I think a whole bunch of leaders are scared to do their jobs. I'm serious. The pressure of leading in today's world is scary even for those of us that have been leading for a long time. What are they afraid of? Well, it's actually more like who? It's not their boss, or their customers, or their vendor partners.
They're afraid of their employees.
Myth #1 - Leaders Are Too Busy
Newsflash! Everyone is busy! When leaders try to explain to the team that the reason they are unavailable is they're too busy it is embarrassing. Guess what? Your employees are busy too! Those lame excuses don't cut in 2015. (heck, they didn't cut it in 1915 for that matter)
The cop out strategy that leaders have used for years is the open door policy. Ha! Fail again! This ancient approach was designed for the sole convenience and power of the leader. Think about it...
"Welcome to my office, the one your coworkers just watched you come in to and close the door to speak with me. I'll be here behind my big desk reinforcing that I have all the power. Thank you making me feel better about myself."
Open doors are only good for one thing...walking out of them. When we stop thinking about our own convenience, and begin to place the employees above ourselves we will finally learn what it means to have an engaged workforce. Until that time, we will be trapped in a never ending cycle of corporate spin that isn't fooling anyone.
Myth #2 - Leaders Are Good Communicators
Consider the biggest time killer on every leader's calendar. Meetings. Don't tell me it's focusing on customers, or employees, or the competition. Meetings dominate life. If we're going to break the cycle of dominance that meetings play in the modern world of work, effective leaders will need to schedule time to use the open door policy the way it was intended.
Get off your butt...walk out the door...and start talking to your team members. Really talk with them. Don't parade around as if their life is changing because you've stopped by. They don't care about you that much.
They want leaders who will genuinely listen.
They want leaders who will follow up.
They want leaders who will invest the time to understand what is really happening.
They want leaders who will make decisions to make their work life better.
How About You
Are you comfortable walking the halls of your company? What about the hot spots in your organization? By the way, you have them whether you want to hide in your office and make excuses or not. Get moving...start leading...and make a difference.
I'd love to hear from you.