One milestone in professional development is knowing when to leave behind old ways and take the leap to adopt new approaches. Of course, no one can tell you the best time to make such changes, but you can prepare yourself by taking inventory of some of your leadership habits.
This is one of the chronic problems in today’s work place: too much to do and not enough time. Leaders may feel especially pressured by this issue with the myriad tasks and projects that fall on their plates.
Leaders, however, need to tackle this issue a little differently than those who work for you. People are relying on you and are going to interrupt your day almost always at the most inconvenient times.
There are times when you’re running fast and furious, and your team is doing a great job. But how are the people holding up under the pressure? When you see great results, you may not see fraying around the edges. If unravelling has begun, though, you need to jump in and be on top of it.
You’ll know about your lower performing employees early on. They’ll complain about the work and grumble to their co-workers about how difficult everything is. These aren’t the people to worry about because odds are you aren’t relying on them for the most important deliverables.
My friend Andrea recently gave performance reviews to her staff. She was pleased with their responses, and I offered kudos on how she delivered these reviews.
She replied, “You owe the people below you as much as you do those above you.”
What a great comment! Andrea provides regular feedback and treats her team with professional courtesy and respect. Her statement embodies these values. The positive response from her team is a consequence of this ongoing, regular dialogue.
Time magazine recently reported on an American Psychological Association study that a third of U.S. teens haven’t read a book for pleasure in over a year. This struck me as a combination of sad and a little scary.
Reading is important for young people for so many different reasons. Aside from the obvious ones, such as building vocabulary and their own writing skills, it helps build their critical thinking and even their social skills.
The time spent reading has been replaced by time spent on social and other digital media, which doesn’t have the same impact on their intellectual development. This will become our problem as today’s teens are our future employees.