As I noted last week, James Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner in their book, A Leader’s Legacy. Jossey-Bass, 2006, wrote that “... the single best predictor of [an individual’s] career success is the relationship they had with their very first supervisor.” And as I challenged you last week, now is the moment to spend more time making sure these key relationships work well. Often people start this process by creating role and responsibility clarity. They also help all involved understand how to use accurate and timely measures of progress so people can feel like they are being successful. These actions help but the focus needs to be on the relationship, which is a more qualitative over quantitative approach.
Marcus Buckingham in his book, The One Thing You Need to Know ... About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success, Free Press, 2005, reminds us that great managing begins by selecting people effectively, setting expectations by defining clearly the outcomes you want, and motivating people by focusing on their strengths.
While all of the above are helpful, I sometimes explore this subject by asking the following the question:
- What kind of relationship do you want to have with the people who report directly to you??
The question causes us to remember that people follow people more than positions or job titles. Therefore, as Kouzes and Posner remind us, “... if people are going to follow you they need to know more about you than the fact that you’re their boss.”
This week, share more about you and your journey in the land of leadership and organizational change. Then, spend considerable time learning about your people and their personal journeys through the land of organizational change. Sharing our leadership stories is the start of an important journey.