These last two weekends I have had the opportunity to play Mr. Mom, and I mean big time Mr. Mom with five of my eight kids (15 year old girl and boys that are 12, 9, 6 and 4). I’m not use to it, but it has been an experience I wouldn’t mind having more (but nobody tell my wife that). Not because I enjoy dealing with every sibling squabble, washing every dirty dish, delegating chores or even making sure everyone gets off to school without a hitch at four different times! What I have enjoyed is the cuddling, the clinging, the arms wrapped around my neck and all other forms of “I love you dad” expressions. These have usually been reserved for mom, but not anymore.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like my kids don’t do some of those things some of the time. But these last two weekends have created a new shout in my home “three cheers for dad!” And you know what; they listen to me better and are interested in me more. I am a better leader in the home.
I got to thinking; is there any application with work? Yes, of course. I know some will argue it’s not the role of a leader to get people to like you. Yes and no, is my response. I don’t think you ever compromise leadership values for the sake of getting employees to like you. However, I do believe there is a strong correlation between respect (even adoration) and effective leaders. And while I wouldn’t advocate employees wrapping their arms around their bosses’ neck, we all want to be loved more, right?
So how do you create such respect and adoration with those you lead? The thing I learned this last weekend is that spending time is critical. If employees don’t know you, how can they adore you? It’s not as difficult as you think. I remember hearing the story of one CEO of a mid size company who when traveling to different service centers would take an hour or two out of his busy schedule to make it a point to personally say hi to every employee there. He would ask them about their families and jobs. Morale at that company took a significant jump.
Leaders should make it a point to not only get to know employees, but share things about themselves as well. It may take some time, but it will yield great results.
You can bet I will be spending more time with my kids. Why wouldn’t I? Cuddling, clinging, arms wrapped around my neck and the words “I love you dad,” why wouldn’t any father want more of that?
Do you agree that leaders need to be adored to be effective?
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