One of the key tasks of an extra-ordinary leader is to engage hearts. Too many principles and mission statements are put around the workplace for employees but not many resonates with their hearts. The disconnect that people have with their organization leads to declining monetary results and demotivated work force.
Leadership is not about popularity, it’s about integrity; it’s not about power, it’s about purpose and it is the primary task of every leader to transform workplace into a place of realized genius. I worked for a company where the country head focused on numbers only. Within few years, he had taken the company to higher revenues but his lack of commitment with the growth and development of employees was paving way for an ultimate disaster in the future. Within few years, the company stood as number one in demotivated staff, a lifeless workplace, lack of trust in leadership , every person for himself (a bunker mentality) and the numbers started to fall. Soon the stories of disengagement of employees started spreading. And then the need of visionary leadership was identified. This new leadership (of which I was also a part) changed the gears. Employee engagement became the number one priority. Everyone was given a clear sense of future vision and they could relate their growth in company’s growth. The managers stood by their teams, started taking the ownership of every good and bad deliverables of the team, instilled passion within all the employees by engaging their hearts and minds. Teams were appreciated for their good work, top talent were exposed to corporate leadership and concrete plans were put together for their career development. Employees were liberated to dream big for their future and the leaders helped them to move up the success ladder. It was no more a place where people would come to work just to pay their bills,it emerged as a powerhouse where lives were transformed from good to great. The brilliance of empathy and the spark of shared vision spilled over the entire organization and today the baton is passed to a new set of leaders and they are doing a magnificent job. They are not only living the values and the passion that was once instilled but are making it even better.
It is important for us as managers, as leaders to inspire our teams to own the company’s vision as theirs and invest their energies in it. We need to give them the clarity of our goals and also make them understand the implications. We as leaders should compliment our teams by truly listening to them. Either you will be given a bright idea for brilliant business results or you will discover the weakness that needs to be addressed before it erodes the entire system. Lubricate your leadership skills with compassion and respect for every single person that you come across every single day of your work week.
REWARD people of their hard work and RECOGINISE their undying passion to deliver the best. I still remember, it was my son’s 11th birthday and I was stuck at work. I was calling my son after every hour promising that I will be home in next 30 minutes and then the clock struck 9pm. I walked out of my cabin and looked around; my team was still working and the leader inside me was holding me back to walk out of the office and get home to celebrate my son’s birthday; the mother inside me was embarrassed for not being able to be with my son and when I know how important it gets for a single parent to be around their kids on important days. Suddenly, an idea hit me and I called my kids to the office and arranged a cake and dinner for the team. We took a little break, celebrated the birthday and got back to work. The team felt great not because they were hungry for food but what they always cherish is that their manager never left them instead made them feel like a family. But the beauty never ended here, the next morning I received an email from our VP congratulating all for immaculate results and specially appreciated my gesture of staying back. I remember,I felt honored.
Majority of the times, we consider that our employees are mature individuals and don’t need a pat on the back, a warm smile or a thank you note … we are wrong here. Each one of us needs appreciation and recognition. It is a natural phenomena, even God promises rewards for the good deeds and recognizes the pious. Remember, you always get more of what you reward. Learn to reward the behavior you want to see repeated again and again in your organization. Let every single employee know exactly what success looks like by recognizing those who are doing it.
Give your people the freedom to fail and you will be astonished by the hundred new ways that they will discover to succeed. Their passion to succeed will resonate with your vision of creating the most successful organization and together all will win and live better lives not only as accomplished human beings but as phenomenal professionals.