In my process of networking with other business professionals, there is something unique I am hearing. Some is very direct. Some it is a bit more subtle, but the same message.
The message – we have all heard before. But in the course of the last several weeks, I am hearing it from seasoned, senior level business professionals.
The message? I do not feel appreciated. *Yikes* To be sure I understood and interpreted our conversation correctly, I called a few people back. Yep – lack of appreciation.
It is not the job, the work requirement, the lack of resources, challenges in work or team, or the compensation. It is a most basic and simplest form of human needs when working in a business that requires an engaged leadership team. Another qualifying point is these people are high performers, smart/intellectual, confident professionals, above average emotional intelligence and seasoned leaders in their area of functional expertise.
These comments started me thinking. These people are disenchanted, unhappy or have the feeling of being “neglected”. In fact; one of these people is in active search mode, interviewing for a better opportunity where people are valued more. [huh – those are not my words, but the person I spoke with.]
The Culture or the Manager?
Not knowing the reporting line or having he intimate details of the situation, I am not suggesting I have the answer. But, do feel I can share a perspective.
CULTURE. Changing a business culture is difficult. Frankly, very hard.
I have found describing a culture within a company is equally challenging – either a good culture or a bad one. The one truth is a culture is defined by its values. At a most simplistic level, a culture is what the organization believes in, what they stand for, and what the business wants to be known for. Leadership has the responsibility for upholding or staying true to the value system.
MANAGER. To be clear - manager does not equal leader.
In the case of these folks I have spoken with, they have a manager they have to report to. Not a leader that wants to work with them.
In another article, this quote from Dan Rockwell (Leadership Freak blog) spoke volumes to me –
"Do you believe that people with defeated spirits
achieve great results?"
This really does say it all, doesn’t it?
Listening to these people, I am reminded to how powerful words of thanks, gratitude, encouragement, praise can mean. And how far it can go. The interaction over the last several weeks has reminded me of the void that can be created when People Management 101 is neglected.
Note to those of us given the responsibility to lead and work with –
If you have the charge to lead, please lead. Simple words to let people know they are appreciated is a little thing to do.
Business leader and continuous learner in consumer durable products sold through various partner channels; retail, capital goods, infrastructure product.
Seeking senior leadership role with a company with a vision to grow, innovate, and create a sustainable value-proposition. www.davidkearsley.com