Last Saturday opened the 2016 college football season. One point of interest was the post-game approach by two Coaches, who share the national spotlight and their programs are highly ranked. Both Teams played lesser opponents and their Teams won. One Coach suggested his Team had much to improve the other thanked and praised his coaches and team.
Leadership requires different styles and messages. Family Business leaders must hold people accountable, family members accountable. The failure to set standards and hold everyone accountable is a contagion.
This excerpt from a West Point speech speaks to accountability and morale. “Leadership sounds easy in the books, but it is quite difficult in real life. I learned that leadership is difficult because it is a human interaction and nothing, nothing is more daunting, more frustrating more complex than trying to lead men and women in tough times. Those officers that do it well earn your respect, because doing it poorly is common place. You will be challenged to do it well.”
“And, most importantly, I also learned that your soldiers expect you to hold them to high standards. These soldiers joined the service to be part of something special and if they are not held to a high standard, if their individual efforts are no more important, no more appreciated than the efforts of a slacker then it will directly affect the morale of the unit. And I learned that nothing is more important than the morale of a unit.
MacArthur once said of morale, “…that it cannot be produced by pampering or coddling an Army, and it is not necessarily destroyed by hardship, danger, or even calamity…It will wither quickly, however, if soldiers come to believe themselves the victims of indifference or injustice on the part…of their leaders.” Family Business leaders need to measure and hold the Team Accountable. People want to know the score, people want to be challenged.