The question in todays workplace every leader should be asking themselves an co-workers is what can or should I be doing to help my people consistently be and operate at their natural best. What I’ve learned in my years of experience in the Human Resources field. Is that empathy can rapidly shift, and or create the culture and high performing leaders we as HR professional ultimately desire to have. In order to position ourselves as contributing business partners of the company. Above all, I would suggest our perspective as leaders needs to shift so that it isn’t about winning or losing but instead investing in our people.

Delta Airlines successfully demonstrates this belief system. It currently ranks at #7 in top places to work according to as of Jan ‘21. Moreover, Delta has given each employee at least an 80% pay increase over the past 12 years. One of its’ company values is “servant leadership” which is a principle of what one of the company’s I partner with has built itself on.

Invest in Your People

I would argue the approach many struggling companies fail to believe and conceptualize is understanding the unique perspective and appreciation that human capital is every organization’s greatest asset! I can remember when I began my journey of consulting and coaching both businesses and individuals one of my mentors Marq Neasman CEO and 4x founder made an investment into me and my business. That simple investment equipped me with the confidence to continue the pursuit of serving and providing value to the lives of others, which to me is the principle of servant leadership and illustrates what it looks like to create the culture and values every company desires.

You often hear the C-suite executives preaching KPI’s and engagement without the resolve for resolution. Moreover, Without the commitment and dedication to the company’s people. If company leaders were to leverage their ability to genuinely serve its greatest asset. It would automatically be granted access to leverage and maximize the various skillsets of its’ employees.

The 4 Seasons Vs. Caesar’s Palace

Simon Sinek told a story on Live 2 Lead titled “Most Leaders Don’t Even Know the Game They’re In”. In this talk he spoke of a man named Noah that worked as a barista for the four seasons. The service Noah provided was such a great experience for Simon that he provided a 100% tip. He asked Noah did he like his job, Noah replied I LOVE my job. He loved his job because managers ALL managers demonstrated that they genuinely cared about him and his success. Noah then gave a drastically contrasting response as to how he felt while working at the Caesars Palace.  

At Caesars Palace Noah kept his head down and liked to operate under the radar because firstly managers were intentionally seeking error. Secondly, they didn’t care much about him as a person, he was simply seeking a paycheck. At the four seasons he felt as if he could be himself. On the other hand he was constantly micro-managed and viewed as a means to an end. What type of environment, the culture we create, and how we engage our employees dictates which version of leadership we encounter.

The Great Man Theory!

One can tell how great and impactful a leader truly is by observing the other leaders within the company. The problem in today’s world is that we don’t have a lot of high performing leaders. Currently there is a lack of understanding as to what the principle of leadership truly means. This is the problem with the “Great Man Theory” its core would say that leaders cannot be developed. Believing this theory is potentially damaging as it locks one with the mentality and belief system of two possible outcomes:

  1. They already possess everything they need to succeed.
  2. You can never become or be a high performing leader if it didn’t or doesn’t come naturally.

There are various facets of a high performing leader. One could never naturally be born with a developed understanding of how to operate in them all. Nonetheless, perhaps you were a late bloomer. But, now you believe that since you weren’t “born” a high performing leader. You can never “truly” be a high performing leader. Or you have the “complex” that you were born a high performing leader and will die a one regardless.

Muscle Memory

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. On second thought, in this instance I’m honored that I am if you were unaware. Leadership is like a muscle that you must continuously work, something I learned the hard way. It is a skillset that can and must be developed and refined. If not you will be a sub-par leader at best. There are a lot of under performing leaders and the evidence is reflective in other leaders within the company and society’s refusal to go back to work.

I’ll leave you with this final comparison. Everyone has the ability to be a parent but it doesn’t meant that they should or want to be one. As Simon Sinek states, “everyone has the capacity to be a leader, but it doesn’t mean that everyone wants or should be a leader”. High performing leadership comes with great personal sacrifice. You are not in charge of those under you, BUT you are responsible for those under your charge”. So my questions to you become, what will you do and change today? Are you a “high performing” leader? Should you be a leader?

Let me know your thoughts below.

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