Recently one of my clients was telling me of an incident where an employee surprised him by solving a very difficult problem. This was an expensive issue my client hadn’t been able to solve, so he decided the only thing he could do was live with the matter. He asked the employee how he fixed the problem, and the employee shared what to the employee was a very simple solution. After saying “Duh,” my client asked the employee why he hadn’t done something about this before and the employee said, “You never shared the problem or asked for help.” My client had found an unexpected treasure in what he thought was the least likely of places – among his employees.
What treasures are in your unexpected treasure chest? How often do we turn to experts when we frequently have silent experts among us who know our business and clients?
Remember, the purpose of leadership is to bring out the best in those around us in order to achieve a common goal. Often we forget our role is to do so, so we fail ourselves, we fail our companies, and we fail our employees because we don’t effectively use the human resources in our companies.
It’s a rare employee who doesn’t want to be considered an expert and feel valuable to his/her employer. It’s rare we don’t have problems in our companies that only our employees can solve. Unfortunately, it is even rarer when we let them do it.
Here’s a challenge. Why not go looking for an unexpected treasure in your organization. It might be your secretary. It might be the cleaning person. It might be the receptionist. Or it might be one of your many skilled professionals. Who knows what treasures are hiding in your treasure chest?
When you find one would you be so kind as to write back and share the good news.