Flip Flop Leadership
We have all worked with one in the past I am sure: the fearless leader that flip flops their decisions and the company’s direction constantly. We see this often when working with smaller companies who have owners who better fit the Visionary profile than the Leader profile. Flip Flop Leadership will either stunt your growth or completely kill your company - if it's not carefully managed.Flip Flop Leadership DefinedWhen visionaries, owners and leaders are change their mind and significantly change their vision for the company, that’s flip flop leadership. You come out of a quarterly meeting with agreement on how to move the business forward - then one week later you take the company in a completely different direction.Sure, change is constant and smaller companies need to be flexible. At some a point you have to make a plan and stick to it. You can keep flip flopping. Impacts of Flip Flop LeadershipFirst, it kills morale - Imagine driving your car while constantly slamming on the breaks and then hitting the gas over and over again. You burn a lot of fuel and you’ll wear out your brakes. With staff, in this example, hitting the gas equates to fueling staff engagement and energy; hitting the brakes is triggering disengagement and lower morale. Repeat this over and over, and you’ll wear your staff out.Second, you won’t know if you are heading in the right direction. Depending upon how big a change is, it can generally take up to six months to see results. If you are constantly changing direction, you will never know if you are making any real progress.Third, your team stops believing in you, in your company, in your vision. You will quickly be know as the leader who is always chasing some new, shiny object. Often times, leaders will joke about it because they know that this is what they do. However, they don’t truly appreciate the full impact of such behavior. Every change, even positive change, won’t be taken seriously and, again, no forward momentum can be achieved. Where most things have a pro and a con, there isn’t a single benefit of flip flop leadership (unless your goal IS to go out of business or lose your best employees). In business you have to be comfortable being decisive. Make quick decisions using 80% of the facts and then sticking to the plan. Now of course if the plan is going off the rails, change it. But, I can guarantee that 90% of the time that won’t be the case. If you have a well thought out plan, stick it out for at least six months to realize the fruits of your executing against it.Thinking you might be a Flip Flopper? Do you recognize you have a problem? What can you do to fix it?First, surround yourself with a strong leadership team. If you have implemented EOS ®(Entrepreneurial Operating System), bring in a STRONG Integrator. Second, lean on your team to fully vet your ideas, listen to your concerns, and be sure to empower them to say “no” to you. Lastly, make the decision. The next time you have a big decision to make, and let it ride for at least 6 months. It is OK, and even important sometimes, as an owner, to question, second guess and think about change. But it is deadly to do it too often.If you have any additional questions please reach out to us for any help we can provide firstname.lastname@example.org.