Building respect is critical in business today. On the day after the last mid-term elections we were saying how tired we were of the foul innuendo and lies that are put forward in ads.
Today, we live in a very open society where the criticizing of all leaders, from the president down, is not only tolerated, but considered proper and part of the democratic way. I challenge this thought. Yes, everyone has freedom of speech but we need to realize that everyone has that same right. It is not limited to any one person so it is necessary for one to respect the ideas of others and allow for proper discussion. When we disrespect someone trust is destroyed, many times beyond recovery.
We experienced election campaigns that went to the extremes the candidates used to insult and smear each other in a most disturbing manner. There was little effort to seek the truth as innuendos, half-truths, and mockery were hurled at others at an astronomical speed by most candidates. What a vast waste of money and effort. Undisciplined confrontation and argument destroys respect and allows negative interlopers to gain an advantage in situations.
In today’s business world we continually harp on “learning” but then we expect people to find it themselves. Trust me there is nothing more deflating than a Learning and Development plan that points a finger at a computer and says start learning, especially if there are no examples that they can use for reference. By the way, those examples should be human and hopefully mentors that others can choose to follow and engage.
Here we are going to discuss a number of ways you can build a proactive culture for learning within your own organization. This usually requires that you, as the leader, are the cheerleader and primary proponent for using the tools that we outline here.
There is a term in the realm of biology entitled a Keystone Species. In architecture there is a building term that refers to the Keystone of an Arch. In thinking about these terms last week I wondered if there were some characteristics that we could apply to the role of a leader. Lo and behold there were some ideas what we could readily adopt and use as a bench mark. First let’s look at the term Keystone Species;
What is a Keystone Species?
A keystone species is one that plays a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions. It has a disproportionately large effect on its environment relative to its abundance.
There are two recognized attributes of a keystone species. First, the presence of a keystone species is crucial in maintaining the integrity of its ecosystem through species diversity and organization. Second, these species are relatively more important in structuring their ecosystem when compared to most other species of equal biomass found within their community.
Today, we have a dilemma that is facing many companies when it comes to hiring. Checklists are getting in the way. Having dealt with the application process for a while, I find it interesting what the automated process has done to the human interaction process.
We have dehumanized the interaction so much that defensive processes have started to appear that further jeopardize employee engagement, in my opinion.
While watching our granddaughters as we were shopping over the weekend, it dawned on me that I can learn many positive concepts about leadership from them. Kids teach leadership? Now keep in mind, the oldest is 18 months and the youngest is 4 months and yes, they easily get grandpa’s attention, but this goes deeper.
We are blessed in having 5 grandchildren, 3 boys and 2 girls. Geographically, the girls are nearby so we get to see them more often hence they are the focus of this particular post. As a side note, as I look back, the boys exhibited identical attitudes and characteristics.
Have you ever noticed how a toddler can command attention when they enter the room? They can come into the room with either a shy attitude or as my girls, they come in, knowing they have something to share.