Your Success Depends on the Kindness of Strangers.
« One of the most powerful and least understood aspects of business is how a feeling of connection between management, employees and customers provides a competitive advantage. Unless the people who are part of a business feel a sense of connection—a bond that promotes trust, cooperation and esprit de corps—they will never reach their potential as individuals, nor will the organization. » – Michael Lee Stallard
The Best manifestation of your leadership is when Strangers love you because you’ve added value to their life. They repay you by their kindness. They become unsolicited, un-sponsored advocates for you. They are ready to go the extra mile for you. Your success is important for them, so they support you. They defend you when you are under attack, and give your their full attention and dedication when you need it. You can’t buy this kindness.
Recent studies revealed that “When people feel emotionally connected, they put more effort in their work. A 2004 Corporate Leadership Council study of 50,000 employees worldwide concluded that emotional factors were four times as important as rational factors when it came to employee effort.” Michael Lee Stallard
The reasons behind the huge impact of emotional connections on productivity are simple to understand: Most people go to work for “non-professional” reasons and for reasons far away from the reasons why you hired them. Their job might just be a mean to reach or obtain something your organization doesn’t and can’t provide.
As the movie Office Space put it:
Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements.
And, most of employees don’t get much internal satisfaction from what they do at work. Their work life goes around familiar statement like “Thank God it’s Friday! Is it already Saturday night? Oh well, at least we have tomorrow. I can’t believe it is Sunday night – where did the weekend go? I sure dread going in tomorrow.” – Frugal Dad.
Work is nothing but a stepping stone
When I’ve asked people around me why they go to work I have a list like follow:
- earn money for my family
- earn money to buy a house
- earn money to start my business
- earn money to travel the world
- acquire experience to …….
- to contribute to ….
- to enjoy life
- to save the world from ….
- to end …..
- to belong to ….
When you read these statements as an employer, you can easily see that Not single person mentioned your business or your annual goals. For 99% of employees, work is nothing but a stepping stone to help them get where they want to go or to have something more important from life.
You’d better help them reach their personal goals, and by the law of reciprocity they will help you reach your goals.
From this standpoint, the role of any leader in the new economy is to get to know people individually. All it takes is to start with some basic questions you ask yourself about your people:
- Why are they here here?
- What do they want to achieve working for our organization (or buying this product)?
- What are their goals in life, both personal and professional?
- Where are they in their life’s journey ?
- What barriers are they facing now in life?
- And lastly, how can I, like the people leader, genuinely help them get where they want to be, be what they want to be, and contribute what they want to contribute?
The new leadership role is a role of active generosity, based on carefully and intentionally collected information about your people agenda, apart from their contextual status like customers, organization member or employee.
No leader is able to care himself about his image, his business and his project. A leader’s success depends on the people around him and how they feel about him. The new leader motto must be ‘’Care about the people and the people will care about your business, your project, and your image without you asking them to.’’
Start looking at people not from the perspective of how they can help you, but how you can help them. Master this single law and your success is assured.
No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.
W A Nance