Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago · 5 min. reading time · 0 ·

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Let's all Tweet...we can all become president!

Let's all Tweet...we can all become president!

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I was recently having a fascinating discussion with a CEO of a technology company around leadership, the weaknesses and social media as the communication link to their image, when the recently elected president of the United States of America came to mind.

It’s bizarre really, but the facts are: Donald Trump is the first Twitter president of the United States of America.

In an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News recently, Trump put into words what many people have long been suspecting, that were it not for his mastery of hyperbole in 140 characters, he would not now be occupying the most powerful office on Earth. “Let me tell you about Twitter,” the president began. “I think that maybe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter.”
Combine together his followers on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram, @Potus and “lots of other things”, Trump said, and he has the combined ability to publish directly to as many as 100 million people.

All jokes aside, whilst the truth maybe the fact that Twitter, Facebook, Instragram @Potus and other platforms may attract his following of interested fans, the question you need to ask yourself is exactly what cost is his presidency costing the United States just as you could question a CEO of a FTSE 100 company that used Social Media to obtain his or her position in the same?

My company is often being approached by executive boards of companies that question their existing leadership decisions in people, it is clear that people love the title of CEO, but do they have or are able to execute the skills to the business that will make the change necessary to drive the company to profitability and growth?

If we take a look at some basic facts:
• We are in the worst economic circumstances we have faced in almost 100 years
• It is forecasted to get worse before we hit bottom
• There are many organizations who have already executed large scale reductions in force and they will be followed by others
• Layoffs, reductions in force, or whatever you want to call them cause anxiety, trauma and lost productivity

Here are some of the facts about poor leadership costing a loss in productivity to American businesses that I found out in an article published at Harvard Business Review

According to one of the workplace reports by Gallup, 50% of the working professionals in US merely put their time in at office, 20% often represent their discontent via missings their days on job, driving customers away or influencing the co-workers in a negative way. Only the remaining 30% are committed towards their work. What’s the reason behind it? ‘poor leadership’.

In fact, while researching for their book ‘Leading People’, the authors Rosen and Brown came up with the findings that the current state of poor leadership is costing more than half of their human potential to the American companies.

The numbers are self-explanatory as to how much does poor leadership cost a business in terms of productivity.

Loss of human resources
Loss of human resources does not only mean the employees leaving the organisation. Well, that’s the ultimate loss, but a big loss is when the employees are not being used as per their full potential.

Poor resource management is one of the key tell tales of weak leadership, that can bring a downfall for the company. No matter how experienced and expert your resources are, if they are not utilised rightfully they are not going to benefit the business. This will ultimately lead to loss of resources, more so it will bring the loss of your company.

Successful leadership is all about having the right people, with the right abilities, in the right place, at the right time!

Loss of revenues
According to the same report by Gallup that was mentioned in the second point it has been found that poor leadership alone costs American companies a loss of more than half a trillion dollar each year.

According to the Cost of Poor Leadership Calculator created by DDI, a leading firm that conducts corporate researches, it was found out that one poor leader costs leadership around $126,000 over just one year owing to loss of productivity, and employee turnover issues.

Corporations are victims of the great training robbery. American companies spend enormous amounts of money on employee training and education $160 billion in the United States and close to $356 billion globally in 2015 alone, but they are not getting a good return on their investment. For the most part, the learning doesn’t lead to better organisational performance, because people soon revert to their old ways of doing things.


In another survey The Conference Board CEO Challenge®, more than 1,000 respondents indicated that human capital remains their top challenge, with customer relationships rising in importance in the past two years. Also, operational excellence and innovation remain vitally important for driving business growth and ensuring a sustainable future. These challenges, albeit in varying order, were the top challenges in all four regions included in the survey: the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. 

When asked about the strategies to address the human capital challenge, 4 of the top 10 strategies CEOs selected are focused on leadership: improve leadership development programs, enhance the effectiveness of senior management teams, improve the effectiveness of frontline supervisors and managers, and improve succession planning. CEOs know their organisations cannot retain highly engaged, high-performing employees without effective leaders who can manage, coach, develop, and inspire their multigenerational, globally dispersed, and tech-savvy teams.

