Your Engaging Environment. How many times have you successfully taken the bait to learn more about yourself, your style and your promotability? I am not talking about the garbage on Facebook. I am talking about Meyers Briggs, DiSC, the 16 PF, Hexaco, colours, revised NEO EyeSinc … even the introvert/extravert argument.
I’ll bet your answer is ‘many’ because most Maverick Leaders want to be the best we can be, right? And truthfully, we’ll take proof of that from multiple sources.
Personality, strength and character tests can be extremely illuminating. Here’s the funny thing about them. They show the same inherent traits when you are 20, 30, 40, 50, and even 90 years old. For the simple reason, we humans do not ever change our basic personality.
There are some terrific benefits to these tests. Specifically, they show us some of the darker sides of our nature and help us understand why others have issues with certain things we say or do. They fill in some of the blanks or holes and get us to understand WHY we might be the way we are. And they are terrific at putting us into a category with fellow kindred spirits. I mean – we humans love to take short cuts and LABELS are the most natural shortcuts to make, aren’t they?
I always found it fascinating that Leaders take a considerable amount of tests. About themselves. Sadly, they rarely took any tests about their teammates. Think about that for a moment. Human beings are the backbone of every organisation. We are all obsessed with our feelings, emotions and issues. Yet very few of us can spend even 30 minutes trying to understand one another.
And that one little reality gets in the way of our ultimate success.
Now, I know there are many reasons for success. You’ve heard the one about ‘opportunity meets preparation.’ I bet you’ve listened to the one that goes ‘who you know is better than what you know.’ I know you can cite a bunch of people who had lucky breaks – family, friends, strangers who gave them an opportunity. Or someone had a few extra degrees. Or even married into the right circumstances. We all can.
Did you know there is one specific guaranteed success factor? It has been around for centuries, doesn’t get a lot of airplay, is not taught in school, can be termed old fashioned, even vintage, and takes a long time to gain traction. However, when that traction takes hold, it is with you a very long time and pays dividends into perpetuity.
Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Your Engaging Environment?
I know. I have been using it for 30 years. It is called – flip ME upside down. What? Okay, how about turn ME into WE?
I am serious. The awesome and exceptional leaders RARELY think about themselves or their personalities or their issues. The awesome and exceptional leaders think about the WE in their lives. Other people. Their teams. FIRST.
Honestly, we humans can’t do much on our own. For most of us, our lives are boring, with some very high and very low moments. And we rely on others – our family and our friends to help us navigate those moments. I have yet to meet a person who looked inward or had a huge me Me ME complex, have real lasting, sustainable success. I have met people and I have also helped people who have an outward focus or a more significant global focus. Be very successful.
I am talking about normal people with typical problems: alcoholics, drug addicts, divorcees, little formal education, not born into money and across all industries. They all got what they wanted by either focusing on WE or allowing me to change their focus to WE!
I recently received a comprehensive report which revealed how world-class leaders set themselves apart. According to Harvard University, the number one skill employees look to their leaders to do well is team building. Yet, only 20% of all employees feel they experience it. In other words, 80% of all people working today are not happy with the way they are being treated.
Your Engaging Environment …
The best way to treat all people the right way is to turn your ME into WE. How? Let me give you two ideas I used all the time.
- Quit obsessing about your corporate goals and how you will or will not make them. Instead, obsess on helping your people reach their goals within the context of what you want. If you demonstrate that you are helping them to reach 50% of their personal goals, they will give you a minimum of 125% of your corporate goals. That is a mighty, exceptional return.
- Share equally in good and bad times. Bonus plans based on results achieved (not rank or seniority) work exceptionally well. Especially with short term (monthly), medium-term (annually) and longer-term (2 to 3 years). For everyone. The same goes for when the results are less than stellar, there is no extra money to pay out rewards, and even when you are faced with cutting or laying off staff. The key is honest communication. And please make sure whatever decisions are made, they impact you as well as them. The first time I announced I too would take unpaid weeks with my people was an eye-opener for everyone. Please believe me. When your team realises you see them as in it with you and there are no special favours for senior management, the bonds of loyalty and trust will never be broken. And collectively, you will get colossal cooperation to move as close to your objectives as possible.
Your Engaging Environment. Flipping your ME to WE is the one guaranteed way I know to bring every Leader mountains of success. Give it a go and let me know how it went.
To your success!