Disrupting the Leadership Trap
Simon Popley, Senior Partner Leadership & Coaching, Logistics Executive Group
Kim Winter, Chief Executive Officer, Logistics Executive Group
Many in the logistics and supply chain sector routinely work more than 60 hours a week. How do you get out of this trap?
Leaders working in demanding roles tend to get little or no time to develop their own leadership ability. Focused on getting the job done and developing their own people, their own leadership growth often goes by the wayside. Australians work some of the longest working hours in the developed world, a study has found. About one in five Australians, or two million people, work more than 50 hours a week, the University of Sydney study shows, and many in the logistics and supply chain sector routinely work more than 60 hours a week.
Another trap that limits leadership development is underinvestment in the area by organisations. Research by Australia’s leading human performance technology specialist DTS International found that more than one in five companies (21%) have no leadership programs at all, while 36% of organisations are yet to establish a leadership development strategy. Only 58% of organisations spend more than US$1,000 per learner on training for senior leaders, compared to just 39% for high potentials and 32% for mid-level management.
The lack of investment – of both time and money – is at odds with a plethora of evidence that indicates the magnitude of potential returns. For example, a recent report by the Human Capital Institute states that organisations that allot more than 31% of annual training and development budgets to leadership development are 12% more likely to report increased revenue.
Train to survive
However, underinvestment in leadership development isn’t just a missed opportunity, it’s a major threat to a company’s long-term success. The fact of the matter is – when your leadership gets stale, so do results and the teams and leaders working with you. Everything becomes an effort and leadership feels like it’s sucking your will to live, rather than energising you and lifting up your people.
The fallout of neglecting your own leadership development is that you only have the same old skills, experiences and advice to hand down to your leaders and teams. It becomes a bit like leadership beans on toast, each and every night. After a while, the people to whom you serve your leadership learnings get bored and stop hearing the messages you want them to hear.
Your messaging is experienced as bland and your followers begin to feel that you have nothing new to offer or inspire them with. Preaching career development to them also invites hypocrisy that further diminishes your own leadership standing. This is demonstrated by the fact that only 7% of senior leadership in an international survey by Deloitte finds themselves capable of developing ‘millennial’ leaders, signalling an impending leadership vacuum. This vacuum often leads to team member disenchantment, poor staff retention, resulting in high turnover (in a traditionally talent short logistics & supply chain market) and unnecessary recruitment costs.
Here are a few practical ideas to assist you in developing some new thinking and raise the energy to revive your leadership.
Tips for revitalising your leadership
- Set time aside to think about your current leadership – getting time to think about what changes you need and want to make is crucial. You may need to improve your ability to delegate work to be able to create this space to think: remember, thinking is working!
- Ask for feedback from your direct leader and other leaders in your business – what areas do they see in which you need to develop further? What is it they most notice about your leadership? Feedback is the fertile soil in which great leadership grows, without feedback we cannot grow. Feedback can also be hard to process and deal with if you are unfamiliar with getting feedback – think about working with a coach to navigate this journey.
- Discuss taking on new leadership challenges. Take on leading a new team or project. Get involved in a different work experience that takes you outside of your current comfort zone. If you are beginning to feel the slight discomfort of being outside of your familiar way of leading, you are probably beginning to grow – this is good pain!
- Read some latest thinking and research in leadership development. Read something about leadership you would not usually look at, and share this with another leader.
- Develop your ability to reflect on your own leadership experiences. Consider reflective journaling as a means to develop greater insight into your own leadership practice from viewing situations from multiple perspectives. Learn to become comfortable with the ambiguity that leading creates.
- Find and join a leadership community of practice – build your own leadership network. The CEO Institute in Australia also organises various networking events, such as the CEO Connect Conference and the CEO Institute Summit that feature top industry leaders. Chief Executive Women is specifically geared towards empowering women through leadership networks that aim to close the gender gap in senior leadership roles across Oceania.
- Attends events and conferences that are specifically geared towards leadership development, that offer the opportunity to learn directly and network with inspiring leaders in your field and beyond. A good example is the Annual Leadership Summits organised by the Australian Institute of Management across the country. Logistics Executive Group, an Australia-based international talent management and executive coaching firm, also organises year-round networking events, including a CEO Breakfast Series and the international LogiSYM Conference Series
- Undertake some coach training to become a better-skilled coaching leader so that you are more effectively able to develop the potential of your own people.
