I’m curious as to what you’re seeing and experiencing in your organization since November’s election. Specifically, I’m curious about whether or not leaders have seen a lack of cooperation among employees.
I’ve been seeing employees harboring resentment for each other because of each other’s politics. When this is carried into the workplace (even if it’s not openly discussed), the result is often a lack of cooperation, even undermining, resulting in a decrease in productivity.
As a leader, how do you get things back on track in your organization? How do you lead when your employees may even resent you if your political views are different than theirs?
So many people, on both sides of whatever “the aisle” seems to be anymore, are digging in their heals, not communicating, not respecting each other as human beings. There is a lack of civility. While this article is not about politics, I can’t help but think that the recent election which seems to have divided this country has likewise divided the workplace.
This is a real life example of when it’s really handy to clearly define your organization’s “WHY?”. When leaders have this under their belt, there is a strong likelihood of successfully reminding everyone why you’re all doing what you’re doing - - together - - and the purpose that’s bigger than any of you. It’s more likely that people will put their differences aside, polarizing as they may be, for the sake of the cause in which they’re emotionally invested.
This holds true for leaders wondering how they’ll be able to successfully refocus their team and maintain - - or maybe even regain - - credibility and their team’s respect. How do you lead in this challenging environment? I’ve spoken with many leaders having this question.
It’s not unusual for organizations - - be they a family, company, sports team, etc. - - to have an experience that challenges their cohesiveness. This may be that time in your organization. Often, it’s beneficial to employ the expertise of an unbiased 3rd party (like Leader’s Learning Lab - - shameless plug, I know) to break down those silos, rediscover common ground and get productivity back on track.
If this is “the elephant in the room” in your organization, call it out! Continuing to ignore it gives it power and things fester only getting worse, not better.
You’re the leader. And, this may be one of those uncomfortable, yet necessary, conversations needed in your organization right now. I’m here to remind you that its part of your responsibility to make sure that happens.
Regardless of the recent election results, those of us fortunately to be employed have jobs to do. Let’s gidder done!
What are you seeing in the workplace? Jump into the conversation below!
Please comment with your thoughts and questions below. If you enjoyed this post and/or know anyone who might benefit from reading it, please share it.
I’ve heard many business leaders with complaints similar to, “Why don’t my employees think for themselves?” or “Why do I always end up doing other people’s jobs?”.
As the leader/CEO/President, it’s often a big waste of time and money when you spend your time doing the job(s) of employees you’re already paying. Not to mention, you’re quite an overpaid manager. Plus, you’re likely the most passionate & qualified person in your organization to set the vision and direction. If you’re not filling that role, who is?
Unfortunately, unless your employees share your passion for your cause, it’s a long shot that you’re going to be able to genuinely motivate them consistently and for the long term. If you’re lucky, you may get occasional bursts of engagement by offering incentives and pep-talks. If you simply hire for technical competence and not for culture, I’d argue that you’re expectations are unreasonable that your employees will act and perform like a team. Instead, you’ll be hiring people who do a job from 9 to 5 to collect a paycheck. They won’t be engaged and you’ll likely be the one picking up the slack. In other words, they will be delegating to you.
How can you stop your team from delegating to you? Begin with the end in mind.
If you want your employees to be as engaged, reliable and creative as you are, you’re going to have to start by hiring people who are excited about the same cause you are. Your drive is fueled by something internal. There’s an emotional connection for you. In this respect, you’re not so unique. Human beings are hardwired to do just about whatever it takes to build, protect and advance a mission to which they are emotionally connected and is bigger than they are (eg., being a parent, athletes setting their sights on the Olympics, landing on the moon, etc.).
When everyone in your organization is excited about what your company does and why you do it, members of your team step up because they want the cause, and everyone associated with it, to succeed. They also don’t want to let their team down with their own poor performance. In other words, they willingly and enthusiastically share the load. You’ll find that they’ll even wrestle you for things on your “To Do” list so that you can focus on leading the organization.
Bear in mind that as the leader, when you’re clear about why your organization exists and where you’re headed, only then can you hire people who believe what you believe, who share your passion and are energized by your vision. Unless you’ve taken the time to define these elements and can effectively communicate them, you’re not going to be able to lead anyone in the direction of your goal or give them a reason to follow you.
Here’s your challenge: evaluate your current team and determine who is passionate about your cause. Other than a paycheck, you’re not doing anyone any favors if they’re not excited about where your organization is headed. Let them discover and pursue their passion.
Please comment with your thoughts and questions below. If you enjoyed this post and/or know anyone who might benefit from reading it, please share.
You fancy yourself an entrepreneur, a member of the 6% of the U.S. population (according to the Kauffman Foundation) who has what it takes to build, sustain and/or lead a going concern (defined as one’s main occupation, established 5yrs+, at least 50 employees). Rare air. You’ve likely put a lot on the line and made a lot of financial, personal, emotional & physical sacrifices in order to see your dream through.
In my experience, regardless of size, most of the companies in that stratus, although perhaps successful, aren’t GREAT companies by my own measure. To be more specific, while “Rome may not be burning”, most companies lack that special spark - - that infectious energy - - that draws people in and makes them yearn to be a part of it. That same energy draws in top talent, customers & partners/alliances, and all critical components that aid in championing the entrepreneur’s vision.
A logical question may be, “from where does that infectious spark originate?”. The answer is in discovering the very specific reason WHY the company exists in the first place. What is the importance of what your company does and WHY does anyone care? As Simon Sinek states, “People don’t care what you do, they care why you do it”.
What is the importance of answering this simple yet often difficult question? Once the entrepreneur clearly understands WHY they are building their company and WHY the company exists only then can they tap into that infectious passion that drives their vision and energizes everyone around them to help in furthering the cause. Yep, the cause. It’s rarely about the business. The business is merely a means to an end and a tool that aids in bringing the bigger picture into reality and truly having a meaningful impact on the world.
Once an entrepreneur is able to make themselves vulnerable and tap into the very reason for their existence, then things really begin to flow & many of the bumps & frustrations of business smooth out. Decisions become simple (although not always easy) and success takes on a new meaning and dimension. As the leader of your organization, you are responsible for developing the vision of your company and its direction.
Are you up for the challenge?