After the 5th week of my internship at Fulkerson Kennedy and Company, I have been able to observe some issues in the workplace with the way the leadership structure is organized. I think that one of the biggest leadership issues that employees face in my workplace is the absence of the two senior partners most days. During my time interning I have only met the partners a handful of times as they spend most of their days in meetings, traveling, or working remotely at home. This absence of formal leadership on a day to day basis creates a very casual workplace environment. The senior associates, associates, and interns all converse very casually with one another, and most likely get less work done due to the absence of direct supervision.
Where it becomes an issue for the leadership structure of the organization I believe is on those days that the partners are there. When the partners are there, all of the employees are much less relaxed and much more serious. Although I think that the partners would actually like for everyone to be more relaxed and talk casually with one another, their presence inherently makes everyone more serious. Subsequently, this creates a slightly negative association with the days that the partners are in the office. In fact, the other day I had to sit in one of the partners offices to make phone calls with her office phone and one of the other associates walked by and told me that he got scared for a moment because he thought I was one of the bosses. This poses a leadership issue for the partners as they definitely do not want this association when they are in the office.
I think that there is a very simple solution to this leadership problem. I think that if the partners were to come into the office more frequently, even for just an hour or so each day, they would be able to have more visibility in the workplace and more visible day to day leadership. I also think that if all of the employees in the office did more team building activities outside of the workday with the partners such as a leadership or team building employee retreat, the partners could transfer their formal leadership in the workplace into a more informal, casual environment.