Last week I was prepping a large pallet of books to ship to one of our clients and searching for a freight carrier. Every modern day business is incredibly competitive, and I send out bids assessing convenience, price, customer service, and ease of transaction.
Those of us that have been in leadership for any amount of time has probably been called reactive at one time or another. This reality struck me again as the result of a conversation I had with a colleague regarding some changes their boss was implementing.
All organizations are in a constant state of flux. If yours is not, you may be out of business in the next three to five years (if not sooner).
This past week I interviewed a Regional Manager at a large fitness chain as part of the field testing for my doctoral research. My questions focus on what brings out the best in employees and gets them excited about their work.
When I asked my participant what motivated him in his current role he responded that he could impact a person's life with a single "Hello" and a "Goodbye." Wow, how many of us understand the power of a single word spoken at a specific time.
The brain is one of the busiest (second only to the liver) and the laziest organs in our entire body. Our brains tend to focus on things which make it feel good, keeping us in our comfort zone. If your brain is left unstimulated, it results in a condition known as lame brain or dull skull, both of which fall into the untremendous category.
“The common denominator of success—the secret of success of every person who has ever been successful—lies in the fact that he or she formed the habit of doing things that failures don't like to do. It's just as true as it sounds and it's just as simple as it seems.”
This past week I moved one step closer to achieving one of my life goals; I completed my Prospectus hearing for my doctorate in leadership. This milestone includes the written front end of your dissertation and a briefing on your research problem and the methodology whereby you intend to go forth and gather data. My hearing was this past Wednesday and my readers and several faculty members who were with me since the beginning were in attendance.
Empowering is drawn out; enabling is dumped in. People who are willing to be developed need a hand up, not a handout. I'll do anything for anyone, but if you will not begin to pick up your own slack, I'm off to spend my resources on someone who'll use it to put their lives on a whole new trajectory. That’s genuine compassion and tremendous empowerment. Until the recipient owns their part of fixing life, the only thing they’ll want from you is more enabling. Give people the tools, and not just the solutions, and let them get to work. Invest in people wisely so you can help them and not hurt them.
I hear a great deal about culture, and it seems to be this elusive wild animal that may be kind or may tear up your organization. I think it gets blamed or praised for a whole lot of the success and failures business owners and entrepreneurs experience. Individuals are what constitutes a culture. Each is responsible for the energy and behaviors he or she brings into the workplace. Each employee must continually ask themselves, "Am I here to make a difference for the organization or am I here to make a difference for myself?"