After my blog about my Elite 8 Leadership Principles, I got a call from one of my closest colleagues in the coaching and speaking biz.
As close friends can do, he came on very strong about calling my lesson on the Elite 8 “nice, but not reality”. Hmmmm, tell me more I said.
He proceeded to remind me that workers everywhere get blasted routinely. “Forgive and forget” he questioned, “Really?” He shared several stories about how some of his clients were in a troubling spiral for finding new jobs after having gotten “blown up at their last place of employment” (not literally of course).
I listened intently, then reminded him that my target audience is not employees in general, but rather the managers and leaders who are tasked with guiding the employee.
So, to my friend’s well intended commentary, I say this:
1. My Elite 8 are principles meant to build a foundation. I said as much in the opening lines. As with all construction, once the foundation is poured, winds, rain, and lightening may come. The strength of the foundation helps to determine how soundly the rest of the structure remains after the storms blow.
As for employees getting “blown up at work” no doubt that happens. I myself have endured less than good experiences at the hand of management that had a weak foundation. My guess is the manager who did the hurtful handling did not practice his own set of principles, certainly not my list. Thus my point for teaching my Elite 8.
2. The principles give guidance for choices about how to approach management. If you have been selected or elected to perform a management role, you have to make a choice about how you will lead. My principles are ones I have found beneficial and fruitful.
When I have had a team to lead, the more consistency I can provide, living and operating by a set of foundational principles, the better the team performs. When I deviate from those principles, there are many outcomes that do not serve anyone very well.
3, Lastly, I agree wholeheartedly with my friend. The reality in today’s workplace is not employee friendly, at least in not many organizations. Workers everywhere must be on guard and vigilant about being able to protect and promote their own interests (without bragging of course – see footnote).
My heart is for the managers who can make a difference. There can be changes made in the workplace. How? By managers who embrace the need for change and who, themselves, are willing to set a higher standard for personal performance, integrity, and professionalism.
Do this and you won’t have employees getting blindsided by bad acts.
Footnote: My esteemed friend is none other than Rick Gillis, author of “Promote!” and “Job!”. Rick is leading the charge for teaching how to promote yourself in the workplace without bragging. Great stuff!