Aug 20, 2020Insights by Loius Gerke

Time for a cabinet reshuffle?

When you have the luxury of a cabinet, the value you can derive from it will only manifest when you put the cabinet to good use.

An empty drinks cabinet is a waste of space.  A properly stocked drinks cabinet allows for variety not only in terms of individual options, it allows the tastes of multiple people to be catered for.

A tool cabinet containing the right tools allows for the required jobs to get done.  Having the right tool for a job is half the job done.  When a cabinet is found to be devoid of a tool that is required, it would need to be added.  Once added it is available at any time to be put to good use.

Teams and leadership teams can be likened to cabinets

This explains why in political spheres the leadership team is referred to as the Cabinet.

When an MD of a company has a properly stocked leadership team, much can be achieved.  Missing aspects of required impact will need to be addressed otherwise, that element of desired impact will always be neglected.

South Africa has needs.
South African business has needs.
South Africans have needs.

South Africa needs to set goals.
South African business needs to set goals.
South Africans need to set goals.

Satisfying needs and achieving goals requires the right behaviour.  The right behaviour at times requires behavioural change.  Doing something new.  Taking an existing behaviour to a new level.  

I have always linked “new” with leadership.  Leadership, whether at a team or personal level, must be evident if the movement commences to achieve the new and is sustained until the new is achieved.

Keep the appropriate tools at hand

When a tool is needed to be used from the cabinet for critical work but is either missing or in a state of disrepair, the critical work cannot get done.  Other tools could get used but the right tool is the one that allows for the job to get done in the most effective and efficient manner.

When critical tools for ongoing maintenance lie idle, the maintenance work is obviously being neglected.  Neglect maintenance on an ongoing basis and notice how, when everything starts to break, the cabinet does not have enough tools in it to get all the jobs done simultaneously.

The MD, President, Carpenter, Mechanic and Barman are all responsible for their respective cabinets.  The responsibility extends to the appropriate contents, the appropriate utilisation, the appropriate reviews, and the appropriate replenishment.

Nothing shows cabinet neglect up, more than a crisis.  The fire that breaks out will quickly highlight ill preparedness.  The pipe that bursts, the economy that crumbles, the window that breaks, the machine that breaks down – all crises require action and invariably tools to be managed effectively.

There is no doubt in my mind that leadership teams in general have neglected their cabinets for years and are now feeling the consequences.  The following basic tools were either left idle in the cabinet or missing completely:

  • Effective communication
  • Effective goal setting and planning
  • Effective collaboration
  • Effective management of productivity
  • Effective succession planning

Time for a cabinet reshuffle

Leadership starts with understanding the job at hand.  It moves into equipping the required approach.  It must include management of the process.  Leadership only ends when the goal is fully completed, and the tools have been sharpened and readied for the next mission.  

Leaders that include a full post-mortem of projects stand a better chance of ongoing success.  Who did what, how well did they perform, what can be done better and what improvements will be made?

I see radical amounts of insanity at the level of government, business and individual.  People knowing full well that the existing approach no longer works but still, they continue.

Let’s each look at our cabinets and reshuffle what’s in them to meet the requirements of the day.

By Louis Gerke

Facilitator |  Coach | Trainer | Speaker

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