CEOs also were asked to identify the leadership attributes and behaviors most critical to success as a leader. The top five prominent in every region globally were:
• Retaining and developing talent.
• Managing complexity.
• Leading change.
• Leading with integrity.
• Having an entrepreneurial mind-set.

So how can leadership improve?
First, leadership capability efforts are not necessarily hardwired to business strategy. This will always lead to initiatives that are disconnected and inconsistent across the organisation, diluting the overall focus on the core leadership behaviors to cultural and business change.

Without properly aligning current leadership capability against business goals, you miss the opportunity to identify key gaps, running the risk of focusing on the wrong things.

Second, almost all of the focus is on quality of content; how well we execute takes a back seat. This becomes even more difficult when you are trying to scale efforts across the enterprise or across different countries and cultures. According to the Corporate Leadership Council, one-third of a leadership program’s success is related to content and two-thirds are determined by the quality of the implementation.

Finally, despite the best of intentions, many efforts produce no lasting change in terms of behavior and results. Don’t be drawn in by the hype of five-minute videos and digitized options. This type of learning can be engaging, but like a quick-fix diet, they don’t work.
Failure to examine the big data and analytics to help understand (and react to) the gap between existing leadership practices and proven value to the business is a detriment to leadership development efforts. Too often we are still content with the smile sheets and anecdotal data. To be effective, we all need data-driven analyses to execute informed decision-making processes and in real time.

This video on Leadership in the 21st Century and Global Forces by Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company, will give you another prospective to global and growing trends in ‘Global Leadership’ – The Darden Leadership Speaker Series kicks-off its 2016-17 season with Dominic Barton.

Talking with my business partner in the US, Mark Herbert, we created a check list of priorities that should be considered when making change, which include:
• Leadership development has long been viewed as a cost. It is an investment in your leaders and your business.
• The program is not adopted across the enterprise. If you do not predict and act on issues across geographies and cultures, there will be no consistency and implementation will not succeed.
• Development is seen as an isolated training event or the “initiative of the month.” That’s ineffective if you’re trying to achieve lasting behavior and change. Reinforce learning and sustain the momentum by investing energy and resources to diagnose your leaders and guide them through a targeted journey of experiences.

Marcus Buckingham, author of ‘First Break All the Rules’ and other management “bibles” stated:

“Today’s most respected and successful leaders are able to transform fear of the unknown into clear visions of whom to serve, core strengths to leverage and actions to take. They enable us to pierce the veil of complexity and identify the single best vantage point from which to examine our complex roles. Only then can we take clear, decisive action.”

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Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #22

On your finishing point I agree. And YES the realm of communication has entered a bitter cycle that does not focus on where we are going but rather on what’s wrong with where have been, along with the blame. This will bare no fruit. Only apathy.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #21

So funny Harvey Lloyd I am not sure I really want to challenge 'Trumps' policies or fiscal review of his first year in office publicly, but thank you for the offer :-) I have this debate with my wife who is American daily and frankly I would rather move on to more interesting topics. I wanted to convey that I feel it is not just Mr Trump, but over the years we have had many politicians, governments that have shocked policy, behaved in a certain way and we are still back to ones interpretation on the effects, ripple or long-term effects of change. In England the view is 'the people have spoken' which ever way you vote. Politics are subjective and really what people want is execution and change, not discussion. Which many politicians are very good at! The second point is moral and ethical behavior, genuinity, this is critical for people in positions of power to demonstrate whether its vocal, execution of policy or the way people treat people in office, the ripple effect is through governments to business and to families and communities. As the old tradition of Lords in the House of Lords say 'if you ever meet a judge you shouldn't even think of getting near to shaking hands. Bowing, scraping and otherwise being servile will do just fine' so, with that in mind Harvey, I cannot see things ever changing in my lifetime.

