What if your team supported your vision, your ideals and the excellence you desire for your organization? What if they had an unstoppable sense of ownership, loyalty and passion to expand your business? When we invest in hiring, training and empowering people, we can only hope that this will be the result. After all, we are paying them to do a job, right?
This mindset, although practical to leaders for all intents and purposes, is not at all reality for 71% of Corporate America based on statistics by Gallup. So what is happening that is creating these staggering results? How do our teams become so complacent and how do we lose good people? I have written previous articles about empowerment and engagement on this topic and have shared at several speaking engagements but I decided to approach this from a different angle. Let’s look at 6 ways we can unknowingly sabotage our leaders and our teams:
- Do not allow your Leaders or Team members any freedom to engage with creativity, talent, expression or experience – As long as they have been trained according to set standards, they should be happy. Besides, people don’t need to feel like innovative contributors …. right?
- Never allow your Leaders or Team members to participate in decisions or solutions no matter how much it may relate to them or their position. You are the boss and what you say always goes. They need to just suck it up and realize that you have more wisdom in these matters because you know the “Big Picture.”….. right?
- Write your financial goals based primarily on the numbers. Numbers do not lie. When it comes to necessary cut backs, cut additional training, conferences, recognition, incentives and benefits. In more dire cases, cut hours and pay. Your team will perform just fine and continue to give you excellence and optimum results as long as they are on staff…. right?
- When conflict or complaints arise about your key people, always listen to and derive your perception from those who are complaining, especially if they seldom talk about it. Formulate your perception and decisions primarily on what they say. It only makes sense that the Leader in question will just try to defend him/herself so why take what they say as truth…. right?
- Don’t share the vision with EVERYONE and don’t share too much vital information with your Leaders or Team members. The less you communicate, the less you have to explain. Just keep these things between the top leaders only. After all, people don’t generally want to know the purpose of why they do what they do or understand how they can work together on the same vision, that’s your job as the boss.…. right?
- Compassion, Verbal Encouragement and Tangible rewards are ridiculous and show weakness in a leader. Strong leaders are firm, authoritative and decisive. This is the only way to get people to behave with subjection, respect and loyalty…. right?
As unethical as all of these sound, the fact is, more than two-thirds of Corporate America functions in this way and they just don’t see it. All people want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to contribute and feel a sense of achievement from their own contributions. These points and more than these are common ways in which so many can sabotage their Leaders or Teams without even realizing it.
Lazlo Bock, SVP of People Operations for Google stated in a recent Forbes article, “People look for meaning in their work. People want to know what’s happening in their environment. People want to have some ability to shape that environment.” An even greater quote comes from the Good Book, “Without vision, the people perish!”
Your Leaders and Team members are the most important investment you can ever make. They are your ambassadors and the machine that drives your organization forward….. or backward. How well will you keep them fueled up and excited about producing? Believing in someone and providing the tools they need to succeed is empowerment.
Have you ever had someone believe in you? If so, how did it affect your drive, your loyalty and your willingness to go the extra mile to rise your greatest potential?