Have you been withdrawing more than you’ve been depositing?

Posted December 3, 2008 in Communication, Latest News & Insights

Yesterday, we had a PowerRoundtable discussion on Leading in Times of Change.  It was a dynamic morning, with lots of great discussion.  Lot’s of great points raised about leading through change… but the comment that struck me the most was during the wrap up, when Kathy Rethy talked about how leaders need to be continually making deposits in the “goodwill” piggy bank.

She talked about how it’s the small things that you do as a leader day-to-day that will enable your success in times of crisis.  Her point being, it’s easier to lead a team in times of change if you have earned their trust and commitment during the good times.

I’ve definitely seen many leaders not pay attention to the “little” things.  They ignore simple acts like thanking people, staying late to help finish an “on deadline” project, acknowleging extra efforts… I could go on, and on, and on.  When I’ve asked them why, the responses I get have ranged from “their paycheque is their recognition” to “if I thank them, they’ll just take advantage of me” to other responses that I can’t even mention (some people just shouldn’t be in leadership roles!).

These same leaders then expect their teams to rally in times of crisis by staying late, doubling their workloads and accepting change without resistance.  Why should they?

There’s an overused saying that leadership and respect is earned not given.  Overused maybe, but true non-the-less.

Whether your team is currently in crisis right now or not, it’s never too late to start making regular and frequent deposits into the emotional piggy banks of your team.  The more you’ve invested, the more you can withdraw when you need it.  And in this uncertain economy, you may need to make frequent withdrawals!

Happy leading!

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