“Too many leaders act as if the sheep…their people… are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.” —Ken Blanchard
Do your leadership behaviors tell your employees that you see them as a tool to achieve your own goals? Or, do they think you see them as an important part of the team? Are they there to serve you? Or, are you there to serve them? Effective leaders are a benefit to their employees. This benefit is not based on the perception of the leader; it is based on the perception of the employees. So, do your employees know you are there for them or do they think they are there just for you?
Trust is a two-way street. It’s not only important that your employees trust you to do what is in their best interest, but that you trust them. How does your behavior signal employees that you trust them? Leaders who trust their employees allow them to have control over their own work. They allow them to make decisions and take action without being micromanaged. When employees know that you trust them, they feel that you are there for them and they see your leadership as a benefit.
When you invest your time and resources in developing your employees it shows them that they are valued. We are drawn to people who want the best for us and are willing to invest their strengths in helping us achieve our goals. When you are willing to invest in your employees, helping them to become the best that they can be, you are demonstrating that you are there for them.
When you develop a sense of community employees feel like they belong. Community brings us together and motivates us to work toward the good of the whole. When employees know they are part of a community that you have created and support they feel safe and believe that you, as a leader, are there for them.
To be an effective leader your employees must know that you are there for them. When they know that your leadership is beneficial it gives you the power and influence you need to be a successful leader. If your employees feel that you see them only as a tool for accomplishing your own goals, they will close themselves off from you and your attempts to influence them will be ineffective. Develop mutual trust with your employees. Invest your time and resources into their development. And, develop the sense of community where employees know they are safe and part of something bigger than themselves. Let your people know that you are there for them.
© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli
Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.