It is mind-boggling how people would put their loyalty on their immediate peers rather than to the organization that is paying them so they can feed themselves and their family. It just doesn’t make sense.
“Too many leaders seem to have a greater affinity for and loyalty to the department they lead rather than the team they’re a member of and the organization they are supposed to be collectively serving.” – Patrick Lencioni
This is not uncommon. Tons of leaders in tons of companies are more loyal to the people in their respective departments than to the organization they are a part of and they are serving as a whole.
Why is this Mindset Dangerous?
This is where politics start to breed. Because leaders are loyal to their department – their immediate peers – they begin to lobby for their greater good. Management and leadership meetings start to look like the US congress or the United Nations where the leaders of nations come together simply to lobby for their constituents.
There is no unity in the collective goal of the organization. As such, the main KPIs and results that the organization needs to achieve is always overlooked and commonly missed. Performance starts to disappoint over time when this happens.
Sure, the departments may be hitting their KPIs, the marketing team may be great at marketing but are they marketing for the organization correctly? Or are they simply doing ‘great’ marketing for the sake of doing ‘great’ marketing – because that is what people in that certain department/team wants to do?
Some leaders may argue that having a great team who is loyal to each other and is having fun should be enough. However, a more accurate description of that situation is to say that they have a mediocre team that enjoys being together and is not terribly bothered by failure.
Results have to matter. The main, collective goal of the organization has to critically matter.
How do We Shift this Mindset?
ALWAYS BE CASTING your company’s shared goal. Your vision. Your mission. Make sure people understand it and put it to heart.
ALWAYS BE REMINDING your leaders that there is a TEAM NUMBER ONE and that is the leadership and executive team. The team that takes care of the organization as a whole. Their respective departments are simply TEAM NUMBER TWO.
One way to ensure that this happens is to make the leaders do a 5-minute round-up every morning just discussing about high and low points of their week. Something that’s informal and casual but builds better relationships.
If your leaders put their loyalty on team number two, it will turn to make for a horrible place to work in because politics will multiply in the organization over time.