Tuesday, October 29, 2019

If People Matter, Show Them

four smiley faces and one frowny face
(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)
"While leadership as a discipline is very, very important, the personal and interpersonal sides of leadership are every bit as important as the great leadership themes of vision, execution, strategy, and the like." - Henry Cloud, Boundaries for Leaders
I am rarely surprised by the answer I get from our followers when asked, "What is a leaders most important asset?" The resounding answer is "my people." People do matter, and they have a lot to say if only the leader has the ears to hear and the eyes to see.

A majority of a supervisor's time is spent on people issues. Your people deal with stuff, and that stuff affects every aspect of a person's life, including the workplace. How a leader deals with their people and their stuff will have a profound affect on the person, their performance, and the organization. We want our people to thrive and influencing their ability to thrive can be a challenge and a time and energy drain. 
"The time and energy that you do invest in people issues should produce better results and create teams and a culture where momentum and energy thrive." - Henry Cloud, Boundaries for Leaders
Happiness is a personal internal state of being, not something others do to or for us. So, how do leaders take care of their people? Leaders take care of their people in the following ways:
  1. Put your people first. Without people, the mission suffers.
  2. Create a leadership environment of consistency. Do not add unnecessary stress to your followers' lives.
  3. Build your teams and curate relationships.
  4. Do not meddle in the day-to-day interactions of the team. 
  5. Show compassion. Compassion may be shown as love or throughly defined boundaries. Inconsistency in how we respond to the actions of our people can in fact breed discontent. 
  6. Value your people through authentic praise and respectful correction. Realize not everyone wants open praise; some want to know they are appreciated without pomp and circumstance. Corrections should be made in private. Do not punish the group for the actions of a few.
  7. Show you care. If you don't mean it, don't say it. Your people have instinct and can sense if you are telling them what they want to hear and not responding in an authentic manner.
  8. Set healthy boundaries when caring for your people. Leaders cannot be the know-all, be-all for their people. Caring may mean the problem must be turned over to the professionals. It is okay to share the love.
  9. If people are your most important asset, make sure they know it! Walk the talk! Lead by example.
Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge - Digging a Little Deeper

Katarina Blom contends that you don't find happiness, you create it. She believes happiness is a skill that can be cultivated.

Pam McDonald is a writer/editor for BLM Wildland Fire Training and Workforce Development and member of the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee. The expressions are those of the author.

No comments: