Undercover Boss – Well-Meaning Window Dressing
By Michelle Malay Carter on March 1, 2010
I must admit I’m touched by the hearts of the CEOs who agree to go undercover to experience their organization on the ground floor.? They seem to geniunely care about the people, not just the publicity afforded to their organization by the show.
Systems Drive Behavior
However, in the end, their righting single incidents or donating toward a personal financial burden of an employee simply perpetuates the idea that good intentions with a handful of feel-good outcomes makes everything right.? Systems drive behavior!? If you don’t tend to the dysfunctional systems, the dysfunctional behaviors will continue.
Managers Are Accountable for the Output of Their Employees
In the show, when these CEOs come upon a manager who is failing in his/her managerial leadership duties, the CEO usurps the authority of their accountable manager by taking action directly with the manager.? To add to that, the action takes the form of “be nice now”, and as the camera fades over grateful smiles and joyful tears, everyone appears to live happily ever after.??
Creating an Accountability Leadership Culture
A clear, requisite framework of accountabilities and authorities would do more for these workplaces than all the good intentions and fatherly advice we see.
Managers-Once-Removed Should Be Accountable to Identify Talent
The CEOs often identify promising young talent, and at least once, a Training Future Leaders program is set up, but it begs the question, who is accountable for identifying talent and what is it that we are looking for?? And is it all about training?
So I’m sending a shout out to Larry O’Donnell of Waste Management, Coby Brooks of Hooters, Joe DePinto of 7-Eleven, and Dave Rife of White Castle:?? You’re OK.? Your employees are OK.? Let’s fix the system!? It’s clear you have both a head and a heart.? Let’s put them to use toward designing systems!
Executive Leadership Defined
Creating and tending to the system is executive level work.? Through this, you ensure your operational organization is designed correctly and a leadership system is in place to ensure employees have what they need.? PeopleFit can provide you a framework from which you can make informed and intentional decisions in the areas of organizational structure, talent management and managerial leadership systems.