Ashley’s talk, Managing Change, at the 2019 Book Manufacturers Institute Conference, April 28-30, 2019, Charlotte, NC. 57’52”
- Have you been in your position for more than a year? More than 2? 10?
- Do you have trouble remembering the last time you sat down with someone from your team and talked about something OTHER than the next project or task that is due?
- Could you share 3 facts about each individual on your team – that is NOT work related?
- Do you know what your employees want to do next in their job? For their careers?
Take a look… if you answered “yes” to more than one of these, you may have (knowingly or not) become too big to care as a leader. (Picture by Abbey Pansy)
Or… does this classify someone that you know? Someone… that you WORK for (or try to) on a daily basis? In one of the lowest points of my work career, I became “too big to care”. I focused more on what I needed to do to fix the overall problems – then on my team that could actually fix the problems.
It’s 2017. No time for lamenting where you are. Let’s move forward and get it done.
So how do we tackle our situation here? We now have managers that have potentially grown so big in their job that they have become comfortable, complacent, callous, careless, confused, or even just cranky … too big to care as a leader. Leaders have been recognized as those with the responsibility to lead others. Here is a few ways to help you (or a leader you know) get back to what’s important.
- Have a real conversation. One that doesn’t include work. It can be difficult, and for some, it seems remote to talk about things other than work but don’t forget – they are people too. They aren’t just a number. You hired them because they added value to the company – at some level. What value can they add to you? Your team? What are their interests? Find a few ways to help them open up and the work may open up too.
- Find out what makes them tick. Really. Pop Quiz. What is the motivation style for each of your employees? Is it the carrot? Stick? Do they do their best work alone? With periodic checkups? Take a few minutes to find out. Ask them to complete the free assessment the Talent Engagement Zone (TEZ) or buy the book Strengths Finder – and talk about the results. How can you give them more of what they already have… and one? How can you build that into the goals and critical needs of your organization and team? Ask.
- Share about what makes you tick. REALLY. It’s important to know the things that make your employees want to work harder – but your interests, strengths, and motivations are just as important. Where do your interests and theirs align? Where do they want to go… that’s similar (or even parallel) to where you want to go? How can you go there together?
It’s understandable that not everything will align. You may want to run the company, and an individual may just want to do a good job (and securely KEEP the good job). What doesn’t go together? How do you break the two up and resolve those differences? Sharing stories about yourself makes you a little vulnerable, but it also opens your employees to the REAL you… which will help them better understand and better relate to you. No one’s perfect, right? It’s ok to let them see it, too.
The year is young and the snow is still cold. Focus on your 10% and show you’re not too big to care.