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Self-inventory is a key component of leadership, and I’m no stranger to it. It’s been proven time and time again that leaders who foster self-awareness develop tools for leveraging their strengths and confronting their weaknesses. As a result, they earn credibility and cultivate relationships based on trust and respect. Furthermore, they remain open to new ideas and constructive criticism.
For all of these reasons, I was inspired to do a self-inventory when reading the article “10 Reasons Why You’re Not a Leader” by Paul Sohn. In it, he discusses many ways leaders can fail their team in their quest for results. While going through the list, I asked myself the following questions:
- What are ways Fusion gets it right?
- Are there opportunities for improvement?
- As a contract manufacturer, are these suggestions a good fit for our business?
Here are a few of the results below:
- Performance. According to Sohn, “Real leaders get results.” Performance was one of the easiest metrics to measure. Fusion OEM has been profitable every year since our start in 2002. Reinvesting these profits in the company is where our success lies.
- Ethics. How did we get our results? Was it through manipulation and burning out our employees? On the contrary, our employee engagement levels are high, and we consistently win awards based on employee feedback, including the Best Places to Work in Illinois and 101 Best and Brightest Places to Work for in Chicago.
- Indifference. Sohn argues, “The real test of any leader is whether or not those they lead are better off for being led by them”. I deeply care about the personal and professional success of each employee, and Fusion supports their goals with our Wellness Program, Employee Check-In Program, and much more.
- Labels. Ineffective leaders are quick to limit the abilities of their employees by not exploring opportunities to maximize their skills and talents. Since one of our Core Values is “Be Flexible”, our employees demonstrate freedom from titles and assumptions every day.
- Stubborness. Part of being an innovative contract manufacturer means thinking outside of the box when troubleshooting and navigating challenges. If we consistently stuck to the status quo, we’d never get anywhere. Being a world-class contract manufacturer is one thing, but being commercially flexible to our clients is where we separate ourselves from the competition.
- Turnover. We enjoy exceptionally low turnover rates for the manufacturing industry, primarily due to hiring for attitude, not for aptitude. Our team genuinely celebrates each other, and it impacts the quality of our work environment and products.
- Greed. Consistent acknowledgment of exceptional performance in a manner that is meaningful to employees has proven to be an effective method of increasing individual and team engagement, satisfaction and retention.
Today, the OEM contract manufacturing industry is changing faster than ever before. There’s a scarcity of talent, more diversity in the workplace, an increasingly mobile workforce, and innovative technology. With these forces at play, strong leadership is necessary for companies to survive and thrive. Part of being a strong leader is examining my leadership with a self-inventory. A company that values self-awareness gains credibility and respect. I encourage every business leader to do the same.