Personal preferences and symbolism
Leadership at the end of the year
The end of this year is approaching.
You, as a leader, are interested in giving your people an outlook, an idea of the future, an aspect that will keep them motivated for the upcoming year 2022. Save to say that the time of inspirational-motivational memes is over. Claiming that the next will be better, easier, or both might, on the one hand, turn out to be untrue and on the other hand, you will not have the knowledge or any substantial evidence to back this claim.
The question remains: how do you keep your people motivated?
A significant mistake is to assume that you can set the direction of what other people have to think about when evaluating the times that lie ahead. The author of these lines, I am single, have no children or partner, which means I will keep the Christmas time productive. I will catch up with work that has not been done yet, take classes that are available online on-demand, and after the days, look back at the productive time that I had (Christmas with my family was cancelled again due to the Covid situation). Often leaders now assume that their approach is the only right one. You are a leader, so you must be right. You have the career; that is your proof. You could not be more wrong.
Your approach of an n=1 evidence, which is, from a scientific point of view, no evidence, does not at all declare which is the right or the, in your opinion, wrong approach to the upcoming days. Work at Christmas as the price for the new heroes of work. No, thank you — this will be the answer you will hear, rightfully so. Move away from thinking that personal experience aligns with a truth that applies to anyone.
One general rule of leadership: it is not about you. It never was about you. It never will be about you.
Meaning and Relevance
Evaluating and deciding how important these days at the end of the year are for others is not your decision. Regardless of which leadership position you are in, refrain from telling others that you determine their values about the end-of-year festivities. Failing in doing so will result in you, as a leader, losing your social legitimisation. Consequently, your leadership work will become significantly more challenging or impossible in the future.
Better ask yourself some questions: which problems do your employees have now? Which challenges are the most important ones? Which difficulties need to be solved very soon? Can you help outside the workplace without being indiscrete or invading someone’s privacy? How well perceived is the organisation’s culture? How do you and how do your employees handle communication, conflict resolution? How do people see the leaders in the organisation? Did you invest in your employees? Or was that just a marketing slogan, and you brought in some externals you hired by the lowest price? Which factors became better and which became worse this year? Do you have your situation frequently evaluated from a neutral position? If no, why not? Is the approach based on a scientific foundation, and are the results openly discussed, evaluated, and followed up? Or do you only act based on personal preferences and your filtered perception presented to you by other leaders?
You may not always like the answers you get when asking these questions. However, a sustainable approach to better leadership delivery and highly motivated employees can only happen based on a scientific method, a practice-oriented application and an employee-focused leadership approach.
Once you decide to focus on your employees, ensure that this approach does not end with a one-off approach. Employees quickly see when you only once changed your leadership focus and afterwards went back to what you prefer over what the people like to see in the organisation.
Talent on the market is scarce. You, as a leader, are interested in having a long-term work relationship with everyone who works for you. This idea will only come to practice when you deliver an employee-focused, need-focused approach of leadership in which you refrain from putting yourself and your ego first. Your workplace is not your stage — it never was, and it never will be.
Good leaders practise servant leadership. Motivating people, attracting, winning, retaining and developing talent is based on excellent leadership. Your leadership will determine the success or failure of your organisation in the year 2022. It is your decision.
More about personal preferences, symbolism and the role of leadership when motivating your people in this week’s podcast: click here to listen and learn.
Excellent leadership is important for you?
Let’s talk: NB@NB-Networks.com.