I’m speaking to a group of leaders today in Sedona, AZ. I was reflecting on my notes for the day, and thought I’d share one of the more important things (with you) that I will share with them. So here we go…
Here’s a general principle that will frame this idea: The way we view something or someone, determines (in large) part how we will act toward that something or someone.
For 150 years or so, leaders (and managers) have viewed people as a way to get things done. Now, if we take our principle above as the starting point, how might leaders/managers act toward people if the view is that people are a means to an end? Of course, at an objective level, people do enable ends to occur. People help us get things done. But, if my basic view of a person is that they are a means to an end, the way I treat him/her could be “in-human.”
When we view people as means, people end up becoming tools–like a hammer or screw driver. As leaders, one of the most difficult lines to navigate is, on the one hand, to enlist the hands of people in getting things done, and on the other hand, to do it without trampling their hearts in the process.
The people you lead are human beings first and foremost.
So, how do we lead people in ways that focuses on their significance (as people) without losing sight of the fact that we need their “hands” in the pursuit of concrete goals?