Sitting in a room with the executive team is feels easy to write words on the flip chart pages like;
- Inspire and Empower Others
- Lead with Vision
- Transformation Style of Leadership
- Planning for Self and Others
- Creation of a Collaborative Environment
While the above concepts are noble the words are wasted when you attempt to explain to employees how these concepts operate in their daily work.
Hell…many of the executives I work with could not even give you examples of how the above concepts apply to their daily work. Never mind how to properly evaluate each other and subordinates in reference to the list.
There is a fallacy we all fall for, we must raise everything to the most conceptually complex level we can…then the solutions must be just as complexly conceptual.
I say phooey!
On to the Inquiry:
How might these concepts apply to your day to day work?
- Choose one of those abstract concepts that we all have on our appraisal sheets, values statements, leadership training programs, etc… and determine what each of the words mean.
- Once you have an agreed upon meaning of the words, create a story of how the concept would be seen if you knew NOTHING about the work. If an alien from outer space visited your workplace, and you explained one of the concepts to them…what would they see people/you doing where they would know the concept was real?
- Look for areas where this concrete action is already taking place…even just a little bit.
- Visit that place and interview, observe, ask, talk to the people…find out what, why and how they are doing the concept.
- Make that into your appraisal and training process.
Concepts are great and we love them…BUT they are dangerous when we hide behind them.
image by emilio labrador