Once you understand the value of engaged leadership, your first question is how to engage your people. It isn’t a pill you take and solve all your problems. Rather it is something that you start small and grow. The following video is full of ideas on how to engage your people. Pick one and begin.
Once you start, pay attention to the response you get from your people. Try another idea and another. Over time you will notice your people becoming more engaged.
Managing the creative culture at Pixar is presented in a great book titled “Creativity Inc.” . Different cultures require different approaches to management, but this book really resonated with me as it fits the kind of people I normally work with and it fits my personality. I only wish I could have found this 40 years ago.
Ed Catmull is the author of the book and believes that managing the creative culture is based on the premise that people are talented and want to contribute. His job as manager is to eliminate things that undermine the premise.
The book Provides multiple “lessons learned”. An example from Toy Story 2: “If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better. Getting the team right is the necessary precursor to getting the ideas right.”
This is an inspirational video on leadership. There is a lot of good information about being a leader and there are some things that don’t carry the same weight as others. There is one thing that struck me that never gets enough attention and that is that great leaders have known failure.
While people are individual and unique, there are three levels of engagement with trade-offs in outcomes depending upon the level the leader is able to reach. For many years management looked at labor solely for their body and moving pieces of products through the manufacturing process. All to often jobs were designed to be “goof proof” instead of engaging the mind of the employee in the process. Even to this day, there are instances where organizations think of people as interchangeable parts rather than unique individuals with skills and abilities that might be maximized for the organizations benefit.
Sadly very few organizations do a good job of tapping into the individual spirit to optimize engagement, creativity, efficiency and effectiveness.
A life without purpose is a life adrift. Without purpose their can be no sense of accomplishment. The same could be said about the work that we do to earn our living. Knowing and contributing to the company purpose or mission engenders a feeling of importance. If our work is important to the mission, then obviously, we are important as the people who do that work.
Engaged Leaders understand and communicate the mission, vision and values of the organization especially including the importance of customer satisfaction. They make sure that their people understand the purpose and importance of the work they are doing to the accomplishment of the mission. They also recognize and celebrate corporate accomplishment as well as personal accomplishment.
Each accomplishment fosters the next accomplishment.