As leaders we would all like to think that there is a magic formula to managing people and herding cats… my friends in the sake of honesty and full disclosure there just is not a wand you can wave, potion you can drink or a spell you can cast to accomplish this most important goal. It’s all back to the concept of connection. Connection with the team member on a root level that creates trust and builds a bond that seals the deal.
Now you are sitting back with your cup of coffee saying, “well that’s not going to be hard, I’m a likable person so why would this be difficult?” I am not saying it’s difficult if you are open to listening and accepting people for who they really are at their core. So, the challenge, if you want to call it that, is to position yourself as not a threat, an actual ally in the grander scheme of things, and please make note here: It only works if you are sincere.
Managing from your heart is the key, the true anchor point of all of your humanistic endeavors as a leader. People sense when they are being lied to, and if they don’t, you may have to ask yourself are you a really good liar? Or is this person just not a good fit for your organization? Either way here you need to step back and assess the situation both for your own internal well being and that of your team because being a liar will not work for anyone’s higher purpose and someone without the radar to detect that negativity may be a fish out of water as well.
All that said, step back and look at your team, acknowledge the beauty of its diversity and then you can really start to take on the task of management through connection. Look at every employee of yours as a person with needs and external motivation via an affirmation that comes from working for, and with you. Ask yourself what must I do? What must this organization do to create not just safety, but intrinsic motivation for the team member?
Your salespeople may externally appear to be motivated in a coin operated fashion, but is that really all there is? You may think your operations people may need the grounding of programs like a 401K with matching and your product, finance research and development crews are all looking for tuition reimbursement and internal educational programs… but I’m telling you that all of that may be true on one level, but when you get past the stereotypes you are going to be amazed what you find motivates people – here’s the rub, you have to truly care enough to find out by spending the time to learn through engagement. The true challenge here is you have to be open and vulnerable to share yourself to make the connection.
Please look around your organization and decide where to start the connection process today. I can tell you one thing for sure, when you start it will take on an energy of its own until your organization becomes a “Family” … and a family has trust in itself and they will bust their tails to turn goals into the reality that becomes long term prosperity.
Written by: Jay Rubin, Managing Partner at Emspire