By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to gain EVEN more productivity from your staff.
“Getting to know you.
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to feel free and easy
When I’m with you.
Getting to know what to say.”
—From “The King and I”
I am convinced that Anna’s song in The King and I is the anthem of the most effective leaders I have known. Those leaders don’t have to study the research that says the MOST important leadership skill is taking a sincere personal interest in your employees. They already know it.
In fact, the most effective leaders know it is more productive for them to understand their followers than it is for their followers to understand them, as author Garry Wills notes in his book Certain Trumpets.
Forget the touchy/feeling stuff. There’s a bottom-line, performance-driven significance to that getting-to-know-you focus on followers.
Consider the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the three-year, 7,000-mile plus exploration of unknown land from the Dakotas to the Pacific that would virtually double the size of the United States of America.
Lewis and Clark persisted, leading their team over the Rocky Mountains, despite hardship, hostile natives and illness. They succeeded in part because they got to know their followers, as noted historian Stephen Ambrose notes in his book Undaunted Courage. Continue reading