Employee engagement doesn’t mean coddling or succumbing to every employee’s need or whim. Employers, you will always have more leverage in the relationship. Lately, I’ve watched as many of you have allowed the power dynamic to shift upside down. Given the dearth of talent and supply of qualified candidates, you are slowly letting the “inmates […]
We need to move towards not away from one another. I worry that lately, we are a culture that has embraced a “divide and conquer” mindset. Instead of “win-win”, we think “win-lose.” Instead of choosing to co-exist with people who think differently from ourselves, we further and further isolate ourselves from others who could potentially […]
There is alot of talk about compromise in the media lately especially as it pertains to our federal government. There is this general sense that if political leaders would just be reasonable then there is an easy pathway to finding common ground. While I am certainly a fan of win-win negotiations, I don’t always believe that compromise is the best course of action. Sometimes you have to stand on principle and do what you believe is right instead of what may be politically expedient. Courage can be a lonely place at times, but going against your core values/beliefs usually has much worse consequences. Some things should be non-negotiable.
In my experience there are two types of leaders: those who build alliances across the span of their career and those who leave casualties in their wake. It’s always a pleasure to work with people who operate in the former category. Leaders require followers and the more people who see themselves in your camp the better. At the end of your career, you will hopefully be able to look back and see many lives that you have changed for the better and a large number of mutually beneficial relationships. Approaching life from a win-win perspective just makes plain common sense.
It’s easy to get caught up in your own world. Since we pretty much live in our own head, it’s natural to filter everything that happens through how it affects us. However, leaders to need to elevate their thinking to incorporate the bigger picture. The needs of the organization as a whole need to take priority over any one person’s agenda. No leader is ever successful alone. You need employees, clients, vendors, professional advisors and a supportive family. You may sometimes have to sacrifice what you want or desire as an individual for the greater good.
Never allow yourself to get bullied in business or life. It was true on the playground when we were kids and it is true as an adult in your business dealings. I make it a rule to never to business with anyone I perceive doesn’t have my best interest at heart. Any dealing that is completely one-sided is not a good business deal but extortion. The good news is that once you survive a bad economy, it becomes pretty evident who the worst transgressors are. I sincerely hope that they end being held to account for their actions.
Admitting you don’t know enough about something to make a good decision is a sign of wisdom. Being open to alternative points of view and challenging you own conceits is the pathway to professional maturity. Listening without judgment is a prerequisite for effective leadership. Arguing for the sake of arguing or being unyielding in your positions is sign of emotional immaturity and intellectual bravado. This doesn’t mean that you don’t remain steadfast to core principles or have some non-negotiables, but if everything fits this description, then you are nothing more than a roadblock to success and progress.
In work and life it’s important never to forget that everyone has value and should be treated that way. I find that how someone regularly treats other people, regardless of their status or physical appearance, is a good barometer of that person’s character. In our society we have come to worship fame, beauty, power and wealth much more than we should. In all walks of life results should and do matter, however, they are not all that matters. Allowing a fellow human being to maintain his/her dignity and self-respect regardless of the circumstances is equally important.
Very few of us ever attain, what would be termed, sustained and lasting success. Instead, we bounce up and down (sometimes sideways) in search of the seemingly elusive goals of career success and personal happiness. In my experience, these two objectives are not mutually exclusive, but intertwined and critical to an individual’s sense of self worth and meaningfulness.
What made American industry great was that we had a solid albeit often informal contract between employer and employee. If you show up, put in your dues and do a good job, we will take care of you economically and provide a sense of security around your professional and personal well being. Hang in there and stay the course and there will be opportunities for advancement. We will also create a safety net to catch you when you fall and/or have to deal with challenging life issues. The overarching theme being that we are all in this together and should make the best of it. It is also why we created the largest middle class ever known to mankind and put great distance between ourselves and other economies in the world.
In organizations as in democracies the inability to foster constructive conflict is a troubling development. To grow and get better, there needs to be disagreement about how to best do things and find new answers to old problems.
I’ve always believed that a life is defined by the quality of your relationships. Whether it is at work or home, all of us should be looking to grow friendships and supporters along the way. The road can get rocky at times and you want to have others there to catch you if and when you stumble or fall. You’ll also need their helping hands and shoulders to stabilize you as you climb the next rung up the ladder.
Being smart with your money is an admirable quality, but being cheap or greedy is not. When you are fortunate enough to achieve some level of success make sure you spread the wealth. Remember the people who helped get you here because no one is ever successful alone.
In life and business, everyone has an agenda and that is OKAY. In fact, it is to be expected. Most people live their day to day existence in a subjective mindset.
The objective of a leader, especially a public figure, should be to bring people together and foster a dialogue that strives to bridge our differences and find areas agreement. The end result should be to tap into the greater good rather than pursuing a Win-Lose agenda.