"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
I've spent many years justifying this phrase....'it's not personal, it's business." It's an important phrase, because it drives a level of accountability into the work of many leaders. We are often faced with difficult decisions that help bring a measure of consistency and fairness to our organizations, but at the individual employee level may be difficult to communicate.
Leadership is hard. That's why there are so few people who aspire to move into leadership roles. The work is simply too demanding.
One of the terms that has made an appearance in my world this year is totality. This is a powerful term. It forces me to really take into consideration all of the factors impacting a situation, not just the easy-to-obsess-over HR issues.
The result is that I take a step back a little sooner that I did in the past to make sure I'm considering the tiniest details of a situation. It's not that I wasn't thorough in the past; rather, totality is more of a mind set. It's how I think about situations, not necessarily how I manage through those situations.
Work Does Not Equal Life
The pressures of the modern workplace can easily redefine reality. It's as if our job should be considered the primary part of our life, and everything else must be secondary.
Why is that? My work is incredibly important to me, and I spend many hours doing it both at the office and at home. But my work is not my life.
Work is not the whole life of your employees either. When we define the world through a biased workplace lens we sacrifice the concept of totality. We miss out on all of the other pressures, challenges and battles that our team members might be up against.
That is not good leadership.
How About You
Do you know the battles your colleagues are fighting today? Or, is the only battle being waged this holiday season the one to achieve a corporate objective before the end of the quarter?
I'd love to hear from you.