How are you engaging your employees right now? Are you inspiring trust and motivation and internal drive for growth, or are you disempowering them by holding to the stories of fear and domination in today’s economy? I met a business leader a couple of months ago, actually a quite successful business leader, who asked me if I could “Get him to stop throwing phones at his people” – I asked him if he wanted to, he said no. Pretty much end of conversation.
But I was curious. Here’s a guy making millions of dollars with his business and a nice size workforce. But how motivated are his people? Is that success sustainable when you “throw phones at people?” At that rate, when would the other “phone” drop?
See, in his mind his leadership style demands attention and gets results. Really? In his mind he’s justified because it’s a stressful time, the economy is diving and “people are lucky to have jobs and best perform at their best if they want to stay on board.” A little temper keeps it interesting. Makes a statement. Demonstrates power. Really? “It’s working well for me, I see no need to change it.” Really?
Right now is THE time, the time above all times to make sure that you’re connecting with your people, letting them know how valuable they are to you, listening to their concerns and helping them take initiative to do what they can on their career path. It’s not about coddling or taking care of them, but rather inspiring them to find ways to take control of their lives and careers in this economy and to create better results as a team. It’s the time to help them grow and become more effective leaders. It’s the time to get a grip, not lose our marbles. As scary as the economic or business climate may be right, now is the time to build a stronger team and come out of this recession better than ever. Really.