Exhibiting Leadership Qualities – You Can Do This
There are two sides to every story.
There are two roles on each side: culprit and victim.
That wasn’t a typo: each side in a story plays both roles. In my last blog, the perspective came from a subordinate on a team. They wanted to be recognized and supported as they were still in learning mode. They also had an expectation that they would be seen by their boss in the ordinary course of working together. Is that assumption realistic? Does that person also shoulder some of the responsibility for making that happen?
As the subordinate, what was my responsibility in that scenario? When I think back to blaming one of the Managing Partners for not knowing even the least details about me as a person after three years, I also recall feeling responsible for the outcome. Did I owe something to my boss?
https://susangoldbergleadership.com/do-you-know-me/ was the first half of the complete story. Beyond the sting of receiving an impersonal “gift”, I felt badly. “Have I not disclosed enough of myself that my other boss doesn’t really know me? Should I be more forthcoming with interests, skills, hobbies, pastimes and family? Is my reticence to reveal information about myself seen as distant or haughty?” After sending her a thank you note, I made it a point to share more, particularly with her. Although I noticed she didn’t pay a lot of attention to my quips, at least I was making my best effort. I was taking responsibility not just placing blame on someone else for the outcome.
This was not easy for me, I had to stretch myself. I came from a family that rewarded being reserved. I learned to fight my natural tendencies to disclose my personal side to people I work with so they have a chance to get to know me, connect with me, not just my work. The Managing Partner I knew well had nicely demonstrated this earlier in my career: she was my role model.
There are some things Millennials or Gen Z’s know and can do better than their higher-ups and many in charge realize this. However, whether a boss appreciates these abilities or not, both boss and direct reports shoulder the obligation to be seen and heard in their relationship.
While you may have a sense of your being right and your supervisor being wrong, sharing responsibility is seeing both sides of a story – that is what leaders do. If you want to be a leader, examine your own behavior. “How is that behavior adding to an outcome that I don’t like? What’s my part in this and how can I step up?”
You’ve got this.
I work with clients everyday who are cultivating more engaged leaders and creating a culture of support and growth which results in better retention. If you’d like to increase retention in your organization, let’s talk. You can reach me at Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com.