Which Stage Are You Singing From?

appreciation authentic leadership earning leadership employee engagement employee experience engagement genuine inspiring and engaging leadership leadership leadership communication leadership culture leadership responsibility Jun 28, 2022
Inspiring and Engaging Leadership

I’ll be very transparent here, I know my limitations… I'm certain I’ve never even been able to sing as well as Vince Neil (if we can really call what he does now singing), which is a fairly low bar at this point! In fact, I haven’t believed I could sing for more than twenty years - which just happens to directly coincide with when I stopped participating in some other nonsense… But make no mistake, each of us who accept leadership responsibility still have a song to sing, or at least a message to share and an audience to engage!! And while our performance won’t likely be on a stage in front of tens of thousands of fans in borderline inappropriate attire, whether or not we choose to connect with our audience will make a significant difference in the results we’re able to achieve!

I remember the plant manager who was responsible for the facility when I first started in manufacturing as a 19 year old kid. He was visible on the shop floor almost every day and interacted with every employee he went by. This was a stark contrast from the one who managed that same facility when I left close to 19 years later; one who rarely even left his office door open and refused to accept questions in employees meetings unless those questions had been submitted in advance. (We’ll circle back to that mess another time…) Both had effectively the same stage but they used it very differently!

Just recently, actually the morning before we went to the concert I referenced last time, Cindy and I talked with a friend of ours who manages a large manufacturing facility about a similar situation. He shared an example of something he had been very intentional about doing on a routine basis with hopes that the some of the supervisors and managers reporting to him would see just how much of a difference they could make. (Don’t misunderstand me here, he was also very complimentary of the majority of the supervisors and managers on his team!)

Since taking the position in that company, he had been dedicating time on a routine basis to be on the shop floor and interact with team members. This often led to him being one of the first people to have direct conversations with new full time and temporary team members, and it gave him a chance to let them know he appreciated their contribution (kinda like Bret Michaels was doing, right?)...

He wrapped up the story by commenting on how simple it really is to make a positive impact on our team members when we’re willing to engage them and show genuine appreciation. What Cindy and I also saw from his example was how important it is for a higher level executive or business owner to be intentional about modeling the behaviors he wants his team to follow and how important it is for that same person to explain to his team why he’s doing it!

Regardless of the setting or the size of the group, a leader is responsible for making a connection and building engagement. That’s never a task to be taken lightly and it always requires energy - so we’ll pick up there next time…