What Are They Looking For?

authentic leadership burnout buy-in employee engagement genuine influence leadership leading a team management manager performance profit profitability profitability killers return return on investment supervision supervisor team leadership what support do you need from your manager to accomplish your goals Sep 12, 2023
what support do you need from your manager to accomplish your goals

As we’ve worked through each of these individual profitability killers, my goal has been to provide you with some basic, practical steps you can take in applying specific behaviors that help you communicate with and lead your team members more effectively, making a measurable difference in your organization’s bottom line. And I honestly believe, based on the results I’ve seen personally, that putting even a few of these steps into place can result in significant productivity increases AND huge gains in overall profitability! That said, much of the perspective I’ve used to address each profitability killer has been based on it just being the logical (and right) thing to do. There’s one point of view I’ve intentionally avoided up until now though; that perspective of so many people who are begging for great leadership in society today…

I’ve heard John Maxwell comment on some of what he sees as he develops leaders around the world, saying that he’s far too often left feeling “leadership sad.” Far too many families, churches, civic organizations, and basically any other type of group I could possibly name falls short of providing the kind of effective leadership that each of us truly deserve! As we think back to each of the individual profitability killers we’ve worked through together, I’ll challenge you with yet another question: have you ever stopped to consider, “What are they looking for?” What do the individuals you’ve taken responsibility for leading need most from you?

I often talk about how much I still enjoy so many of the hair bands from the 80s. Quite honestly, there are only a handful of bands I’ve really listened to since. One of those, which may well be one of my top ten favorite bands of all time at this point, is called Alter Bridge. Interestingly enough, they’ve been hugely successful in Europe but have received just a fraction of the same attention in the States in spite of being incredible musicians and their singer having one of the best voices I’ve ever heard. (In case you’ve never heard of them, three of the members were in Creed then got a good singer and started playing to their full potential…) In 2016 they released a song called Show Me a Leader that included these lyrics:

Disillusioned and tired of waiting

For the one

Who's intentions are pure unpersuaded

We can trust

Cause a promise is never enough

We need to know this is not the end

How will we ever get by?

It's getting harder to fight

Out here on our own

Show me a leader that won't compromise

Show me a leader so hope never dies

Show me a leader that knows what is right

Show me a leader so hope can survive

We need a hero this time

Or we will never survive

This clearly isn’t the entire song; I’d encourage you to check it out on your own. And while the opening verse (not referenced here) seems to have a bit more of a political slant - and is as fitting today as it was then - it didn’t grab me like the rest of the song did when I first heard it. Truth be told, the portion I’ve shared with you here captures the essence of what I’ve heard from so many great people across every industry! Without someone in leadership with pure intentions, any one of us can lose a level of hope. Without that leader who won’t compromise their values, it’s most certainly a harder fight. And if they’re struggling to just get by, I’m not sure how much profitability we can expect to survive…

So I’ll ask you again, do you know what they’re looking for from you as their leader? Have you heard their requests, however subtle they may be? As we wind down this look at how much profitability is killed by poor leadership, we look at the impact bad managers have on their employees and we’ll look at what we can do to provide our teams with the support they need. First though, we need to identify what ever team needs from their leader!