In my quest for more human leadership, I’ve discovered a core truth.
If you encounter a workplace filled with people who love their jobs, you’ll find a great leader who made that happen.
Those kind of environments don’t just pop out of thin air – there needs to be a catalyst.
And that catalyst is the leader.
So what’s the secret to building such a place, and thus, achieving leadership greatness?
Shane J. Lopez of Gallup wanted to find out, and asked 8,000 people who proclaimed they loved their work. He talked about his findings in a recent article in the NY Times.
(That’s a lot of happy people!)
Generally, these folks were in that rarified air because of 4 factors (my additions in parenthisis):
- They felt that they, AND their teammates, were allowed to leverage their strengths (because the leader respected and trusted them)
- They saw themselves as an important part of the organizations’s future (that is, the leader made sure they understood their roles and how it made a difference)
- They were surrounded by teammates who cared about their overall well-being (because the leader set that tone and held everyone else to the same standard)
- They were excited about the future, because of a leader’s enthusiasm and vision (the passion to be not just good, but great)
Lopez made two more observations well worth noting here.
“People who want the most from their work go boss-shopping. They may change shifts or make lateral moves in a company or industry to work for bosses who can become influential leaders in their lives”
Note “in their lives”. Not just “in their jobs”. The happy worker connects the career with a fulfilled life, and a more human leader recognizes that.
“I interviewed a workplace consultant as part of a research project on people who love their jobs. She told me she’d been looking for a boss who would tap into her sense of purpose. More important, whe wanted a boss who trusted her”
“Tap into their sense of purpose”. What a wonderful thing for a great leader to do. But it takes something well beyond “by the book” management.
It takes more human leadership.
Get your team to this place, this love, this happiness. Build trust and the culture of accountability that are the hallmarks of more human leadership, and I can tell you from my own experience, you’ll lead them there.
And better still, you’ll get there too.
(and thank you Shane J. Lopez for this excellent research)
(Photo by Bigstock)