Closing the Gap Between Leaders & Their Teams
I was recently reading this great article on Inc. about extraordinary bosses – which seemed timely, considering our recent release of The SuperSTAR Leadership Model: Good Boss, Bad Boss – Which One Are You? Geoffrey James, the writer of 8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses, made some really great points. As I was reading it, I found myself ruminating over some questions that leaders could ask to dig deeper into each point he outlined. Whether you’re a leader or hoping to become one someday, these questions would be worth your time to wonder about.
1. How would you define your workplace? What words would you use to explain your experience?
2. How would you define your role as manager? How do you determine what responsibilities you delegate and which you own?
3. How would you define the role of your reports? How do you view them? Treat them?
4. How do you inspire change? What’s your vision, process and source for initiating change?
5. How do your employees react and respond to your invitations for change?
6. How would you explain the morale and climate of your workplace?
After answering these questions, attempt to answer the same questions, but from an employee’s perspective. Even better, ask one of your employees to answer these questions on his own or in your presence, whichever he feels more comfortable doing. I’ll let you in on an insider’s secret to PART II: if you’re scared to invite an employee’s insights into the process, that’s a sure-fire sign you’re unwilling to consider how others are experiencing you as a manager. This is always a red flag. If you’re worried about what they might say, ask yourself WHY?
The last part of the process is to become aware of where each of your answers differ, so that you can work to close the gaps that are getting in the way. You are bound to have different answers, so don’t get discouraged when you do. It’s more a matter of making sure they’re on your radar, so that you can work to make your experience and your employees’ more aligned. The similar the experiences, the more in sync you’ll all feel.