Is Your Most Important Leader Overlooked?


By Phil Harwood 

In many organizations, the most important leader is not who you might think and they are often overlooked. The most important leader is not the CEO, President, General Manager, Controller, or even the top salesperson. So, who is this person? Give me two minutes of your time to explain. 

The most important leader in many organizations is the crew leader, although you might call them a supervisor, shift lead, or manager. The title is irrelevant. This is the person responsible for what’s happening on the front lines. More than anyone else, they have a significant impact on employee retention, customer satisfaction, and profitability. They will make or break your organization. Yet, they are often overlooked. 

But because they are on the front lines, they are indispensable. This means that they are often the last person we think of for professional development, continuing education, or skill development. We need them on the front lines to drive production. 

Others in the organization are more available to attend seminars, conferences, and online events. Senior-level and mid-level managers can step away for a few hours, or a few days, and the wheels keep turning. But pulling a crew leader out of production is often not an option. 

I’ve attended hundreds of conferences over the years and have rarely seen crew leaders in attendance. They are back home, driving production. I get it. But there has to be a solution to this dilemma. If these people truly are our most important leaders, how can we not invest in them? And, more to the point, how can we do so without sacrificing production? Is that even possible? 

The good news is that it is possible. The key is virtual, on-demand education and professional development. One of the best examples of this is our Great Crew Leader workshop. The big idea behind this workshop is that every crew leader (supervisor, manager, etc.) has the potential to be great. The way to move toward greatness is to understand the five essential roles of being a crew leader and to identify specific ways to improve in those five roles. 

This workshop walks through each of the five roles and provides a quantifiable way to measure a person’s current status, which then provides a basis for measuring improvement. This is one of our most popular programs for a reason. This workshop is available by itself or as part of our all-access pass.  

Now go forth.  

Tags: Leadership , Development , Improvement ,