Today, I share a video by Jim Kouzes, co-author of The Leadership Challenge.
The three questions in the video are:
- Do the people you lead know who you are?
- What you care about? And,
- Why they ought to be following you?
I was a raised in a culture that seeks to have fun and make friends. There are no specific boundaries. Colleagues, friends, neighbors, bosses, teachers, professors, etc. seek to mingle and develop personal relationships.
Some would like to say a boss should never be seen at a bar with coworkers. Or, a CEO should always be calm, collected, reserved, wearing a suit and have a special office.
My question is who said so? Who says that type of approach is better?
I have managed to connect with my teams better by 1 outing to the local bar than with the dozens of associate development tools, a vision statement, and team meetings.
Leadership is influence, influence comes from connecting, connecting comes from caring, and caring builds relationships.
I believe it to be easier to lead a friend than a coworker.
What do we lose by starting a work relationship with the goal of building a friendship?
1. Do The People You Lead Know Who You Are?
I have found it very interesting to see how many people have been programmed to hide who they are at work.
People seems to live in constant fear that someone is going to dislike who they are and lose everything. This is probably why we get coached to be politically correct, to always keep our cool, and to use ‘professional’ buzzwords and mannerisms.
It has become such a cult that we refer to it as “Corporate America.”
- When was the last time you let your coworkers see the side of you that only your love ones see?
- Do your peers know what are your favorite hobbies?
- Does your team know details of your life which aren’t part of your resume?
2. Do They Know What You Care About?
I don’t think I need to explain this one. I simply have a few questions.
- How many of your coworkers know what gives you energy?
- Have you shared your values with your coworkers?
- How often do you talk about your dreams and passions at work?
The focus the first two questions is to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
3. Why They Ought To Be Following You?
I’m sure the answer needed to this question will change depending on the follower. Ultimately, I think the statement behind the answer is, I need to know who I am dealing with before I choose to invest my time and effort with them.
I’m wise enough to know I can’t make friend with everyone but I can definitely increase my leadership ability by allowing others to discover who I am, what I dream about, and I where I am going.