The Collective Question (TCQ): Episode 5 David Knight

Friday, April 24, 2020 at 9:20:42 AM GMT+10:00


On this week’s episode of The Collective Question, David Knight, Managing Director of Adventist Senior Living discusses how stewardship is critical in transforming a workplace’s cultural dynamics and how it positively impacts the relationships between a director and his team of employees. 


Being the leader of a large business can be a rewarding experience when the person can successfully balance achieving the company’s essential targets while ensuring their employees are being treated equally and fairly across all levels. However, being a leader can cause tremendous stress when you are under constant scrutiny for failing to achieve the necessary goals and employees are under duress from to a toxic workplace. 


“People want to be led by a person and sometimes as leaders, we think we have to isolate ourselves, that we have to be seen with no emotion, show no mercy and have no compassion. But I don't think people want that at all. They want people to know they’re being led by a human that is just as much of a human as they are.” 

David Knight, Managing Director of Adventist Senior Living


Stewardship is an important workplace structure that focuses on how people can treat themselves and other people within a workplace environment. When applied to the aged care sector, stewardship focuses on how a leader cares and manages the relationships between themselves, the residents, their families and the employees of their business. 


According to Knight, being a leader as a steward involves:

 

  • Creating an expectation for positive  behaviours and actions that employees can follow and emulate

  • Be prepared to receive constructive criticism and take responsibility 

  • Create a positive environment that allows employees to be comfortable enough to open up and express their emotions

  • Reflect on interactions with employees to solve problems in a manner that directly aligns with the workplace culture 


When solving different workplace issues, Knight recommends taking the colour approach. The colour green represents wise leadership and focuses on the opinions of the collective compared to the colour orange for unmoored leadership which is centred on how much an individual can gain for themselves in the situation.  


To maintain peace within the workplace, it is recommended the director takes the green approach, which involves an employer having open and honest conversations with their employees to clearly understand the root cause of the problem and find a solution that all parties agree with. However, employers can also apply the orange approach by mistake if they don't entirely understand the situation and fall back on old defence mechanisms when they feel that their actions are being criticised by their employees. 


“Having these conversations means that the organisation is embarking on a journey for culture, where the leadership team is driving the message of their culture while the staff have great building meters and ensure everything in the organisation is going smoothly.” 

David Knight, Managing Direct of Adventist Senior Living


Although it can be challenging for a business owner to account for their own mistakes and receive constructive criticism from their employees, being a good steward allows employees to feel that their own opinion is valued, allowing them to become more vulnerable and honest.


By Olivia Nunes-Malek, Boardroom.Media

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