If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
Many employees in the midst of a workplace say that all they want is for someone to hear and respect them. They utter how great that would be even if little is ever done. That's real desire!
Why should they utilize their brainpower if no one will take note? Why try to be inspired to make improvements for the sake of efficiency or excellence if no one will listen? The answer is obvious: it would be dumb to try if no one recognizes my “super powers”!
The sad thing is that many bosses are busy giving direction and orders that they fail to listen, and their “gurus” decide to leave their brainpower at the door as they enter the workplace. The chief loses the tribes brainpower, the source of their creativity, innovation, productivity, motivation and commitment. Over-direction always gets in the way of ownership and preempts dedication. Orders are probably the weakest action a boss can take because employees consider orders to be demeaning and disrespectful, clear evidence that the boss does not consider them valued team members. Bosses have no faith or trust. They don’t trust their lieutenants to arrive at practical conclusions and deny them information, rationales, value standards and listening. These bosses are greatly limiting their own success. Superior leadership is listening to your team to receive their valuable input, and it is rewarded by their trust in you and their dedication to the job. It has significant positive bottom line implications to your company!
In this mode the boss provides information and support so that each employee can take charge of their own work rather than sit around and wait for orders to come down from the captain’s bridge. In this mode, the boss allows people to resolve issues on their merits because they know that authoritative declarations are self-defeating and destructive to the very commitment that gives delivery to innovation and productivity.
Thusly, the leader who places more faith in outsourced “experts” rather than see what they have right in their own nest is a devastating blow to employee morale and growth. Sometimes the person in the corner office forgets that the best is right in front of them. Yes, using an outside source to spice things up makes sense from time to time but when they lose sight of what’s right before their very eyes they very well could lose that very person that helped them get from A to B.
To be committed to the work, one must have ownership of the work. To have ownership of the work, one must be able to influence what goes on in the workplace associated with that work. And to influence the workplace, one must be heard and rationally answered by the guy in the corner office and suddenly the employee is at large to utilize their own motivations and start using 100% of their brainpower.
The bottom line is it all comes down to opening up ears! Listening requires practice and being present. Listening to the ones who do your work is your most important leadership skill. How better is it to lead people to treat customers and each other in the most outstanding way?! Think what you could accomplish if suddenly your own brainpower and commitment was multiplied by the number of dedicated and committed team members you have.
“I must follow the people…Am I not their Leader?”~Benjamin Disraeli
Recommended Reading: Great Post by Lolly Daskal fro Lead From Within “DNA of Dialogue”