I’m an amateur on leadership. But lately, I’ve been observing it as I watch those around me as I take on a new responsibility at my work place. As I watch people interact with me, I notice this:
Some will appreciate you. Others will ignore you. Some will ridicule you. Some will despise you. And some will band with you. The path of the leader – one who wishes to raise their voice and make a difference is this.
This to me is the reaction of the work place, for better or for worse, to me being in a leadership position. I can see it very clearly in the way people look at me or react to me. I find that some are encouraging of me doing what I am doing. They appreciate the effort I am making and in turn, I appreciate the effort of my manager and what he is doing. He works his tail off and stands up for what he believes in.
I notice that some are indifferent and ignore me. Those I once knew or don’t know very well turn away when I am around. Perhaps I said or did something in the past or someone represented me in a way that deters their interaction. It is the way of things I suppose. I know I’m not perfect. I see groups of people in the organization forming – small clans of people, but none united under a single banner. I think this is the primary reason for people ignoring me – who I am and what I represent does not resonate with them and their clan.
Others still are likely ridiculing me, though not directly. I’ve put my foot in my mouth a few times and perhaps been a bit too communicative with information in the area of the company I work for. I don’t doubt that some are annoyed by this. Others I see resent me and think that what I am not worth the position I am in or even being an individual contributor. I can tell by the tone of voice when I talk to them, or how they respond to a request to catch up. It is just reality – some people despise me and I accept and embrace that reality.
There is another group of people – those that will band with you. I know a few such individuals in the organization and I am thankful for their friendship. I can see it in their eyes – a sincere desire to work together and get to know each other. They would go to war with me if I decided on such an undertaking. I am thankful there are those who care enough to give of their precious time to get to know me and work with me.
Just try thinking like a leader in your organization. Your eyes will be opened to the views and opinions of those in it. You may see the different clans or you may be fortunate to see everyone united under one banner, in the way that William Wallace united Scotland in Braveheart. I think I could do that for the organization with a bit more courage and guts. Could I unite the clans within and rally everyone under one banner, united to one cause? Or am I utterly delusional to think so?
I can certainly try. It starts with fixing communication to everyone more consistently and regularly. It starts with talking to people about their lives and individuality. It starts with fairness and a more aggressive compensation model to the regular worker who is doing their job. Pay people for their good work and retain them through competitive salaries and bonuses. Don’t create a pyramid whereby workers at the bottom feel cheated and less certain they can retire comfortably. Give everyone a sense of security and well being and then show them how the organization will achieve it. Perhaps one day, I can do this for the company I am a part of. Or maybe it will be the one I start…