Leaders worth following believe their people will lean in to challenges when necessary. When faced with enormous challenges like staffing during a pandemic, it is not enough to ask people to “get in line”, “row the boat”, or “focus on the task” at hand. Something deeper is needed. People will lean in and fight for leaders they trust and respect -- and leaders they know in turn have their back.
What does it mean to have someone’s back, and to build the kind of culture that inspires trust? In my work over several years now carrying the GiANT tools and language, I’ve learned the awesome power of liberation. It’s a focus on caring deeply about the growth of people in relationships. Sales leaders grow in relation to their sales people. City desk employees grow in relation to customers and suppliers. Front line supervisors grow in relation to those turning the wrenches and programming the CNC machines.
Too many organizations press for results, placing their bets on alignment and execution. To that end, a fantastic toolset for alignment and execution is the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), made famous by the book Traction. I’m a fan because EOS has simple, practical tools. However…
Focus on alignment and execution, without a foundation in communication and relationships, will absolutely hinder employee engagement. There is a reason why survey after survey shows gaps in employee engagement.
Our promise is to narrow that gap by improving communication and relationships. Trust before Traction. This is done through a proven process of applying simple language, visual tools and interactive discussion on the following topics:
Leaders who are secure in self-awareness, humble and “for others,” confident and consistent in their communication will engender trust and pave the way for alignment and execution.
This morning I actively participated in another "Salon" with my friends and colleagues from the Behavior at Work Collaborative.
A phenomenal group of people, mostly from the Healthcare space, who are committed to having better conversations in building healthy cultures.
The topic this morning was a bit of free form around "your rock." What is that heavy thing that is, depending on your point of view, on your mind, in your way, hiding something underneath, or providing a foundation?
Every voice was heard. Mine was maybe 20th of 24-25 people, but it seemed to resonate. I shared that MANY of my clients are grappling, even with the best of intentions, to lead consistently and well given everything that comes our way.
I've included two of our visual tools below. Know Yourself to Lead Yourself is a reminder about our tendencies, which are well-baked at an early age. The 5 Circles of Influence tool reminds us to consistent and proactive... INTENTIONAL vs. Accidental, in all our relationships. Unhealthy patterns of behavior can emerge from being accidental.
Let's stop being accidental in our behaviors toward each other. Be intentional. Start today.
Jeff Meacham is an accomplished leadership guide, executive and career coach, and business development consultant. He brings a thoughtful approach to job seekers from lessons learned over 20+ years as a leader in talent and business development roles with organizations from entrepreneurial start-ups to the Fortune 500.