As a parent I learned that children are motivated differently based on their personalities. One size definitely does not fit all. Like most mothers, I gave every bit of effort I could to the parenting process; trying my best to contribute to the development of happy, well adjusted, confident, and compassionate people who would have the ability to fend for themselves in this challenging and stressful society.
My motivation and effort were extremely high; however, I had no training or experience. While I was learning on the job parenting skills, I was also tasked with the life challenges most of us have, like making enough money to survive, being a strong marital partner and daughter, being a good sister, excelling as a competent employee, a responsible neighbor, a contributing citizen (not to mention the process of developing into a person I could like and respect). Whew!
It occurs to me that new “working” managers must feel very much the same way. They were promoted to management because they were hard working but now must juggle their own production with the ability to motivate and develop the people they are leading (most have not been afforded real management training).
There are many parenting and many leadership styles that work. However, to be an AWESOME boss there are 5 behaviors that are critical:
- BE GENUINE – People are willing to overlook many mistakes if they know that you genuinely care about their best interests. This is true of children, employees and customers alike.
- COMMUNICATE – Talk to your team. Tell them your goals and the goals of the organization. Be transparent. Give feedback. Let them know not only when they are doing a good job, but also when they have dropped the ball.
- BE PASSIONATE – It is tough to be excited about a mission or goal if your boss is not. Passion does not have to be demonstrated by being an over-excited cheerleader type, but it does need to be present.
- BUILD RELATIONSHIPS – Effective leaders take the time and effort to build a relationship with the people working with them. They show respect, offer help and teach new skills. People go the extra mile to work hard and demonstrate loyalty when they know they are valued.
- WORK HARD – A great leader will understand the flow of operations and be willing to do as much work as anyone else. Gaining respect requires the leader to be willing to do the hardest job when needed.
Fortunately life offers us many valuable lessons on how to become a better leader or parent. We just need to pay attention.
Linda serves as a Principal in MCM’s HR Consulting practice, and has experience working with various-sized companies throughout a variety of industries. Linda’s experience in organizational development, training, executive coaching and hiring assistance spans over 25 years. Previously, Linda was the President and Owner of Personnel Profiling, Inc., an HR consulting company that offered a suite of employment assessments and services to help companies gain a competitive advantage by hiring, retaining and developing great talent. Linda’s formal education includes a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Louisville with a concentration in counseling psychology. Linda and members of her team will be ongoing contributors to the Academy Blog.
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