“A leader is not an administrator who loves to run others, but one who carries water for his people so that they can get on with their jobs” ~Unknown
“In the past a leader was a boss. Today leaders must be partners with their people. They no longer can lead based on positional power.” ~Ken Blanchard
The other day I was lamenting at what a “high maintenance” employee I am to my bosses. I always want more direction, more praise for successes, more issue based criticism, and for them to just “get” how to manage me efficiently. It was at some point in this internal monologue (which was part self-realization and part bitch session) that I wondered whether my team might feel the same way and might be having the same internal conversations.
So I asked myself what I wanted from my superiors:
More acknowledgement of my successes – In my meetings with my superiors we end up talking a lot about where we need to improve and not much on just how far we have come.
More personal investment in the struggles and failures I face – Less “you” and more “we” in the discussions of what is difficult on the road ahead and behind.
Better prioritization of my tasks – Make sure I’m working on what is truly important.
Taking a look at my plan of action – Instead of just barking orders, take a look at how we will get there to assess whether the task and timeline is reasonable and whether you really want me to expend this many resources on it.
This covers most of the major points I have with my own boss, and I think that is a fair place to start with my team as well. If I can put these into place with my team, hopefully that will quell most of the monologue that may be going through their head. The natural step after that is one of the scarier questions for any leader to ask their team, “Where am I coming up short in managing you?” but at least I will be sure I’ve covered some of the basics.
We are often a product of our environment if we don’t consciously forge our own path. So ask yourself what you want from your boss and how they might be missing the mark. Then see if the same thing could be said of you by your team….then get to work addressing that!