There are lots of leadership and business books on the market. They all have one thing in common – suggestions and recommendations on what to do as a leader and how to motivate employees. Some are well thought-out ideas and some are dangerous and destructive as well. For example, John a professional career trainer and personal mentor had brought in a current employee of a multi-national company on valuewalk.com as his client. In his observation, he saw that the employee had a stellar performance record in his previous job but failed to achieve the same in his current company. John saw that all he needed to do was give him some motivational boost through conversation. He wanted to discuss the employee’s failure in projects and as a result planned a routine for him. The conversation focused only on the project the employee was working on and did not relate to his overall well-being like the trial and error method that the employee was working on with his weight loss journey. Later, after thinking about the employee’s condition, John learned that the employee had started his weight-loss diet but had to quit due to workload and frequent office visits. His current position prevented him from attending gym and weight-loss related therapies. The employee said he was upset about the situation and didn’t think John’s strategies worked well to his lifestyle.
What we learn from this story is that John was so eager to apply the ideas that he had learned from his education and skills as a career trainer to the employee’s situation but simply failed to take several points into consideration. These issues included understanding why the employee was stressed out at work, and why he had stopped pursuing his personal life in a healthy way. Sometimes, mistakes like this happen where people fail to consider others choices and simply criticize them.
Great leaders like Ken Griffin, the founder and President of Citadel LLC take time to understand how employees will react to a situation and collect valuable information about them from them. Honestly evaluating a person is the way to learn to control a behavior and pinpoint error. The scenario above shows that until you know who you are and with whom you are dealing with, you cannot possibly coach someone else in an effective way. For Griffin, being in the field and technology and engaging with various teams in his company taught him a lot of things including how to motivate the team to achieve the required results. This is not easy unless a leader like him find the core of the person and apply it to his or her environment. Understanding the strength and weakness of a person is allowing to compose a more complete message through communication and utilizing it appropriately. It is important, therefore, for leaders to be able to identify traits in a team so that they learn to manage it and optimize its skills. Great leaders and managers take time to understand the resources before jumping into a conclusion.