New Era Leaders symbolically represent a tipping point of a leadership style positively influenced, in part, by contrarian acts exhibited by endless examples of selfish, unethical choices by executives, politicians and even athletes. Such examples bleed into our life and leave us needing something deeper from leaders in our world.
New Era Leaders learn from this social occurrence and change how they give something deeper to those they inspire to contribute.
How? New Era Leaders inspire others to contribute by enabling dreams of others.
1. Refresh your people practices. A vice president of human resources once told me, “We aren’t here to help people self-actualize.” This is the epitome of an outdated belief in the relationship between a company and its employees. Today, employees long for meaning in their work. This includes helping employees become better people in life while at work. Enable their dreams by refreshing these people practices.
- Pay for classes that satisfy interests of your employees and bring them happiness. Don’t limit tuition reimbursement to classes that cover only what your company does.
- Vineet Nayar advocates in his book “Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down” to open up your 360-degree review. This means making results available to everyone in the organization to increase belief in the assessment. Take this a step further: Let nonmanagers participate in the process. Let them learn from peers and from upper management what they are doing well and what needs to improve. This type of feedback can increase employee self-awareness, helping inform their thoughts of themselves and actions.
2. Alter interaction. Enabling dreams requires that you switch up how you interact with your team, volunteers or community. New Era Leaders ruthlessly make room in their calendar to connect face to face, virtually or physically, with their team.
Alter the interaction of your employees, too. Give up the usual-suspects approach to putting the same people on high-profile projects. These projects often are prestigious. Make them more about contribution and matching talent to a project, then give employees the opportunity to interact with others in a new way.
3. Help employees have great lives. Employees at all levels spend much of their daily lives at work. I think employers need to create a relationship that isn’t merely a transaction to pay for services. It’s one that recognizes the opportunity costs of working and not having the time to pursue actions that help employees have great lives.
Google thinks it should make it easy for employees to take care of routine errands from work. This is a gift of time that allows employees to do something meaningful: dream-worthy.
If there’s one key message I want to leave with you, it’s this: New Era Leaders place greater importance on helping employees achieve their dreams and greatness. Any one of us will do great things when we know what we do matters and makes a difference. Customers are more satisfied, and work becomes more enjoyable.