THE SECOND TASK OF A LEADER: GENERATING COMMITMENT
Low commitment or not enough commitment’ is a common expression. It is important to ask what is meant by commitment. Managers would like optimized throughput, cost reduction and short term focus. There are three pillars essential for the generation of high levels of commitment
- Firstly, creating a sense of belonging in contrast to alienation caused by the previous eras of mass production.
- Secondly, making workers feel excited about their work and proud of their achievement so that they start to realize that they are trustworthy which will also lead to them accepting accountability more readily.
- The third pillar is inherent within the leaders themselves, creating confidence in management leadership and leading by example.
- Driving out fear: Fear is the enemy of TQM. Fear means the destruction of a harmonious working climate, the absence of team work, divisions between workers and management and the burial of human potential. In the dictionary, it is defined as follows:
An unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger, discomfort, pain, or loss.
- Taylorism has instigated fear by the introduction of the notion which is based on ‘telling people what to do and how they should do it’.
- Fear has robbed organisations for so long of so much human potential.
- TQM is an ideal opportunity for giving organisations the incentive to drive out fear and tap the unlimited human potential within organisations.
- It has been suggested that there are various sorts of fear.
- These include fear of reprisal, fear of failure, fear of providing information, fear of not knowing, fear of giving up control and fear of change.
If TQM implementation considers that people are the pillars of any organisation, and that performance is reflected by the human effort, then this will make leaders more determined to eliminate fear all together.
- Resolving conflicts:
- Managing human nature is the most difficult challenge for any leader.
- Indeed, people’s emotions, attitudes, feelings and beliefs change all the time. It is only by good understanding of each individual that conflicts can be eliminated.
- Furthermore, conflicts can be eliminated if there is a climate of trust and total honesty.
- What is challenging for a leader is that a conflict has to be resolved not by pinpointing who is right and who is wrong, but dissipating the conflict by finding the solution without looking for the causes.
- Conflicts can also be solved by ‘association’ rather than ‘dissociation’.
- The solutions of conflicts have to take into account human vulnerability and fragility, so therefore leaders have to ensure that there is no right or wrong.
- Finally, leaders have to eliminate the source of the conflict and not just tackle the symptoms.
- A harmonious working climate is a lasting one.
- A harmonious work environment should be the norm rather than the exception