Have you ever worked for someone that could drive a number but didn’t care what it took to make that happen?
People, processes and rules were not important. Winning AT ALL COSTS was.
When titled leaders are under pressure for results, it can be tempting to focus only on the win and to forget about:
- The lives of the employees
- The loyalty of the customers
- The perception of the public
- Or the future of the company
I was recently visiting with someone about the goals of young professionals in a specific location. She said that everyone wants to be a manager.
So I asked why:
- Was it about the title?
- The perceived power?
- The paycheck?
- The perception that it is an easier job?
She said they want to sit behind a big desk and sign things.
Instantly I visualized a “manager” sitting behind a big desk with their feet resting on the desk reading a newspaper. A clap of his hands and someone comes running with a hot beverage. A loud shout results in several people running into his office – varying ages, heights, and ethnicities – all cowering in fear. “Yes Boss…” (True story!)
Have you got a list of values that you hold so dearly, that they actually define who you are?
And I used to really struggle with those that didn’t share those values.
As a child, I would passionately argue my convictions and not listen to those that did not share my opinions. (Because they were simply wrong!)
As a young professional, I thought it was horribly rude for people to roll their eyes in disagreement – but the shaking of my head as others spoke – screamed how wrong they were. (And how unwilling I was to listen.)
Hi! My name is Chery, and I am a recovering opinionista! (…Emphasis on recovering.) Somewhere along the way, I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror, and I didn’t like what I saw.
So I began to listen more and talk less. (Not because I didn’t have opinions, but because I didn’t know how to share them and really listen.)
Along the way I heard personal stories from people who had opposing views about some of the values that I hold most dear. And I began to really consider what it was like to walk in their shoes and even wonder if I’d experienced what they had, if I would hold those same views.
In most cases, my convictions did not change, but my understanding, compassion and creativity increased:
Have you ever worked with someone that has a title but:
- Struggles to take a clear stand on heated issues, causing them to flip-flop so often – that no one knows where they really stand?
- Manipulates the truth to control the outcome?
Where there is smoke there is usually fire.
- And yet, far too often people stumble over the truth, and then hurry off as if nothing happened.
Several years ago I was asked to serve on a Board that was responsible for overseeing resources from the federal, state and local area.
To learn more, I did a lot of research and then decided to drive to the locations that provided those services.
I found the first location with no problem.
But when I followed my GPS to the second location. I found a police station. Then drove up and down the street and around in circles.
I tried to call but a recording made it impossible to reach a live person. …When I finally asked a police officer, he had no idea where the place was.
Eventually I drove down a little alley. Parked my car and walked into a building – that was right next door to the police station, with old lettering on it that read, “Community Center”. Inside a bunch of cubicles filled a large area that had at one time been used for community gatherings.
It was indeed the location I was looking for.