myself with lawyers against my own members.
Honesty, courtesy and respect are still bound to go a long ways in winning the hearts and minds of those pesky, disgruntled and critical little members. Basic human communication is really rather simple, it’s by far not rocket science. But, and there is always a BUT, it requires genuine interest and compassion. Being compassionate and sympathetic is not always easy. To just try will already yield you better crops in the long run. It will also give you a more enjoyable environment to do your job in.
People care about the fact that you care and losing touch with them will create a nasty payback. If you look out only for yourself while your group members are struggling with reality, your image and reputation with them will eventually suffer. Reality hurts and if you are better than the person next to you, it’s time to rearrange the deck chairs on your Titanic. Better make the ship look good, while its sinking to the bottom of the ocean. We can throw blankets on the cracks or sing “Kum ba yah” to make the screams go away, and maybe people won’t see the water rushing in? Yeah, good idea!
Within our aviation world we experience a certain disconnect within the leadership of those groups who are tasked to go to battle for us. They are too busy to talk to us! We once joined them because we believed in the power of active networks, passion, compassion and a common goal but the very leaders are out of reach! We eventually realize that no single soldier can win the war, instead it takes a bunch of them. We learn that some of our members bring loads of money and some bring loads of skills and passion, others have truckloads of time. Each one of them is most receptive to being involved in things early on during their membership in our team. If we engage them early, they will be more active, assume responsibility and volunteer for things that need done.
Greed, corruption and inequality will eventually come back to bite those leaders who slept during Organizational Leadership 101.
When you find yourself deceiving your file and rank members from the truth, have to lie to them or silence and censor them by all means possible, or you have to drag simple things into eternity, expect malicious ambushes against your salary behind every tree, then it’s really time to ship out. Chances are, you are holding up much needed progress and advancements. If your heart is not in it anymore, and you’re starting to “go to work” everyday, biding your time without a solid goal, it’s time to let go of the prestige and face the music. Always look towards the legacy you wish to leave behind. Instead of doing nothing, fess up, dress up and leave with some dignity intact and before the explosive diarrhea sets in. We need leaders, not Muppet’s. We’ve had our fair share of Muppet’s – let’s move on – please!
Happy Easter !