I’ve read numerous articles that point out how our society, with a plethora of social media, has become more isolated than ever before. The more we engage in social media, thinking that we are actually connecting with people, the more isolated we become.
If these comments are true, we are faced with a new requirement of our future leaders. The number one skill they may need to employ is inspiring people to become engaged in making a difference one step at a time. Persuading the common worker away from instant success and building toward longevity will not only become a requirement, but the only safeguard to protect the business.
Fighting this very skill will be a group of stockholders who are convinced that you can squeeze just a little more revenue out of the corporate fabric for this quarter, without a single care for the next. And, with some of the fat corporations out there, they are probably right. However, when the squeeze is put on, the upper levels of fat are seldom touched, as the cutbacks typically fall down the chain.
Unfortunately, what is good for workers and unity is many times the opposite of short-term quarterly results. But, the good news is that happy employees innovate, which can bring about the next growth trend for the business. Engaged employees will always create greater opportunities than anyone pushing for a quick quarterly result.
When I look back over history, I find that one person was behind every great innovation. I also see incredible corporations that pop up around innovators who can stabilize and streamline the ideas for consumption and profitable growth. So, if that is typically the case, why aren’t corporations spending time encouraging every employee to innovate?
The 2012 leader will be the one who trains his teams to make small innovations to streamline their departmental processes. Once that pattern develops, several of the employees will start to make creative suggestions that, if heeded, will lead to the next generation of products. This process will continue to grow until there is a think tank of individuals who brainstorm a decades worth of innovative products.
The 2012 leader will see this innate value in his people and will do everything in his power to encourage this type of growth. Not only will he be a thought leader, but also he will find ways to make his employees more important to the company than he is. Each person under his leadership will become more valuable than the corporation can afford to keep.
But he won’t be discouraged by it, as he will have built such a community that no one would want to leave. Only the corporations that don’t build value into their employees will see high turnover. After all, we all want to be a part of something incredible, something bigger than us – All while being a very important part of it.
Take a look at where you work. Does the top person in charge hold you in higher esteem than himself? Do they see more talent in you worth developing than you see in yourself? Or, do they drain you at every quarterly opportunity and never refill your emptiness?
The answer to these questions will tell you whether or not your leader is suited for 2012 and beyond, or just for this quarter. And, if its just for this quarter, you probably are viewed as a disposable product that the corporation consumes to move forward, rather than its future innovator.
At least you’ll know where you and your boss stands concerning the future and his perceived value of you.