As the recession crawls along I see tension in leaders rising, which ADDS to the tension team members already feel. Some leaders are defaulting to their “normal” behavior; task driven, get the job done mentality. And…some leaders are thinking that all the chit chat about having to “engage employees” is out the window because “where are they going to go in this economy”?
As we see some glimmers of optimism and financial stability……
I would suggest a “pause” to consider the long term effects of this thinking or behavior…I understand the tension and task driven…I’m one of those…I also know that if I do NOT:
make them feel like part of the team
be very clear with them about what is happening and where we are going
continue to foster great idea generation to optimize systems and processes
THESE GREAT FOLKS WILL BE GONE WHEN THE ECONOMY BREAKS!!!!
The Knowledge Age is only just begun…the Industrial Age is even more gone today as folks re-train on 21st century skills in order to survive with 21st century jobs….We need to plan our way out of the recession…as our Leadership program illustrates….the carrot and the stick is long gone….even though some of us feel like this is a good time to use it.
Resist the urge to totally bear down, invest the time to have your team want to stay with you now….and later.
These days it is so easy to fall right into the Circle of Concern….fear about the economy, jobs, houses, etc. And just when there is a glimmer of hope there comes another dose of a news station with the big “BUT”…..and the emphasis on how bad it is continues it’s pounding cadence. It makes it easy not to sleep so well at night.
I hunt almost obsessively for the little stories of light…and they are there!!!!! A car company not needing any more bailout money….why was that not front page news? Home building permits up beyond expectations…why was that buried???
Anyway…it take great energy to stay focused on the things one can influence….and stay highly effective….and I have a tool for you!!! It’s this site: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/. They do the job! They find the good news and leave the other stuff for the other media groups.
I know we need to get through some tough times…but it is so much easier for me to see the forest through the sometimes very thick trees when I have a little support…a little good news. And I can start to see each small thing adding up…which fuels my optimism and then sends me right back into my Circle of Influence for another shot at whatever challenge I’m up against!
I had a very, very young man in my 7 Habits class last week. He came to the class just hoping he could get through 3 days of this, since he was asked to attend….but he was amazing. He felt no titles in the room and he had a voice. And he shared that he had a girlfriend. And he thought about how he could be a better partner. And he came in the next day and with shining eyes told us he had a story to share with the 12 of us. We expected to hear how many emotional deposits he made and what great results he got. What he told us was that he was acting with kindness (deposits) in a way he may not have before….but the evening did not work out. He and his girlfriend ended up blowing up at each other….and he slept on the couch. But you know what? His eyes were still shining as he was telling us this story….he felt GOOD that he had made the deposits….he felt GOOD about himself…and he was thinking about the end in mind he wants with this relationship…and he has this new skill of knowing how to make deposits…and be conscious of the withdrawals. He will think about the 5 to 1 rule…..5 deposits to 1 withdrawal. He was trying to set up the win/win. And he will continue to work at it. And he will know if and when this is the relationship he wants made up of courage and consideration from both parties.
Gosh…this is so worth it…but so hard to do……
I was teaching a Leading At The Speed of Trust class last week…and lunchtime I did battle with a new credit card company. I am an online banking/paying person; I pay my card off each and every month. But something was wrong…I had a balance!!! So I was on their site and was disgusted as I thought they were scamming me….not showing me my whole balance…..just what they wanted me to see to earn more interest. My New York distrust and paranoia came to bear….
I shared my situation with the class as to why the world could no longer be trusted!!!! It’s companies like this one that make it bad for everyone….etc….
My family, from cold New York, descended on our home in sunny Tucson, AZ for a few days in February. It is a once-a-year tradition…there’s about 7-8 members involved, finding a place to sleep anywhere in the house. My parents come, they are in their 80’s and terrific dancers. My father still runs his small business. They just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
My mom now suffers from dementia. Every time I see her, a little more of her disappears. She is physically in great shape…but struggles to tell her three daughters apart.
Here’s what I know: I am able to sleep at night knowing I am putting the big rocks…the MOST important things first. My parents and I speak a couple times per week; the last few years I have made sure we see other a few times a year and everyday I keep learning that it is unacceptable to not identify and put the most important things first.
Whether it is your team, your peers, your family….don’t let the small rocks fool you. Don’t let your ego overwhelm you…take the time to consider your values and the “most important”. Don’t let the urgency of the day to day cause you to regret later on…If you need help with figuring this out….take a Focus: Achieving Your Highest Priorities class….that may be just the “big rock” you need to come to terms with what’s important in your life.
Keep your eye on the biggest rocks. Don’t live to regret it later.
As a training consultant for FranklinCovey, I use myself as a “lab rat” for implementing the lessons, whether from the The Speed of Trust, The 7 Habits, Focus or Great Leaders. This is the best way for me to be a model of effectiveness as an individual, a team member and a leader to achieve great results personally and professionally. But it also allows me to practice the pain of getting there. Being human is such a great part of learning and I so respect my unconscious self doing what it wants to do unless I consciously decide I am going to do something differently. I can be a great victim, I can be quite disorganized if I am not careful….and with my New York background…I can be highly reactive. Takes a lot of work for me to stop those behaviors and do something different and what I know to be right.
Here’s one I’m grappling with now….
In this unbelievable economic time, my toughest and greatest challenge is to remember Stephen Covey’s teachings around Habit 1, Be Proactive. I can (and do sometimes) remain awake at night, worrying about the economy, my job, and every other demon that we all know creeps in at 3 a.m…..and then I think about what I help people do everyday….STAY OUT OF THE CIRCLE OF CONCERN….and then I consciously work to focus on my CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE…..what can I do everyday to make my way through the chaos…that which I have control over…. The more energy I put into what I can impact…the better I feel and sleep and the better rewards the very next day.
So…it ain’t easy….but if you want to truly be effective…even just a little, in good times or bad…..force your “conscious discipline” of moving the demons out, and focus on what you can do something about. So get some sleep.