Where your heart goes, your thoughts will follow! Once the heart brings the brain into focus, wonderful things will result. As a leader of a team or an organization, the people you work with need to hear and see the passion you hold for the work you do; and importantly, for the people you both work with and deliver products or services. Providing testimony of your passion in both your communications and your actions will provide a spark to your team!
You must be genuine in your beliefs, as in-congruence can have a negative effect on your team. One of the 5 leadership values that I developed and employed is the “trust equation”. The formula is simple, and the results are powerful.
ACTIONS + DECISIONS = WORDS
Do the actions you take and the decisions you make align with the words you use to communicate to your organization? I guarantee the people you work with everyday can answer this question, if you can’t! For significant decisions that would impact my businesses or the organization, I’d always consider (and often discuss with my team) whether or not the people in the organization would understand the decision, if provided all the facts and data available. Certainly, not every decision will be ones an organization wants to hear, but will they understand it?
Think about your own experiences with businesses that you continue to patronize. What words would you use to describe the business? High quality products, wonderful customer service, great value for your money, etc. I guarantee that business has a leader or an owner who is passionate about the business and the people (both employees and customers). My wife and I visited a restaurant in our town today that we go to often. Their quality of food and the value we receive is very high. Beyond the food, every person who works at the restaurant is friendly to the customers, and importantly, to each other! You can see and feel the positive vibe the owner creates in her business. The owner definitely understands the value of sharing their passion for the business, customers and employees.
A few years after I left a large pharmaceutical manufacturing business I’d led for several years, I was talking with a former client. We provided manufacturing services to his large biotech company, including one of his firm’s life saving medicines. He told me that he and his team loved visiting our business. He told me that between him and his team, they had talked about how much fun it would be to work at our site and be a part of our team. I knew his company was a wonderful company who treated their employees very well, so his comment struck me as an odd one. I asked him, given the reputation of his business, why would he and his team even develop this thought? He told me it was simple. The people on my team truly enjoyed working together and took great pride in the work we performed together. His team and he had experienced the passion from my team for the work we performed together. He went on to say, even when we encountered extremely difficult situations, my team never lost focus of the positive impact we could make on the people who relied on our work for their well-being.
As a leader, you have to be inspired to inspire! You have to genuinely care about the products and services you deliver! You must care about the people you work with to deliver those products and services! I recognize the challenge on a day by day basis, but you must be consistent. One tool I used and shared with my teams regularly. I’d focus my mind on the first day I came to the business to work. I’d reflect upon the excitement I felt as I approached the business and thought of the new people I’d meet, new experiences I’d enjoy, and the opportunities I’d have to provide input and deliver value. Through this reflection, I’d focus my thoughts about the day from my mind to my heart. The same opportunities I encountered on my first day were still there each and every day I went to work! You control what’s in your heart, and your thoughts! Sharing your passion and care for your business and your team in your actions, decisions, and the words you use can inspire the people around you!
Interested in reading more about the lessons learned from real-life leadership experiences? Buy the book, Bosses Are Hired…Leadership Is Earned today.