Leadership Caffeine™ — The Power of Simple Gestures
There’s the factory manager who walked around the plant every morning greeting co-workers by name in his non-native language.
And the CEO who visited the production facilities in a foreign country twice in one year. During his second trip, he walked around the office and factory and greeted the 40 employees by name. He’s still a legend in that facility.
In my own case, it was the senior executive who would meet with me once a quarter over an early breakfast at Bob Evans near the office. I was three years removed from college and his care and feeding of my enthusiasm for my work and his support of my education and development set an early example for me. I’ve tried to repay his gift to me by mentoring others for the past three decades.
It’s the manager who took a chance and hired or promoted you into a role that you were arguably too inexperienced to occupy. Chances are you moved mountains to repay this belief in you.
There was the manager who when learning of a spouse’s medical challenges, provided extraordinary schedule flexibility. In a true act of selflessness, he picked up the slack himself instead of distributing the burden across other team members.
Another manager, concerned over how hard she was pushing her team, sent gift cards for weekend getaways to the spouses/significant others. She understood the critical importance of our support network and she went to the source.
There was the airline flight attendant who learned of an individual flying home after his retirement party. She gathered some quick facts and made an announcement to the entire plane. The applause brought tears to the new retiree’s eyes.
And while airlines get a bad rap, there was the pilot who personally briefed the passengers every twenty minutes on the progress of mechanical repairs. As lunchtime approached, he grabbed a few crew members and purchased sandwiches in the terminal for the entire plane.
There’s every manager who takes the time to listen and observe and then coach an employee. This shouldn’t be the exception in our world, but sadly, it appears to be the case. These managers are worth their weight in platinum.
There are literally dozens of opportunities every day for you to make a difference. From the fundamental act of paying focused attention to a coworker, to offering a personal morning greeting or engaging in the acts of management such as: providing encouragement or delivering respectful, constructive feedback, these simple gestures have a big impact on the people and environment.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
Too many managers spend a small fortune attending leadership classes and untold hours consuming the latest and greatest books looking for ideas that will give them an edge. In reality, the answer is in front of you. Put down your device, push away from the keyboard and offer your attention and courtesy and support and wisdom one encounter at a time.
Note: this post originally appeared at the Management Excellence blog at http://artpetty.com/blog/