Darryl Stewart
By Darryl Stewart
A doodle of boy looking sadly upon a his dead plant while a parasite eats it from below ground

Great leaders deal with the root of the problem

I have been involved with several non-profit boards over the years.  On some and advising others.

One was a “working board” where the members themselves do much of the work of the organization. When I first joined, the president was working hard to develop an accountability system and job descriptions to try and manage everyone. He was driving himself crazy trying to get all the board members to pull their weight. Despite his best efforts, he wasn’t getting very far.

The next president, a long-time board member who knew the people well, took a different approach. She simply asked the perennial under-performers to leave the board and actively recruited a much keener crop of new members each with strengths to match the role they took on. The results were immediate and undeniable. The detailed accountability system from the previous president seemed silly when there were no under-performers on the team. It simply was not required anymore and results went through the roof.

Before a winning strategy can be formulated, and before great execution can happen, you need to have the right people around you. One of the most common problems I see in organizations is a reluctance of leaders to deal with their people issues. The more senior the role in the organization, the more important it is to be decisive once you know there is an issue.

We all tend to want to jump to management strategies to deal with problem employees rather than deal with the actual people issues by changing someone’s role, for example, or by letting someone go. People issues need to be at the top of your list as a leader. All great leaders know this and practise this.