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Why does a good leader crave knowledge?

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Leading is all about doing the right things right. It is easier when you have right tools to get realtime data of essential business factors.

When data is collected and visualized smartly, it becomes much easier to make decisions and prioritize actions. Often, company's professionals have a great deal of tacit knowledge that is essential for business, yet kind of hidden. This very knowledge could be pivotal in developing the business's services and operations.

High quality data on operations and services reduces unnecessary work and highlights important tasks. This article discusses how to utilize surveys as a source for human centric data.

A few years ago, I realized that good surveys function as a mirror of reality. This reality always exists, whether we know it or not. So a survey doesn't collect any extraordinary data or create new reality; rather, it assesses the existing current state of the business as comprehensively as possible.

Think about what it would be like to manage a business without having a clear understanding of the reality it faces. Without awareness of the truth, good management would be almost impossible. High quality data is an excellent tool for prioritizing all sorts of activities. When combined with tacit knowledge of what is essential to the business turns data into something far more valuable - business insights or even wisdom.

Still, I've come across situations in which people didn't want to know what the truth was. Why is that? There are probably many reasons. The following occurred to me:

1. Out of sight, out of mind

The saying goes, "Out of sight, out of mind." But not knowing the truth doesn't make it go away. It just means it's not in our consciousness.

2. Lack of long-term vision

If a company doesn't have a shared dream or long-term plan, it often isn't willing to make sacrifices or investments. But it would be beneficial to think further ahead and invest in sustainable development.

3. Fear that the truth is worse than it actually is

We might be afraid that the truth is so bad that, for example, we shouldn't even bother conducting a employee experience survey. Yet often, the results are more positive than we expect. Problems in businesses are often caused by misunderstandings and a lack of communication, which can usually be resolved by talking about them. But first, we need to know what we should be talking about.

4. It creates more work

Often, people see investigating the current state of business as additional, pointless work. But what if understanding the current state actually reduced the amount of work, because we could prioritize the important, impactful tasks and stop wasting time on things that don't matter?

5. Traditional survey tools make it hard to understand what needs to be done

We might not trust that a survey could provide us with accurate information about our business's reality. For example, a customer satisfaction index of 3.73 doesn't tell us much. A customer feedback survey should give us an understanding of the most significant strengths and the most important areas for improvement, so that we can prioritize effectively.

Why lead with Emotional indicators

In addition to job satisfaction, there are now new indicators of workplace wellbeing, such as measuring enthusiasm, commitment, mood - even sentiment expressed in free text form.

The purpose of their analysis is to gauge employees' emotional state and wellbeing. It is understood that these have a significant impact on the quality of work produced and, as a result, on a company's bottom line.

The starting point is that every human being controls their own thoughts and emotions. This is true, but the challenge is that many people aren't very good at it. They might not have the tools, the understanding, or the mental fortitude to do so. For some people, external factors also influence their state of mind more than others.

The purpose of these emotional indicators is to understand the truth and the current state of affairs, so that, as a leader, you can help and support your staff in their personal growth. Additionally, you can identify external factors that, by improving them, would enhance your employees' wellbeing. Oftentimes, these solutions don't require a financial investment, but rather involve providing mental support and a sense of being heard.

I would compare emotional indicators to a fitness test. Just like our mind, our physical fitness is in our own hands. If we were perfect masters of our thoughts and bodies, we would all be in excellent shape, both physically and mentally. But that's not the case, and we need external motivators, like coaches and leaders.

A fitness test measures physical fitness through different exercises. Once we know our current level, we can create a training program that reflects our future goals.

A leader uses emotional indicators like mental fitness tests to identify the sources of wellbeing and remove any obstacles. When a survey is like looking into a mirror of reality, it should be done frequently, so that we can stay on top of the situation.

Surveys that are conducted once a year should be replaced with shorter, more frequent pulse surveys. A year is a long time, and a lot can happen in that time. If surveys are answered honestly, they can serve as a great source of feedback and a tool for development. 

Are you ready to lead your business with knowledge. Try Zeffi survey tool to have in depth understanding of what need to be done next!

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