I recently visited a high school that has invested years teaching their students to be activists.
While that effort alone is impressive. The uncommon skill they are teaching, and modeling for the students is even more so.
Through instruction and experience, their students are learning that a healthy culture is a balanced culture. And that in a balanced culture it is possible to think critically and to be compassionate.
They are learning how to shine a bright light on truth with data and personal experiences. …While getting involved with, and loving people that have made choices they disagree with.
They are engaging people and growing their cause because of their unique approach. And the impact they are having on the students, families and the community is beyond impressive.
What those students and their families may not realize:
- Is that it is uncommon it is to learn to balance challenging concepts.
- This skill will benefit every part of their lives in the years to come. (As individuals. with their families, in the businesses and non profits they will serve and within the communities and nation they will live in.)
Now imagine the cultures you are a part of:
Are Truth and Love strategically poured into the foundation and the future?
Leaders, can you relate to this?
Empowerment is one of your core values. It hangs on walls throughout your building.
You’ve hosted meetings, waved your magic empowerment wand and reminded people that they are encouraged to a take greater level of ownership in your business.
However, for the most part your employees aren’t responding.
Below are 5 reasons they aren’t taking ownership –yet!
I recently went into a store to pick up an order for someone else. When I arrived, I asked for the supervisor of that department by name. She was gone for the day, so a teenager tried to assist me and I proceeded to ask for the order by name and then by description.
The teen was was unaware of the order and asked her two coworkers for help. (Both of them were in their late 50’s.)
Her coworkers just shrugged, said they didn’t know anything and walked away.
So the teenager looked everywhere she could think of, and then asked one of her coworkers for help again.
The elder woman snapped at her and walked away again.
Once upon a time I worked for a charismatic leader with a serious set of skills. Someone I learned from constantly and deeply admired …
- Until I caught him in a lie.
- And then a second one.
- A third one.
- A fourth one.
- And finally a fifth one.
The crazy part was – I wasn’t hunting for lies. I literally kept tripping into them – all five in a very short amount of time after years of working together.
When I confronted for the last time. He said, “I don’t know how you keep finding these things out.” No denial. No excuses. No apology.
A short time later – I “fired him” by turning in my notice.
Titled leaders and employees can all be tempted to overlook honesty because of skill.
This weekend, we spent time with my sister and her family. Several years ago they adopted a three-year-old little boy.
Jason was born with a genetic condition and under the influence of the drugs and alcohol that his birth mother used during her pregnancy. Collectively, all of those things impact his cognitive abilities.
Jason is a beautiful soul that loves life, people and all kinds of animals. But there are days that he struggles with emotions, decisions and expressing himself.
Over the weekend, I heard stories from his big sister and his mom about times he is having a challenging day. In those moments, they’ve heard him coaching himself with words like these:
- “Gotta be nice, calm down.”
- “You know that’s disrespectful.”
- “It hurts her feelings when you do that”
- “Why do you do that?”
- “I don’t know why, it’s just hard sometimes”
When I shared the story with my husband he was impressed that Jason was trying to use logic to govern his emotions.
He is a pre-teen with the mind of a little boy and a heart that is more mature than many adults.