On Monday mornings I am dedicated to the proposition that all men are created jerks.
– H. Allen Smith
In The 360° Leader, John Maxwell shares a humorous story about a turkey chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the energy.”
“Well,” replied the bull, “why don’t you nibble on some of me droppings? They’re packed with nutrients.” The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. But he was promptly spotted by a hunter, who shot him down out of the tree. The moral of the story: BS might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.
Monday morning can either be a day of dread or one filled with expectation for what lies ahead. And yes, you may have to contend with those whose path is full of droppings or with those who BS their way to the top. But as a leader, what motivation do you want your team to bring to the office on Monday? What do you believe truly motivates your team to come back? Here are three qualities that will endear you to your team and them proud to be by your side.
A leader with a servant’s heart. A leader with a servant’s heart is not absorbed in centering the organization on his or her needs, but in being a facilitator in order to make those around him successful. The mentality is not, “what can you do for me?” but rather, “what can I do for you?”
When you engage your team with a servant’s heart you will help them see and understand that you are about the big picture; not being the big person. Authentic servant leadership will have the team back on Monday; are you living it?
A leader with an open mind. Martha Stewart said, “Without an open-minded mind, you can never be a great success.” And this is at the heart of what makes your workplace enjoyable. When leadership is open-minded to new ideas, thinking outside the margins, and vesting trust in the team, great things are within reach.
What brings your team back on Monday is an environment in which ideas are welcomed and wanted. Strong morale is built upon a foundation of mutual respect and appreciation for the talent and gifts each person has invested. The leader with an open mind is smart enough to surround himself with the best and brightest and humble enough not to care who gets the credit. Keep an open mind and you will keep your team close. How open minded are you?
A leader with a clear vision. Monday is the least of your worries if your team members do not have their hearts and minds wrapped around the vision and mission of what they are doing and why. A clear vision and mission are the two key ingredients that give your team a sense of purpose and direction.
Warren G. Bennis said, “Leadership is the ability to translate vision into reality.” And this is the responsibility of your leadership; to map out the vision in clear terms that your team can embrace. When the team knows where they are going, why they are going there, and what the rewards will be, it is then they will buy-in and go there with you.
What brings your team back on Monday is a leader with a servant’s heart; it is not about you. What brings your team back on Monday is a leader with an open mind; don’t BS them. What brings your team back on Monday is a leader with a vision; share it.
Now, put yourself in the shoes of your team. Would you come back?
© 2011 Doug Dickerson