“Come to me with any problems you might have” the CEO said in closing of the weekly staff meeting. Within a few moments, she couldn’t leave due to a small group of employees huddled around her.
One person mentioned to me “it’s nice to hear that she cares but ultimately, I’d like to KNOW that she cares”. I responded quickly asking “what are you looking for to KNOW that she does?”. “Well”, said my co-worker, “she would walk around asking questions, taking the time to get to know what is going on and not just leaving it up to us to come to her”.
“Oh” I said. “So, what I hear you saying is that she needs to be proactive with her staff in the workplace instead of reactive”. “That’s it exactly!” he shouted.
Have you experienced this kind of situation in one way or another? As you probably have, this is an all too common style of leadership within our culture. Leaders and/or managers sitting behind their desk waiting for people to approach them. When this happens, the mindset of ‘all things are good here’ can set in leaving a mirage of a beautiful oasis in the middle of an arid workplace land. You and I have seen this type of leadership and it leads to an unhealthy workplace environment, undue stress levels and ultimately, employees contemplating their resignations.
Amanda Maxine Hageman states, “Good leaders put out fires. Great leaders prevent them”. Great leaders will be proactive by taking the necessary steps in advance to make sure that there is nothing to catch fire. They will know their environment and take care of problems as they hear about them.
What is one way that this can be solved? Don’t wait for a fire to start. Prevent it by sharing elements of the situation with your boss or supervisor as they come up. Be proactive by doing your part to find or share ways that will diffuse the situation.