Leadership and babysitting have unfortunately been synonymous for years in too many companies. Over and over, I’ve heard leadership from around the country express the disappointment with having to babysit team members.
A few years ago, Aaron West, the genius A/V coordinator on my team, asked if I would be willing to watch his beautiful baby girl, Ariana. Now, if you know anything about me, you know I absolutely love children. I always have. So, I was very quick to say yes.
Well that, and I had a wedding that day. Not knowing how long the wedding would be, a baby was a great excuse to duck out if it went really long. I’m kidding … kinda!. But seriously, I was excited to watch Ariana. Now, with that said, I can hear all the guys out there who just said that I’m crazy.
It’s OK. Maybe babysitting isn’t your thing. It doesn’t have to be. But you know what does? You have to at least know the names of your team members’ children. You have to know when one of their parents is in the hospital with a problem. You have to know how their vacation went. The only one they took this year.
You should know what their dreams are. Their actual ones. Not the one they told you in the interview process of hopefully staying with your company until they die. You should be able to tell anyone about some of exciting things in their life.
Why is all of this so important? Because they have decided to come and spend more of their time with your company than anything else they do. And while a paycheck seems like the logical reason to not have to be in their lives, it’s not enough to keep them motivated.
As the old saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” So today … show them. Spend just a few minutes in your meetings, walking through the office, whatever, getting to know your team members personally.
You never know … maybe someday they will trust you enough to ask you to watch their most precious possession.
Question: What does this kind of crazy talk do for you?