- Have Fun: I'm not referring to simply hosting a potluck. Some of the best leaders go over-the-top either with zany humor or with something extra-classy or with something deeply thoughtful. The bottom line is that these types of events tell a team that the leader is willing to go beyond the expectation. Tomorrow I will sport that outfit above for our department Ugly Sweater party. It is, admittedly, goofy. However, there is power in a shared, memorable, goofy event.
- Be Supportive: I can't count the number of times that he has gone to bat for our department when we were being trampled on by the system or misunderstood by other leaders.
- Be Critical: Chad is the type of leader who isn't afraid to engage in hard conversations when things aren't working. I can trust his words of affirmation, because he is honest enough to be critical at the necessary times.
- Be Humble: I see this in small ways. For example, he sits with us rather than with the directors at meetings. He gives us credit anytime anything goes well and he takes the blame when things fail. He listens. He asks questions. When you work with a humble leader, you give them permission to enter into your world and the concept of submitting to authority doesn't feel like a chore.
- Be Innovative: Although creativity and innovation are edu-buzzwords, the reality is that the system often forces people to push compliance above change. I feel the freedom to push innovative ideas and the freedom to fail in the process. It's a powerful motivator.
- Be Present: There is an intentionality to the moments when I am in his office. He is truly present. I've worked with people who are thinking about other things or trying to multi-task and the result is something even colder and less relational than an e-mail.
- Trust: Although this is the last on the list, it's the most important. I trust my boss and because I trust him, I can be honest and vulnerable and he can step in and help when it's necessary. He doesn't micromanage. He doesn't nag. But he's not entirely "hands-off," either. Trust allows for freedom within the confines of safety.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
7 Things My Boss Gets Right
by John T. Spencer
Any leader who can get me to wear this is a great leader, indeed.