- Find yourself a qualified and experienced coach and begin a conversation about how to grow and develop your leadership capability.
Regardless of your seniority level and the nature of your organisation, effective leadership is necessary for your success, as well as the success of your team and your stakeholders. Therefore you cannot afford to let your leadership style get stale. Yes, it takes some time and some sweat, some investment on your behalf as well as your organisation and perhaps even the odd tear or two, but the reward is well worth the effort.
The most fruitful outcome is when your own leadership style becomes an example for others. This stimulates a domino effect as your mentees, peers and even seniors attempt to emulate your strategy and foster creative, productive and effective leadership across the organisation. Be the change you wish to be, as Gandhi said. The power rests with you.
Simon is an executive coach and leadership development consultant with over 20 years of senior leadership and coaching experience in a wide range of industry sectors including health care, financial services, Government and consulting. Simon specialises is coaching leaders and executives who want to take their leadership to the next level of development. Simon has worked with a wide variety of clients in Government, private enterprise and the not for profit sector. Simon works and partners with both individual leaders and their teams.
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Corporate Advisory, Executive Coaching, Public Speaking, Trade Facilitation and Executive Search & Recruitment across the Supply Chain, Aviation, Logistics, FMCG, Retail, Resources and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s offices in 12 countries. He is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, frequently invited to Chair international events on contemporary / future industry trends and leadership issues.
Tap Into Malaysia’s Logistics Evolution at Logisym Malaysia 2018 on 24 and 25 July 2018
LogiSYM, the premiere Supply Chain Symposium and Summit across Asia and Oceania, returns to Malaysia for its fourth edition this year on July 24 and 25 at the Hilton Hotel Petaling Jaya in Kuala Lumpur. As always, the symposium will bring together over 300 leaders in the logistics and supply chain industry and bridge the gap between supply chain concepts and technology. It will also showcase the benefits generated from increased supply chain pipeline velocity, profitability and performance, and offer unrivalled networking opportunities as the largest symposium of its kind in Malaysia. With limited passes remaining, you may reserve yours here: http://logisym.org/malaysia2018/
Kim Winter, CEO of Logistics Executive Group, to MC RWTA 2018
Kim Winter, the Founder and CEO of Logistics Executive Group, will MC the 77th edition of RWTA’s (2018) Annual Conference. The event will be held from 19 to 21 September at the Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. The RWTA (Refrigerated Warehousing & Transport Association of Australia) is a critical part of the Australian cold chain network and is also an Affiliate Partner of Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA). The annual conference is a flagship event for the Oceania cold chain industry, bringing together hundreds of market leaders for stimulating discussions and exposure to the latest and greatest in the industry.
Participate in Asia Trade Centre’s Survey on the US-China Tariff War
The Asia Business Trade Association (ABTA) is conducting a survey of senior business executives to find out how MNCs view the looming trade war between the U.S. and China and the direct and indirect consequences to organisations’ value chains. The Centre will combine survey results with other data and analysis to publish a report summarizing an understanding of business perceptions of the trade war, and contingency strategies they will undertake, should the trade war escalate will be made available to all survey respondents. Individual responses will be kept confidential and no respondent-level data will be published. To participate, please follow this link and complete the questionnaire: https://tinyurl.com/ABTAsurvey
10 October 2018
Singapore, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney
Today, digital technologies are making way for a supply chain that goes well beyond what was originally thought to be possible with a traditional setup. The supply chain of today has the ability to perform very complex activities with superb precision and outstanding agility.LogiSYM Digital 2018 adopts this thinking as well and will run for the first time globally a mini-Symposium in various countries on 10.10.18 simultaneously.
Hands Up Kenya
‘Hands Up Kenya’ is a not-for-profit initiative that brings together a network of successful international and Kenyan entrepreneurs, business leaders and changemakers who are eager to give back to their communities by removing the barriers that prevent Kenyan youth from achieving their full potential.
77th RWTA Conference & Exhibition
19 – 21 Septmeber 2018
Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas Sunshine Coast QLD Australia
Details will be released shortly containing information about Speakers, Social Events, Sponsorship Opportunities and Exhibition Packages. Information and Registration will be available through their Conference Website soon!
Supply Chain Innovation Summit
18 – 20 September 2018
InterContinental Festival City Hotel, Dubai
Part of the Supply Chain Innovation Week. Becoming elastic, integrated and customer-centric in the ecommerce era.