Be the Leader

There’s an old country music song my cousin played every year at the holidays that goes, “ya done stomped on my heart…and you mashed that sucker flat.”

Well, that’s how it feels to be in the workplace some days. Our souls are stomped on.

People’s behaviors seem childish, unkind and self-consumed—feels a bit like adult day care.

So the responsibility of every team member is to put on her big girl pants or big boy pants and bring that “higher-self” good character to work every day. It’s a choice. WE only act like children in the workplace because we don’t stop to reflect how unattractive it is as adults to not hold our behaviors to higher standards.

Most managers spend 37 percent of their workday dealing with poor performers and bad behaviors. Imagine how much would be available for raises and bonuses if that hole in the bottom of the bucket wasn’t causing the need for layoffs.

So employees have a role. First, they have to understand that they choose their attitude moment by moment and just because life isn’t perfect, because it never is, that doesn’t give them the right to pout, sabotage, hold back or otherwise play out destructive behaviors.

Next, employees have the responsibility to get clear about what their critical drivers are and report into those weekly. It’s not okay to play the victim card and complain incessantly about the long hours you’re working to get attention while you’re missing the targets—even if your boss didn’t give you those targets. Lay out what you think they are, get agreement from your boss and then hit them and be transparent by letting your boss know what you hit and what your massive corrective action plan is on any you missed.

And most important, as an employee, you have the right and even the moral obligation to understand that leadership is not a position—it’s a way of being and YOU can be the one who brings enlightenment to your workplace by showing others the way.

Three short steps to leadership

  • Recognize your own power and talents.
  • Identify individual and organizational needs.
  • Find ways to leverage your power to address them.

Quick tip

Write down three things that are keeping your organization from soaring. Select ONE that you can impact and start today!

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