Is your workplace really a reflection of you?

This week I was in Toronto teaching a group of elementary and high school educators –leaders of their schools and education innovators – how to sharpen their people skills. One of the concepts we talked about was the critical leadership idea that: Your organization or department is simply a reflection of you personally. It reflects both your strengths and your weaknesses.

The irony of this was not lost on me, as I occupied the 10 percent of my high school grad class that made the top 90 percent possible.  I remember once in grade 10 receiving a final mark that was simply an asterisk.  I approached the teacher and asked hopefully, “Is this good?”  He made no comment, but looked at me blankly, shook his head, and went back to what he was doing. So, if my mother were alive, she would have been shocked.  Actually. SHOCKED. To see this marvel come to pass.  Needless to say, I spent the flight there on my laptop, double-checking spelling on all of my slides.

Looking inwards and realizing that your organization or department is a reflection of you is so important in leadership growth. That’s why everything gets better when you decide to grow. And grow you must.

Check out these stats from a study recently published in Forbes:

  • 70% of respondents said they would be happier and 55% said they would be more successful if they got along better with their immediate supervisor.  For workers in their 20s and 30s, this number rose to 80%
  • 31% said they felt uninspired/unappreciated by their boss
  • 38% described their boss as ‘great’ and 58% described their boss as hard-working
  • Depending on age groupings, between 40% and 73% said that the behaviour of their boss sometimes negatively affected their health

Even taking this with a good pinch of salt, because 41.6% of statistics are made up on the spot, we can still see that the behaviour of the immediate supervisor has a major impact on the people they lead.

People join great organizations and leave supervisors who they believe aren’t for them.

Here are some suggested action steps that will help you make a positive difference this week, whatever your role in the organization.  Pick one to try:

  1. Ask someone you work with to suggest one practical thing you could do (or one thing you could stop) that would make their life better
  2. Catch someone you work with doing something right this week and thank them for doing it
  3. Make a list of the qualities of your dream employee or coworker.  Then score yourself on the list.  How do you match up?

Your organization or department is simply a reflection of you!

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