In his great book, True North, Bill George says “People today demand personal relationships with their leaders before they will give themselves fully to their jobs.” Do you agree with that? I do. The starting point for a “personal relationship” is simply, Be Personable.
If you are the leader, people want to know you. And, they want to be known by you. They want to know what you do on Saturday (fish, football, or flowers), but more than that, they want to tell you about their kids, hobbies, church, or crazy uncle. They want you to know they are more than Employee #7933 (my number at Bell Helicopter years ago).
Being personable doesn’t mean becoming best friends. It means listening, being interested, being kind, being ________ (you fill in the blank).
A couple of requirements for being personable are:
#1 You have to get out of your office.
#2 You have to invest some one-on-one time with people.
#3 You can’t fake it. If you are just going through the motions because you read this blog, they’ll know.
#4 You can’t pollute “being personable” time with organization issues and problems.
The alternative to being a personable leader is being a jerk boss. Which will prompt your employees to “give themselves fully to their jobs”? You know the answer, so….
Relationships take time. You can spend time, or invest time. Be Personable time is the most important time you invest.
Be Personable is #4 on the path to leadership credibility. How are you doing on the first three: Be Honest (8/14 post); Be Visible (8/21 post); Be Available (8/29 post)?
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Copyright 2015 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
6 September 2015
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner