Follow the Leader

Published: November 7, 2016
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Election Day is one of the few times we get to participate in choosing a leader. Most other days, we inherit our leaders. However, you also exercise this choice when you decide to stay in a job or pursue a career change. Among the criteria for staying or leaving an organization is an assessment of whether the leader can be followed. Workplace culture cascades from leadership whether healthy or sick.  Let’s play follow the leader.

Inspiring vision with a credible path: Help us see where we’re going together and how we’re going to get there.

Finger to the pulse of the workforce: Absorb the diverse perspectives of your teammates with openness and respect.

Positive energy and stamina: It’s easy to be engaged when we see your sustained commitment.

Clarity and poise under pressure: A calm and steady approach enables focus during stress.

Appreciation for the value of change: There’s always a process to improve.

A balance of decisiveness and restraint: Find the right blend of action and finesse.

Mentor and sponsor tomorrow’s leaders: Put your name and resources behind the succession plan.

Choose your leaders carefully. They are reflections of your priorities. We are all associated with the company we keep. When leaders build teams they interview for competency, value, and vision fit. When employees engage in their current roles or apply for new positions, they undertake the same evaluation. Is this a leader I can follow?

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Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst College where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.