To be driven by a career or have a mission to develop and create change.
This week has also given me so many inspiring meetings with both employees and leaders in completely different organizations. Among other things, I have met a leader whom I admire very much, she is a leader who, although she soon reaches retirement age, is so passionate about developing her organization. The reason she does it is because she has a deeper mission. Her job is not just about being a manager and climbing her career, but more about leading her employees to change society and the industry for the better. Since that is precisely what drives her and not her own ego to make a career, she becomes SO BRAVE in her actions.
She dares to make decisions that she is not quite sure from the start how they will land with either her superior managers or her co-workers. She does it because she can stand by her decisions when the decisions are made to develop and constantly make the business a little better. Employees have to take responsibility for their work and they always know what frameworks and values to follow in order to achieve the result that is set up and the most important thing, everyone feels seen and led.
This makes me think of the classic expression "are you a boss or are you a leader?".
It's usually said that a manager is a title while a leader is something you are. It is clear that leaders sound better than managers from that perspective and leading others is something that is better than "bossing". To "boss" then I think more is like pointing with your whole hand and not letting your employees think for themselves. We certainly do not want to go there.
What's a leader like? A leader leads the team united towards set goals and engages his employees to take responsibility for themselves. What can be dangerous, however, is if we as leaders are too kind to the level that we do not dare to make demands, do not dare to stick our chin out and think new. Just because we're too scared of how it's going to land with the receiver. Too scared to meet the employees where they're standing right now. Too afraid to take any uncomfortable opinions and respond to them. What I want to conclude is that if we are afraid, it can sweep away fantastic improvement proposals and forward-thinking innovative thoughts.
In order to gain confidence and the opportunity to be courageous in our decisions, we must start by listening. A prerequisite for listening is to let everyone speak – not just those who are heard the most at team meetings. But also those who are more silent. They probably have a lot of good things to share. But to find out, we have to take the time to listen.
"If I had time, I'd love to listen." yes, how are we going to keep up? I am absolutely convinced that the time we spend listening and being interested saves time in the end. You'll realize that you can delegate more tasks that don't have to lie on you, tasks you might do just off the pace but still take time. You will see that there will be improvement proposals that also affect your workload as well as your employees.
Another good leader who works as a bank manager that I met this week told me this which I thought was wise: "End the meetings with your employees by summing up the meeting, so both leave with equal worldview". If you also document it in a place that both can go back to, you will remove misunderstandings about expectations of each other, which creates security, saves time and gives responsibility to the individual.
My reflection question this week is: What are you driven by, to make a career or a mission to develop something?
Read Pia's reflections every Friday on linkedin.