By Kendra Prospero
CEO, Turning the Corner, LLC
I work with a lot of high powered CEOs and managers, and every time I hear someone mutter “This job would be great if it weren’t for the employees”, I cringe. I love my employees, and while every relationship is complicated, I feel a strong connection to my team, and I do not feel anything but gratefulness for my employees. I want every manager and leader to feel the way I feel about my team. I want every manager and leader to lead!
Am I crazy? Am I blind to what my peers are experiencing? I know I have a gift for seeing people’s strengths and helping them connect with a job that is meaningful for them, but I also think that this formula is something I can teach to you – or to your CEO. I don’t think I’m blind, I just think I have a different experience. My peers don’t understand the power of caring for their team and providing their employees with more than just a paycheck.
What’s Going on Here?
A job is where we spend the best hours of our day and the best years of our life. It should be a place where people feel great going to and that includes the boss. If you hate your employees, you probably have something deeper going on and it is probably a complicated, but not impossible, fix.
Here’s what I typically see is missing when a boss hates their employees:
1) A Vision: There is not a clear vision and mission that can help guide the boss through nebulous times. This also make the employees feel confused and unsure when the boss is not leading. A vision and mission is great for everyone from the janitor to the CEO. A vision is the GPS for you when you are lost.
2) Weaknesses: The boss lacks self-awareness and does not embrace his or her own weaknesses which makes it impossible for her to accept others weaknesses. We all have to start embracing each other’s weaknesses so we can all be more successful at work.
3) Management: The boss is not wired for management. I know too many bosses who just are not good managers. You can fix this with training and commitment. It is possible to learn how to be a good manager if you want to be one.
4) The right fit: If none of the above are resonating for you, then the last thing that is going to make you hate your employees is that you’re not very good at hiring. Probably you hate your employees because you do not have the right fit. This is easy to solve – as you know – because this is exactly what we do at Turning the Corner. But if it were that easy, you’d already be doing that.
The Real Bottom Line
I want you to love your employees. I am not a perfect leader, but I work hard to have a clear vision, to have self-awareness around my strengths and weaknesses, I spend thousands of dollars every year to become a better manager, and well, I eat my own cooking – we are pretty good at hiring. The relationship you have with your employees can be as rewarding of a relationship as your spouse and children. (Assuming you love your spouse and kids! Hopefully you love them…I do!)