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #20

I wanted to challenge you to review “Trumps” policies objectively. I dont like his communication styles, but when i look past that he is representing fiscal responsibility. Maybe poorly and maybe even incorrectly. But never the less he is asking some tough questions of our government that have not been made over the last decades. Special interest has taken over the microphone to disguise the fact that we need fiscal responsibility. No letter how discussed, special interest will automatically produce a hate message surrounding the discussion. Amazingly intellectuals pick up the hate message and never consider the discussion. All this in the face of trillions in student loan debt. I am considering getting a covered wagon and selling elixer that will save the people from the dreaded Trump disease. Thinking of calling it the Hillary Tonic. Two pints a day will cure you of NPD:)

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #19

I agree with the fact that some people have a world view that could be diagnosed within the mental illness envelope. My thoughts here are more the agenda behind the diagnosis. When we stabilize our diagnosis with outcomes rather than “feelings” then we can get a better view. Nice people manipulate nicely. Straight forward people can do nice things and i may not like how they are doing it. I think of doctors who are performing triage because their resources are over run. Anaswering the questions they do from my perspective may seem ugly but in the grand scheme is the right thing to do. I sense today that when people do not conform to some polorized issue they get a label. The label only stands within the opposition envelope of the human created paradigm. Outside of that envelope the diagnosis would be different. Mental illness is diagnosed across many melieus not just the one that i have created.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #18

Thank you Lisa Vanderburg for being nice :-) always great to hear from you with your views.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #17

Thank you Harvey Lloyd, I really enjoyed reading your prospective and views in particular the points on leadership, leadership should incite, educate and inform others, businesses look to government, how people act, behave and instill instruction to others. In the world we have seen and are still seeing leaders with enormous power act incredibly toxic. Much has been written about Trump having narcissistic personality disorder. As critics have pointed out, merely saying a leader is narcissistic is hardly disqualifying. But malignant narcissism is like a malignant tumor: toxic. Psychoanalyst and Holocaust survivor Erich Fromm, who invented the diagnosis of malignant narcissism, argues that it “lies on the borderline between sanity and insanity.” Otto Kernberg, a psychoanalyst specializing in borderline personalities, defined malignant narcissism as having four components: narcissism, paranoia, antisocial personality and sadism. Trump apparently exhibits all four. The human language is qualitatively complex containing tens of thousands of arbitrary learned symbols and words, I believe we are all unique with different traits and characteristics, one should be genuine with morality and values in life and to others, and hope one day the world can be a better place, with better people.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #16

Thank you Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris I think you make so very pertinent and important points, I am not convinced that the points you address are irreversible, but I do take the view that the damage control is likely to be immense. Sometimes when transformation and change sets in to circumstances, you can never truly go back to the way life was previously, I fear that there is many disruptions in the world currently that will have far reaching effects and for many years, as the Chinese proverb states 'We live in interesting times'

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #15

Toxicity is a matter of perspective. If someone is being aggressive within your envelope of need then they are righteous, should the same individual be against your envelope of need they are toxic. I am not fond of leadership messages that invoke the political climate to make a point or further the leadership message. This akin to observing toddlers and developing a leadership message. But emotion sells:) I would like to introduce the fact that we ask folks to be genuine and serve their uniqueness. Is not the political candidates doing that, and by extension should we not respect that brand, uniqueness and genuineness? Or, just maybe, there is a code somewhere that we all feel we understand but don't speak of in being respectful and where the line is to that respect. Interesting:) I would also speculate that the labeled "toxic" person is really asking for help. No leader, let me repeat, no leader is worth anything without great managers. Yes it is incumbent upon the leader to lead well, but this virtue lies within the manager also. So you may declare someone toxic and be a poor manager but you have now broken the virtue that was given and become toxic yourself. Interesting:) Noticeably that which was normal is now toxic. I am still unsure of who is writing the rules of balance here.

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

4 years ago #14

There are many losses in situations like this, some of which may be irreversible. For example, if someone decides to leave this country because he has lost faith in the political leadership and its economic ecosystem's potential for growth and merit, then that's something of a long term problem, quite challenging to recover from. I've seen it in other countries a few years back and they still haven't recovered from it, since their most promising workers are now settled abroad. I just hope that the US is large enough to not experience the same plight...

