In a Gallup survey, when employees were asked whether their supervisor or anyone else at work cared about them, only 4 out of 10 strongly agreed with that statement. That lack of caring is startling. If you fail to care about those you lead, they will eventually fail to care about you, the team and the organization.
I love the following true leadership story I heard bestselling author Simon Sinek once tell.
He was staying at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas. He said it is a wonderful place to stay, not because of fancy furnishings, but because of the people who work there. When you walk by employees of the hotel and they say hello to you, you feel they actually wanted to say hello to you – not that someone told them they had to say hello to every guest they passed.
Sinek said that in the lobby there was a coffee stand. One particular afternoon he went to buy a cup of coffee and there was a Barista (a person who prepares and serves espresso-based coffee drinks) by the name of Noah who was serving him. He said Noah was charming, funny and engaging and he loved talking with him.
Sinek asked Noah, “Do you like your job?” Noah said without hesitation, “I love my job.” Sinek then asked what it was about the Four Seasons that would make him say, “I love my job?” Without skipping a beat Noah said, “Throughout the day managers will walk past me and ask me how am I doing and if there is anything I need to do my job better.” He said, “Not just my manager, but any manager.”
Comparing the experience of leadership at the Four Seasons and to another hotel he works at, Noah says that at the other hotel “the managers are trying to make sure we’re doing everything right – they catch us when we do things wrong. When I go to work there, I like to keep my head under the radar and just get through the day so I can get my paycheck. He said that at the Four Seasons, “I feel I can be myself.”
What’s the magical reason why Noah has two very different experiences? At the Four Seasons Noah feels cared about by leadership and at the other hotel, he doesn’t. When people feel genuinely cared about they go above and beyond. When people don’t feel they are cared about they do just enough to stay out of trouble and collect a paycheck.
It is only through heart based leadership, or what I call Care to Lead Leadership, that you can create a place where people want to consistently go above and beyond for you, the team and the organization. Your people’s desire to go beyond, ripples out to customers and eventually to your bottom line. If you don’t care about those you lead, you shouldn’t lead – it’s not fair to the people you lead or your company.
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