Every leader has exactly two options when it comes to people engagement and staff development. You are either a leader who:
Builds People Up
or Tears People Down
Leaders who are constantly and consistently building their people up are the ones who are perpetually looking for that gold nugget within each employee. The seek every opportunity to train, encourage, develop, and elevate others to greater knowledge, sharper skills, and higher performance every day. They know that the overall value and success of the company comes not from the talent of the leadership team, but from the talent of everyone collectively forging ahead to achieve the common goals.
Building your people up involves everything from proper training, resource management, accolades and awards, consistent and regular pay raises, and the opportunity to have a voice in the outcome of the organization. When leadership goes above and beyond to make their people have a vision, value, and voice in the company by elevating their efforts, it creates engagement of the highest level and generates a high performance culture that will be aligned with the company’s vision.
On the other hand, leaders that tear people down accomplish little to no lasting success. Employees that feel marginalized, have not gotten raises for a period of time (even when their leadership gets bonuses), or are dressed down by a manager will never be as committed to the big picture that if they had been built up. Managers who ignore seemingly insignificant issues that are actually bigger deals to the employees – such as working restrooms, proper working machinery, and sufficient lighting in the workplace – create a depressed work environment and are telling their people that they don’t care about their concerns, and that these concerns are nothing. Staff in these circumstances do not feel valued and will eventually disengage and leave.
There are certain leaders who both build some people up and tear some people down. Their justification for this is usually linked to favoritism for the peak performers and frustration from those who are struggling. This type of leader is inconsistent and creates a division in the workplace instead of building a complete team throughout.
But the best leaders are those who work with everyone to build their people up and not get frustrated over their staff’s progress. Even when an employee must be let go for whatever reason, there is still that willingness to see them grow and succeed even during the separation process. It’s a leadership mindset that shows strong vision, deep connection, and the willingness to make their most important resource – people – have relevance and value in the organization.
If you want to be a great leader, build your people up at every instance. You will build success, strong companies, future leaders, and solid industries when you can increase the commitment to the cause in your people by following this common-sense approach to leadership.
Today’s post is from author and consultant Dan Negroni. Dan’s new book that launches this week – “Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace” – helps bridge the connection with millennials in the workplace.
As part of our baseline assessments of every client, my team and I use launchbox’s proprietary assessment tool, BRIDGEdex, to identify where the significant disconnects exist between millennials and managers—between employee expectations and what they are experiencing in the workplace.
We have done hundreds of these assessments with companies of all sizes nationwide, across all industries. And despite the fact that the needs of those companies differed across industries, disciplines, and departments. Despite the fact that sales culture is different from accounting, and practices within law firms or insurance companies are different from engineering or public relations firms. Despite the fact that regional differences exist—San Diego is not the same as Des Moines, which is nothing like New York City . . .
We found managers’ top disconnects and frustrations with their millennials were strikingly similar across all companies regardless of location, size, or industry.
Managers’ Top 9 Disconnects / Frustrations with Their Millennials
- Lack of initiative and problem-solving
- Sense of entitlement
- Overly self-focused
- Too emotional
- Unrealistic advancement goals
- Inability to remain engaged and loyal
- Poor work ethic
- Not taking responsibility
Of course, these managerial disconnects look exactly like the reasons you’ve probably read about why non-millennials hate millennials. But that hate not only creates perceptions and clouds how non-millennial managers view, treat, and lead their millennial employees, but also reveals their biggest—often unknown or unseen—challenges and weaknesses when it comes to understanding millennials.
Because that’s the other thing we found: While non-millennials surveyed think they are great at doing the things their millennials need, their millennials decidedly disagree.
Millennials’ Top 9 Disconnects / Frustrations with Their Managers
- Unavailablity / too busy
- Lack of timely response
- Lack of positive feedback
- Lack of training / development
- Lack of consistent check-ins
- Lack of communication / consistency
- Lack of transparency
- Ineffective business planning
- Lack of trust
What does this mean? Simply put, if you think you are doing well at something and your audience thinks you are not, that disconnect is not only an organizational problem but also a personal problem that you need to solve.
