I’m writing with a fairly heavy heart today as someone who cares about leadership and really wants our leaders to do well. Everything works better when leaders lead well and now, perhaps more than ever, we need things to be done well. We certainly can’t afford to waste time, effort, money and resources in the global fight against Covid-19.
There were two situations that arose over the weekend that saddened me. The first was the announcment by (the hugely profitable) Liverpool FC that they would furlough certain non-playing staff and claim the assistance from the government for 80% of their wages.
The criticism of this has been widespread and well-covered so no need for me to rehash the detail. I do feel extremely sorry for those who have an afiiation with that club. People want to believe in the organisation they work for, the team they support and the people they follow.
In taking this decision the leaders (owners) have caused untold damage in ways which are hard to repair. Trust, integrity, shared values, connection and community are not easily built but are quickly lost. Such a waste.
I know that other football clubs have done the same by the waym though I think that Liverpool has grated more due to its famously integral place at the heart of that community, a fondness founded in togetherness, belonging and shared values.
The second situation was that of the Scottish Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood, who was forced to resign after flouting the non-essential travel rules that she herself was the media face of. She was clearly doing an important and seemingly good job and it’s such a waste of ability, as well as the time and effort of those left picking up the pieces to deal with the fall-out and organise a replacement.
I make no harsh judgement of Calderwood for who hasn’t at times facesd their own hypocrisy? This is such a stark reminder though of the imperative for leadership integrity when there is so much more at stake than just that invididual’s reputation.
Neither of these scenarious have anything to do with competence in the job. It’s all about character. Personal Leadership. The most important aspect of all leadership.
Where leaders fail the character test, there’s just so much waste. Invest in your own personal leadership. Invest in others anywhere you have influence.