Relationships count. Maintaining a positive connectedness with employees is a very important leadership responsibility and a critical part of relationship building. Remember the Gallup Poll study on engagement and productivity. We as owners want our organizations to be great, but often forget the path to greatness flows through the hearts of our employees. I like to share John Maxwell’s thought: “You don’t get your employees’ hands until you get their hearts”.
Let’s consider some connection killers that can destroy our organization. The first one we’d like to discuss is SELF-CENTEREDNESS.
The Path of Self-Centeredness
How does a well meaning owner become self-centered? Perhaps “self-centered” is too strong a label, “self-occupied” might be more accurate. The drive to win may be one of the many contributors. Owners are typically busy focusing their attention on growing their businesses. Often this behavior crowds out their concern for others. It may often appear the only needs that count are THE OWNERS’. Employees may read this behavior as a “me first” attitude which is certainly a connection killer. Over time this attitude may distance owners from those they need, making them appear arrogant or prideful. Pride always leaves an aftertaste of frustration in the mouths of employees. Owner pride never allows employees an opportunity to feel the joy of accomplishment and personal fulfillment.
Eventually self-centeredness drives even the best workers away because they feel they’re viewed as just another number rather than a valued person.
The Path to Greatness
(Don’t you just love the way that sounds?)
Humility is essential to life-giving relationships because it’s the foundation of love and unity. Without humility persons become disagreeable, demanding people (… and grouchy!).
Humility is a quality that never disappoints owners and employees. Moving forward on the path to greatness requires owners to shift their focus away from themselves to refocus it on those who apply their talents and skills on behalf of the owner. Humility is an important aspect of leadership. Practicing humility towards others should become a daily priority.
How might we do this?
It may mean giving others credit for successes.
It may mean admitting we’re not always right or listening to the ideas and thoughts of others.
It could mean coming out of our offices and getting to know employees on a much more personal level.
It might mean asking employees, “How can we improve our organization?”
It can mean so many things, and I’m sure you can think of some much better examples than me. How about sharing some of your thoughts and ideas on our blog so that others may learn from your successes.