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #13

Toxic boss and talent acquisition. I'm putting those together for the next Trump/Hannibal Lecter book. I'd love to hear from Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #12

Twits who tweet: Trump, (me). Please don't EVER let him join Bebee!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #11

A most informative and intriguing article, Geoff Hudson-Searle. I have to ask before I look at the comments; where does to pool of potential leaders come in a corporation it an 'old boy' (ass-kisser) thing? Even though I'm not from a corporate background, I've done speaking gigs for a couple of really outstanding groups where I also had one-on-one with the lowest of employees, who were happy. But I KNOW this is highly unusual...most employees do not like or respect their boss. Yup....I'm being nice :)

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #10

Claire L Cardwell I can sympathize with you Claire, sudo-toxic leaders can destroy an organization and a culture, if there is a culture left after the harassment and bullying to others, it is no wonder why mental health in the work place has unprecedented levels of increase. Toxic workplaces can ruin a workplace and the lives of employees. But a strange shift has occurred in the way it is construed by management experts. Believe it or not the emphasis is now on good and bad individual employees – their intrinsic personalities – not the management culture, pay and conditions or wider employment context that frames any work situation. Of course, every once in a while we may come across an authentic office psychopath or outlandish bully. They’re no different in any environment. But by the same token, these creeps tend to thrive in workplaces that have been distorted by employment policies that encourage insecurity and desperation – especially where power and hierarchies are involved. In fairer, more just situations they seldom gain a foothold. Instead of talking about toxic employees, we really ought to be focusing on the employment sector as a whole. The Uber-style toxicity or gig economy that has taken over work culture following the rise of “zero-hours” contracts and concomitant eye-watering inequality can certainly be reversed. But individual-centric views of business and management will not get us there any time soon!

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #9

Thank you Jerry Fletcher for your views, I can feel by your words that you have taken an holistic view to analytics and performance, as with Mr Trump and with the majority of businesses today, effective analytics are built on trusted data. You’re using it to make big and informed decisions, so there’s no room for error. It has to be clean, well-organised and accurate. You need to build the strategy, optimise your processes and systems, and create the culture to become a data-driven organisation. The question always remains you need trusted data...

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #8

Thank you Jim Murray looks like Jim may have a point on Canadians ability to becoming President, so will we be seeing your nomination any time soon?

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #7

Randall Burns that is so funny, you have made my day! I guess its true to say honey producing Bees do not Tweet Tweet! :-)

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #6

I agree completely Zacharias \ud83d\udc1d Voulgaris this is one of Mark's push buttons. Here is one of Mark's articles on The Role of Leadership

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #5

I've had some toxic bosses in the past - several in fact! Geoff Hudson-Searle - they just gave me the impetus to start working for myself. Despite fulfilling the criteria of being the worst boss (I frequently work 14-16 hour days and 12 hours at a stretch is normal) I wouldn't change a thing. Yes the knowledge that you are getting a monthly paycheck is great, but even in an economic downswing I don't think I could work for a boss again. Perhaps Toxic Bosses and bad leaders make entrepreneurs ! I really do not understand how some of theses 'bosses' actually survive, surely a rise in sick days, a drop in productivity and employees leaving in droves should set off alarm bells? Frequently it does not!

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #4

I'm reminded of my future planning meeting with a client...founder of an extremely successful IT Management Consulting firm when he said, " We tried this 'fuzzy stuff' ( Blogging, video testimonials and digital newsletters) for a year and as we agreed we measured it by leads generated. The improvements you made in our networking and referral generation skills is what we have to attribute our continuing success to this year. The only change outside that is that we get more calls now where people say that a former client we haven't had direct contact with has referred them. My point is that we need to take an analytical approach to every area of business and particularly those that are concerned with how influence is accomplished. But those analytics must include both the "hard/direct" and the "fuzzy stuff."

Jim Murray

4 years ago #3

I heard somewhere that technically Hawaii was not a state at the time Obama was born. So there's hope of all Canadians to be president. The only stumbling block would be that being is America if you had universal health care... Good Post.

Randall Burns

4 years ago #2

Unfortunately I can't be President, I'm Canadian, and I don't twitter...

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

4 years ago #1

Indeed. There is always room for improvement in this area, esp. now that it's such a scarce quality. I'd add that poor leadership also creates issues in talent acquisition, a process that is both time-consuming and costly, particularly when it comes to specialized professionals.

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