Leading Organizations as if PeopleMatter:
Leadership Matters and People Matter
Leadership matters. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) famously demonstrated
empathy with his rank-and-le soldiery when he asserted that “an army
marches on its stomach.” An army needs to have its members at the utmost
state of readiness, whether physical, mental, or in terms of equipment. This
is especially so when the army is set to do battle (as was often the case for
the French army under the leadership of Napoleon). Soldiers whose diet is
decient are unlikely to be at peak tness to engage in combat.
Leadership matters, especially to employees. Astute leaders know that
employee well-being is an essential precondition to generating high levels
of motivation required to do their work tasks to any level of quality. Psycho-
logical capital (known as PsyCap), the development of positive human traits
in the workplace, is predicted to have a positive inuence on desired out-
comes such as increased performance.
Positive workplace environments are
acknowledged to contribute to employee condence, hope, optimism, happi-
ness, and emotional intelligence (making the acronym CHOSE).
tasks include ensuring that employees work in a positive environment.
Eventhe provision of on-site refectories or cafeterias may make a difference
in employee motivation. Singly and together we have worked in institutions
where on-site eating arrangements were poor. In one institution that we
know well the food service facility is tolerated by employees, as the location
is convenient and the food is cheap (albeit limited in cuisine). And, regard-
less of complaints to senior executives, the situation has not changed. This has
given rise to several knock-on effects. First, employees regard their senior
managers as insensitive and uncaring about their welfare and seek out other
examples from their daily work to conrm their grievances. Second, employ-
ees take longer lunch breaks, for example, to travel to nearby shopping
centers where the choice of eating places is diverse. Extending the conven-
tional lunch break period is regarded as a way to get back at their institution.
Third, employees unfavorably compare their own working conditions with