I have to take EDSA every day of my life. Crowded most of the time as vehicles travel at the lightning speed of 30 kilometers per hour perhaps many times slower. And when traffic is light, I watch out for those dangerous, reckless and negligent bus drivers who race each other to get to their stops.
Now this got me thinking.
Bus drivers have a vision. They set their goals and have it within their sights. They seem to run over anyone and anything just to reach their goal and in the process could even destroy lives in the process.
Do you know that many leaders in business organizations lead like bus drivers? They have their set goals. In fact they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. All the works that make consultants like me proud. But here is the problem. They run over everyone, including their own employees, crash through their closest and most loyal people in order to achieve their goals. Their slogan in life is: “The end justifies the mean-ness!” Some do this consciously. These are Machiavellian monsters adorned with the charm and grace of a serial killer doing their thing while others are even clueless that they are doing it. Are they successful? Perhaps but their success is not sustainable. What it takes is an inspiring leader who knows he cannot succeed alone. A humble servant-leader whose mission in job is not just to achieve goals but to make his people become better through the process.
No one creates success alone. To win in business, you must win with people. Running over people will only get you so far. To create true and lasting success you must nurture and invest in your people. Here are three essential ways to do this.
1. CONNECT WITH YOUR PEOPLE
Great leaders know they deal with people and people have feelings. Machines do not. The more you are connected with your people the more you learn about them and the more you know them. In my two-day leadership workshop seminar I offer an assessment tool. And 90% of the time the participants are stunned to realize that they have been working with the same people for years yet they do not know them that well.
2. CARE FOR YOUR PEOPLE
People hate the feeling of being used. Work in itself is extremely challenging but bearable if you and I are working for a leader we trust simply because we know he or she cares. Work becomes unbearable the moment we know that our leaders behave like jerks using us to accomplish his or her goals only to dispose us like a used piece of tissue. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said it all too well: People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. People are more engaged at work and will work at their highest potential when their leader cares about them.
3. CARRY YOUR PEOPLE THORUGH
Great leaders guide their people, work with their people and bear the burdens with them. When things go wrong great leaders carry the blame, owns the problem and accept responsibility. This carries tremendous impact on the people as they are inspired to carry their leaders through as well. Leaders who grab the credit from their people’s labor and blame their own people for mess up jobs are jerks and they are the main reason why good people leave organizations.
4. CREDIT YOUR PEOPLE WITH RECOGNITION
Very high on the list of reasons why good people leave is the fact that people feel they are not appreciated. Many leaders do not realize that something as simple as a personally written “thank you” note creates a strong and lasting impact on the recipient’s life.
Leadership is not just about what you do. It’s all about inspiring your people to be at their best, bringing out their best and giving their best and everyone in the organization benefits from it.
Leadership is not just about rules. Author Andy Stanley said, “Rules without relationship lead to rebellion.” Rebellion does not necessary mean picket lines and work stoppage; disengagement from their work actually costs more.
Don’t drive your people like those jerks who drive their buses recklessly along EDSA and many of our highways. Inspire them, engage them and invite them on the bus with you and allow everyone to experience an amazing ride.
You know very well… “Do unto others… as if you were the others.”