In a small Tennessee town is a road with several signs that read “In honor of ______ veterans.” Each sign designates a different branch of the US Armed Services. The implication is that from one sign to the next, the roadway past the sign is dedicated in honor of veterans who served in that particular branch of the service. The idea is commendable, honorable even – if the road conditions matched the perceived honor the signs intended to convey. Instead, the road is bumpy, part of it follows a sharp curve, trees are low hanging over the roadway, and the aesthetic of the road and surrounding area leaves something less than honorable in the minds of those driving by.
You already know that people don’t quit jobs; they quit people. What makes people want to leave a boss might surprise you though.
Pull up most social media, news, or blog sites, and you’ll find that people are mean to each other. How is it possible that we treat each other this way, and what does it mean for you as a leader?
Ask any patient leaving a hospital who was most instrumental in helping them heal and recover, and they’ll likely tell you it was the nurses.
Leaders are made, but what is it about some people that leadership seems like something intrinsic to who they are?
A few years ago, I was in Miami with a group of people from college. After dinner, we headed to one of the malls. As we were walking into the mall, several people were panhandling on the walkway. A few of us gave them some cash, and those of us with leftovers from dinner gave them our food. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but I have to ask myself now if I’m really showing compassion to those in need by giving them my leftovers. Moreover, as a leader, I have to ask myself if I’m giving my people my leadership leftovers.
The revolutionary war gave the United States of America the freedom she professed in the Declaration of Independence. On our 241st birthday as a sovereign nation, the freedoms we enjoy are still a reason to celebrate. The division in our country, however, is nothing to celebrate. You, the leader of people, have the opportunity and an obligation to bridge the divide.
You’ve heard for years that compensation is not the primary factor for keeping talent at your company and keeping them job satisfied. Several other environmental concerns are what keep people working with you and happy about it.
When I started my Ph.D. program, the dean of the school said that those three letters behind our names would open up doors we couldn’t yet imagine. Having the right degree or certification is important and often necessary to land your dream job, build your income stream, or achieve your dreams, but leaders also recognize where credentials really don’t matter.
Leaders sometimes make the mistake of assuming that because they are the leader/boss/manager in the room they have an expectation from others to offer advice, give direction, and own the conversation. Those behaviors may have been what got you your leadership position, but if you want the respect of your followers, it’s time to make a change to your behavior.