I have been struggling to find a way to share with you the content of this letter. I hope you don’t take this personally but that you may use it to fuel your personal development.
For the past 6 months I’ve been trying to ask you these questions:
- Do you care for me?
- Can you help me? And,
- Can I trust you?
I’m afraid the answers I found aren’t what I expected.
- You call yourself a leader but I rarely get to see you. If you are not in a meeting, you are rushing off to one or, you are behind closed doors on a conference call. How can I follow if you are never around?
- The rare moments that I get to see you are because you need to give me some last minute project that needs to get done. After a few quick orders, I’m left alone wondering what’s the purpose or intent of the project. To whom should I go to for guidance? Remember you are in meetings or on vacation the rest of the time.
- You invite me to walk-in your office if I ever have questions, comments, or feedback but every time I’m there all I see you do is check your smartphone, blackberry, or e-mail. How can technology be more important than the person right in front of you? Maybe, I’m just not good enough for you?
- You tell me to bring concerns about anything but you brush them off stating others don’t seem to have similar concerns or that there are more important things to worry about. Is it because you don’t trust my judgment?
- You say you won’t let me sink the ship but every time I bring a project for you to review, you tell me you don’t have time. How can you prevent a fatal mistake if you never see my work?
- Lastly, you say you’ll help me develop but the only feedback I get is when I do something wrong. Is the bad the only thing worth mentioning? Maybe I’m just bad at everything.
Based on these observations, I’m not sure I can answer positively to any of my original questions.
I was looking for someone to emulate, someone that can help me get better, someone to show me the value I add to the company, and what I found was confusion and frustration.
I need you to know that it’s difficult for me to keep showing up to work fully engaged when I don’t know if I can count on you to help me succeed.
Your direct report