Let’s rewind a little, have you ever sent or done something as a show of gratitude to someone who had never actually asked you for anything? When I show appreciation, I get personal. For instance, I sent soup because I was aware the person would greatly appreciate a good bowl more than perhaps anything else. And it was important and satisfying for me to let them know I cared about them and all they had done for me, and had been paying attention to what made them happy. People will remember a show of consideration far longer than a spoken or emailed “thank you.” And the recognition for your consideration in return is often respect, loyalty and more and better efforts.
Do you see a thread here? A thread of opportunities, like mine, where you were elected, promoted, or saw a chance to inspire a group of people around a goal or cause. It was obvious to everyone else that you had definite leadership qualities and the presence of a leader, yet you may not have seen it or felt it for a long time. You never laid claim to having leadership skills. It was just something you did.
Discovering new things not only make us feel good, it allows us to grow and stretch from where we are today. Now that we are able to once again meet in person, take the chance to start that conversation with someone who is not in your circle of friends or colleagues already. Having that exchange, whatever the outcome, you both win. Denying yourself the opportunity to learn and grow from interactions with people different from ourselves, keeps you from experiencing a “yay” and what could follow it.
Are you adaptable or can you learn to be more adaptable? Even if you’ve never considered this prior to 2020, the situations around the pandemic make it clear that at times we all have to adjust to circumstances beyond our personal control. The golden opportunities and gifts are what you learn from discomfort and readjustment. When you have to make a change can you find the silver lining?
You may have found it amusing before that Millennials and Gen Z’s co-workers, friends, relatives or your own kids spend so much time with their video games; you’re probably not laughing any more as you see yourself playing more Candy Crush, Far Cry Primal, or Words with Friends. What are you doing with your downtime (if you have any)? Can it be helping your leadership skills for the future? Yes. Here are some popular examples.
Who has contributed to your achievement and shaped who you are today? There’s probably more than one person once you start thinking about this. And they probably supported you in different ways and times throughout your life. Role models, mentors and coaches. Is it still meaningful (or even more meaningful) for you to have someone holding you accountable who sees your potential and supports you to reach your goals?
“When employees respect each other and get along in the workplace, it’s amazing how productivity increases, morale increases and employees are more courteous to customers.” ~ Maureen Wild. How does bad behavior affect a team or business? Dissatisfied employees can compromise teamwork, productivity, morale and overall well-being of other people who are dedicated to and engaged with their work and company. A colleague reached out to me recently because of my expertise in Millennials. In his organization he has an unhappy employee, who has complained about other people’s comments, which in turn has spread unhappiness within their department. How can you plan around the potential threat of harmful behavior? If you are a leader, you can be proactive. Here are three tools that offer more control to prevent and dilute challenging situations…
Can you laugh with me? The best moments come from laughter: finally seeing behavior that is limiting or counterproductive to your goals, minimizing the challenging tasks ahead of you so they seem less overwhelming, and bringing your true personality into call rather than the serious role you think you have to play. Laughter, fun, and play are crucial to overall well-being for everyone. And, (drum roll), often lead to the biggest breakthroughs. How do you bring your playful side to work?
Imagine. During times of less bustle and more deep thinking, come many creative ideas. How can you look at something in a novel way? You don’t have to be a scientist, artist or inventor. Simply encourage your natural curiosity when solving a dilemma. How can you envision something in a new light? Can you learn from Berry Gordy’s leadership and creativity as a visionary? Can he spur something in you, like he did in me: to look at and examine his thought process, his why for inclusion, and his deep calling to see people’s potential as his way to give and succeed. You can be a visionary and a leader. It’s all up to you. You can take his lessons and interpret them for you and your team. Or your creativity can be motivated by his. How are you going to take that next step?
What are the key qualities of a great mentor? Berry Gordy is one. With the young leaders and the leaders who work with me and want to grow, I apply a Berry Gordy similar mix of ingredients: listening, encouraging, asking questions with compassion to arrive at the right strategies and plans specifically for them. I’ve had many mentors over the years and I learned the ones that worked with me the best understood my goals, personality and habits. Of course, I was ready to do the work and open to suggestions and change. You have to be open to change to achieve better results. Gordy’s team of employees at Motown were open to learning or they left the organization because they didn’t fit the culture.
Are you ready to work with a mentor or coach?