Years ago, my five sisters and I visited our brother in his high-rise executive office with the mahogany wood desk, the leather chair, and a view of the city. He was in a president role at a major financial institution. As we walked in, five of us ran immediately to the window to see the city, but my little sister instead noticed a strikingly clean desk with a few sheets of paper on it. She asked my brother, “Why don’t you have any work on your desk?” To which he replied, “By the time it gets to me, the work has already been done.” To be clear, my brother wasn’t just enjoying that stunning view all day. At his level, he was being paid for his strategic thinking and decision-making, and for setting priorities and direction.
… And yet, it is the key to helping others stay engaged.
I recently read the latest report from Gallup, and the numbers seem to stay the same when it comes to employee engagement… literally 70% of workers are not engaged. As leaders, we have the challenge of engaging our people, and yet, that is hard when 43% of employees work remotely and almost 84% of our employees are matrixed.
I just finished Kristi Hedges’ newest book, The Inspiration Code. It is fabulous.
The beauty and the impact of the book is Kristi’s ability to offer key learnings in small bites. Kristi did some major research on the topic of what inspires people, and here are two nuggets that I particularly loved from her book:
I recently traveled to Copenhagen as a speaker for the Signature Leaders program. One of the best parts of the meeting for me was listening to the many things the speaker panel had to say about their biggest leadership lessons. Here are a few of the highlights when asked about the biggest lessons each had learned:
Last week, my husband and I went to a show at Jazz Standard in New York City. The performance was spectacular.
On our way home, we discussed the performance, agreeing that jazz bands are great examples of leadership and teamwork in action but more so, leadership. The band leader gives each member solo moments to shine and excel at their artistry. Each band member generously listens and openly trusts each other in the art of improvisation that usually creates something unique and remarkable. And throughout the performance, the members experiment and learn from errors.
The conversation reminded me of a recent event where I placed three of my leaders in a position to share their knowledge and impress a new C-suite executive.