Are you working for Mr. Burns? Are you Mr. Burns?
People who work for a business automatically give power to those leading the business. In an energetically healthy environment where leaders understand they have a responsibility to take care of themselves, to exercise high character, and to show vulnerability, this can be a great thing. We’ve all experienced a leader who emanates healthy energy. These are the leaders who are great mentors, who inspire employees, and who get results. These are the leaders everyone wants to work for. However, if the business breeds unhealthy leadership energy, giving leaders automatic power is detrimental to everyone involved. Giving power to dysfunctional leaders will infect the business with chronic energetic illness, thereby harming everyone in the business while harming themselves.
Are your leaders healthy? Are they healthy and able to create a high-performing culture, a culture where anything is possible? Here’s a quiz to find out. Simply answer True or False to the following statements. When you respond to the statements you can either think about one area of your business or the business as a whole. Answering True to five or more statements indicates your business has energetic cancer and the leaders running the business are unhealthy–putting the business and its employees at risk of failure.
Leadership Health Quiz
- Leaders are more focused on C-suite, divisional, or owner direction than people.
- Leaders are being overtaken by perceived loss of power, heightened level of responsibility, or directional “unknowns.”
- Leaders are showing their “worst” frequently or more than usual.
- Leaders have become frozen by politics, and/or are allowing politics to drive decisions even when better options exist.
- People are leaving the business, or thinking about it.
- Engagement scores are at a minimum satisfactory, or decreasing, and these scores are being accepted due to other priorities within the business.
- Employee retention is low overall, or significant gaps in particular areas of the business are evident.
- People have a tendency to blame others and make excuses for their mistakes rather than accept ownership and take responsibility.
- People feel that they can’t make any decisions without receiving specific approval from management prior to doing simple tasks or taking care of customers.
- Gossip, behind-the-back conversations, complaining, and “don’t repeat this” conversations are common among all levels of the business.
- Having lunch is a rare privilege—unless it’s done while working.
- 12- to 14-hour days are not uncommon.
- Any of the previous statements are true, despite the fact that your business provides some sort of wellness, community, or “culture” program.
Here’s the deal: Most people don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “I want to be a complete a-hole today, and put energy into the world that harms other people. Oh, and by 5 p.m. I want to make sure I piss off at least five people…let’s make that 10.” On the contrary, most people want to do good things for our world and be part of something great. They want to have a good, healthy life filled with connection, and to know they helped someone else feel good along the way. We have a world filled with good people. Truly. In fact, in nearly two decades of one-on-one interactions with business professionals, I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t told me, “I want to be seen as a good person, a person who adds value, and a leader whom others look up to.” When it comes right down to it, even if they can’t find the words to tell you, most leaders want to be healthy and functional.
If you do have unhealthy leadership harming the business culture, a great place to start is by applying the Eight Principles of Business outlined in my book Fuel Your Business: How to Energize People, Ignite Action and Drive Profits. Good luck!
Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.