As I was talking to a potential new employee, they questioned my statement that I wanted them to bring everything they learned previously to this job. Their quandary was that in his previous interviews, he was told that he needed to “forget” everything he knows and his new employers will teach him.
To me, this makes no sense whatsoever. As a leader, this flies in the face of how top executives drive their team. What I would like to share are three things that top leaders do that you may not be doing.
Remember that not everyone has traveled the same path as you.
At times, we can feel our way is the best way. We feel that our path has gotten us to this point so it is the only way to execute. Discounting what others have done blocks off a flow of information.
Great managers embrace differences. Great leaders understand that everything they do should be constantly re-evaluated for improvement. Someone’s experience in another industry may bring a process or tool that impacts your business in a positive way.
Bring everything from your past to the current job. Do not select what is appropriate.
Encouraging your team to bring their skills and processes from his or her past allows you to improve your situation quickly. Make sure that they do not implement them without review, but you can find some great nuggets of information both good and bad that you can hold up to current process.
I myself came from the hospitality industry. My 8-Step Coaching Process was created from how I was initially trained in the restaurant field. I have since adapted it for all of my training, but if I were not able to bring that along, one of my previous jobs would not have been successful.
Balance long term and short term vision.
Look at ways to improve short term, but balance it with long term. Many times management puts out fires to get things done today but they are not looking at how it impacts process and roles in long term.
For example, let’s say there are questions coming in to a manager’s desk. They should be coming to a different department but he feels he can handle and wants to help out. Short term, it does solve the problem, but long term, this manager will be resentful that they are handling other employee’s issues
My question to the leadership would be:
- What happens when that person is off for a day?
- Who handles these processes?
- Will it be handled the same way no matter who is executing the task?
Processes cannot reside with only one person.
If leaders take these three steps into consideration, it would allow them to be more open to outside influences that can increase their productivity and, ultimately, their bottom line