One of my favorite ways to mentor and coach leaders is by allowing open discussions and encouraging questions about issues that are on their minds – current day, real life, practical questions.
So every once in a while I am going to address a question that I receive from another leader. I’m calling these our “REALity Questions,” so you’ll recognize it when I post a new REALity question!
I get a lot of value from the questions I’m asked. It gives me insight into what’s on the minds of fellow leaders. One thing I have learned along my leadership journey is that while the conditions of leading may ebb and flow, the content of leading changes very little. Here’s our first REALity question:
If you have a team full of “doers” – people who come in, make a daily task list, check each item off, and go home – is this a poor reflection of your leadership or just a different reflection of your leadership?
I believe if this happens on a day-in, day-out basis, it probably isn’t a good reflection on the leader. But a “doer” mentality is also a reflection of the teammate’s attitude and spirit to want to be more in life than a worker bee. Both the leader and the teammate have to put in to get something better than the average back out.
The leader is responsible for creating an environment that motivates people to want to give and be more for their team, their leader, and their company. If that sort of environment exists, it’s the employee’s responsibility to take advantage of it and make the most of it.
Let me clarify that getting tasks done is not a bad thing. It’s something we all have to do every day as part of our jobs. But the doing should be combined with growing. And growth happens when the leader encourages and allows his or her people to lead up and across. But the people have to be willing to grow. You see, growth is the responsibility of the leader and the follower. It’s a partnership.
A leader who wants many followers (or worker bees) will never reap the benefits of multiplied growth. That leader will always have to be the driver, which means he or she will become the lid that prevents greater growth of the people and the organization.