If you as an individual can accept all that and own it, you will take the first step in changing your mindset and overcoming disconnects that reveal our biggest weaknesses and challenges in dealing with millennials—and in turn get them to change their mindset about you. That’s how today’s companies will bridge the gap between their non-millennial leaders’ skills and perceptions and millennials’ skills and needs in order to create an engaged, productive workplace that delivers results.
“Wait! We went through it and so should they!” non-millennials snap when they hear me say this. “Why should I change my work and the way I work for them? I’m not supposed to change; they are.”
That’s ridiculous. You are already so fantastic at being a leader that they need to change? It’s not “us versus them” and “if you’re not with us you’re against us.” How is that working, “us”?
How do we guide millennials to be their best selves and find their own relevance while still doing the work we need them to do? How do we create alignment between millennials’ expectations and what they are experiencing in your workplace?
It starts by changing our perspectives—with recognizing our duty to understand ourselves first and then working from the inside out and resolve these disconnects from us to them to become the best leaders we can be.
Need help understanding, engaging, and retaining your millennial workforce? Dan Negroni, Author, Speaker, Attorney, Kick butt business consultant, coach, and proud Dad of a few Millennials delivers actionable solutions. Different from all other millennial experts, Dan’s empowering business approach at launchbox, creates quick value and seamless connections with millennials and management each on their own terms. Using unique content and delivery methods that audiences respond to immediately he leverages results from the inside out. Allow millennials to be your secret weapon and maximize your commitment to them to innovate, create a culture of engagement and grow your businesses today. To start click here to grab your copy of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace or call them at 858.314.9687 for a free Coaching Assessment”
Pride is one of the chief downfalls of many a leader.
It doesn’t take much time to look and see real examples of leaders who allowed a prideful spirit to lead them astray. CEOs and executives, politicians, pastors and deacons, judges and law enforcement officers, celebrities, and even ordinary leaders in their work or homes have been subject to an elevation of pride which not only destroys their lives and the lives of those around them, but also taints those positions for some time afterwards.
How many times have we felt a sense of betrayal from people with these titles through no fault of their own, but because of the prideful attitude of someone in a similar role?
The symptoms are subtle but can be spotted early on:
- An unteachable spirit
- Manipulation to gain one’s own way or agenda
- A duplicitous life, one persona in public and another in private
- An unwillingness to serve
- A justification of behavior that is contrary to the role or vision
As leaders we must be on guard against many things within ourselves that would ruin our reputation. Here are 3 ways to place these safeguards in your life to prevent a prideful spirit:
Serve others without failing. A consistent focus on others takes your eyes off of yourself. When you put genuine efforts into serving others, whether in your job, your community, your church, or your own home, you will lift others up instead of yourself. Don’t serve others to gain more income, title, status in the community, or connections; serve to better those around you.
Build accountability partners into your life. In order to have people to hold you accountable, you must be subject to other’s view of yourself. Building people of accountability – such as friends, business associates, church members, mentors, coaches – in your life is good counsel for anyone to follow. These must be people who have integrity and a genuine concern for you and others in your life. Allow them unfettered access to what you do and an open forum to help you be more self-aware. Accountability partners can also be mutual – holding each other to standards of character and behavior. This allows each person to not be prideful and creates a stronger platform for honesty and growth as each one is looking after the other’s best interests.
Be teachable. We all have a tendency to get defensive and justify our actions. Yet in order to truly grow and not get complacent, you must be willing to accept any and all feedback to keep you in check. Ask yourself and others exactly what you need to work on as well as how to take the necessary steps to grow. If you disagree with any of the input, go to a reliable second source – most of the time, they will say the same thing. You must cultivate a desire to grow and not get prideful; that only comes from having a truly teachable spirit. If need be, ask others if you are teachable, and they will tell you. Willingness to grow is the only sure way to succeed and stay on the upward trajectory. Ensure that no matter where you are in your career or life that you are willing to learn and get better.
We can only change the leadership culture in our world if we shun pridefulness. By being an example of great leadership, we can show the next generation of leaders a better way. This can only come from serving, being accountable, and having a willingness to learn and grow.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud” (Prov 16:18)