Last few months I have been interacting with my friends and colleagues in the corporate world through Facebook to know how they strive in the workplace and most importantly to understand how they are inspired by their managers and leaders. Well, one of the worst experiences shared by one of them was hearing from their leaders “Your problem is your problem. Get back to work”.
Really, is this the kind of culture that they are getting invited into? Then what will be the shelf life of the employee’s motivation working with him and with that organization. It’s high time that leaders wake up to the fact that success isn’t all about numbers and money but also is about building quality relationships and creating a connection with the organization by its values and aligning everyone with the organization’s goals.
Most of today’s leaders are tangled up with competing to attaining organizational success but in the meanwhile they miss the opportunity to step back and look to see if they have created an impact on the group that works with them. I know it would be challenging for the leaders to deal with the business, deliver results and at the same time keep that human aspect in the workforce and empower them through their values. But successful leaders have attained this by treating human as human beings not human doings.
Reinforce the things that can create an impact through your leadership and optimize your team’s performance by:
Connecting: It is all about building relationships with the team through empowering. Instead of being negligent be a little supportive and relate to what your team is going through and say “I am going to help you through this tough time” instead of saying “Your problem is your problem”. Spend some time with your team and understanding what is really happening will help you lead with impact. Giving your team a little more authority and responsibility will make them feel that they are valued and involved in the business that you do. Invite them in the decision making process and ask their suggestions before commanding results. After all being a little flexible by letting them work towards the group’s goals in their own innovative ways, rather compelling them to follow your own ways, can optimize your team’s performance.
Engaging: Let’s have a look at the Global IBM CEO study where John Fahey, CEO of National Geographic creates an environment where employee input and shared values drive the organization towards a successful Mission. Communicate with impact and, when I say that, it doesn’t mean sending out a circular will do. But the key to getting your team engaged is through regular communication with impact, listening to them and enhancing their presence with you. John Fahey being a CEO finds time everyday to sit with 30 different people from cross functional departments, talking about recent changes and internal values to everyone, evaluating employees on how they model or reflect values like innovation. He even finds time to have a bike ride with his employees and through this interaction with his employees he is able to know what is really happening. He says that there is so much to learn from listening to every level of the organization and he finds listening a great fun and incredibly valuable. This helps him give the opportunity to talk about where it is that they need to go” This engages the entire team of National Geographic to work for the success of their Mission.
Influencing: Network, provide value and inspire! That’s all a leader needs to do to influence his team. As I discussed in my previous blog post, creating your own sphere of influence at workplace is highly applicable to those who lead as well because ultimately he needs to get others to ride along with him, with the same enthusiasm that he has, to attain group goal. Influencing and creating networks will help him champion his ideas all the way to the top management and not only throughout the organization but even with stake holders outside the organization as well that help attain mutual benefits. Share your ideas persuasively and enthusiastically with contagious energy and make others inspire you.