How Brave Are You Feeling?

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Patrick Lencioni jokes that managers who complain about meetings are missing the point.  As managers, our jobs are attending meetings. I can buy that… when we think of ourselves as managers.  But what about our jobs as leaders?  What’s our job there?

Some might say the job of a leader is to provide the vision; to inspire the team towards a yet to be realized future.  A better future.  I’ll buy that, too, but only as a part of the job.

We all know that the “one size fits all” model of customer service leaves something to be desired.  As consumers we want our service to be personalized; designed to address our unique needs, desires and concerns.  If we can think of a job as the largest purchase someone makes in their life; spending not money, but most of their waking life in exchange for something that they hope will forward their life pursuits, then shouldn’t they deserve that customized, one-on-one “customer service” as well?

Alyssa Burkus’ summary of Fierce Conversations is a powerful one – perhaps one of the most important summaries on leadership we’ve had to date.  Having real, deep conversations with your employees is not for the faint of heart.  As a result, we can easily find a million other work related things to keep us busy, keep us distracted from the fact that we’re not giving our people that attention.  That we don’t truly understand what makes them tick, and how we can help them have an exceptional experience while they’re engaged with our business.  We can avoid those deeper conversation and hope they… what, go away?  Of course, that’s exactly what they’ll do.  And then what?

In my mind, it is our job as leaders to have those fierce conversations.  To get messy.  To uncover the raw, real nature of the people we work with and – in better understanding them – help them to achieve their goals and aspirations while they work here.

So here’s the fierce conversation starter for you, as a leader – are you doing your job?

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