Why are my leaders not ambitious?

Why are my leaders not ambitious?

Friends, I’d like to share with you a somewhat strange phenomenon that I’ve been observing in the last several months in terms of a specific ask from clients.

One of the things I hear many clients ask of us is if we coach their leaders to become more ambitious. They even use the term “growth mind-set” quite loosely to say, “they should be coached to be hungrier for growth”.

This has set me thinking and as we speak, my thoughts are by no means well formed, but there are a few possibilities that are emerging which I’d like to share with you.

My discussions with various leaders at various stages of their careers leads me to believe that there are three important voices to pay attention to:

1. I am not convinced about my organisation’s plans

While everyone wants to grow 5X or 10X in 3 years or 2 years, leaders and managers don’t seem to see how that is possible. While they may have said yes nominally, they have not bought into it.

Unfortunately, very little conversations take place around this. One way communication is seen as buy-in.

2. I am not excited about your plans

Even if people have bought into the plans, many may not be excited about these plans. They do have aspirations but for other things. Their purposes may not be reflected in these aspirations. Their life circumstances and life agendas may not give them the mind space to engage with these lofty aspirations, in the manner in which the organisation wants them to.

How much does anyone care about what the employee wishes for? Do we want him or her to aspire only for those things that are good for the organisation?

3. I don’t think I can do it

This is perhaps the most critical one.

Just paying someone more money, giving someone more stocks, giving someone a larger position and title does not necessarily make that person more competent. The gap between demands and resources to meet those demands has never ever been wider that it is today. This situation when prolonged can lead to burn out.

Who is taking the effort to help employees become competent and feel competent to join the organisation in its ambitious journey?

I think we have reached a crucial point in corporate India today, where we will really need to ask what we can do more and differently to take employees along with us in our journey of growth. Until then, employees may not seem ambitious to us.