Three Star Leadership Blog Has It Right

Wally Bock, author of one of my favorite blogs, Three Star Leadership, says in a recent post entitled “Caring for Your People: Part of the Boss’s Job,” that leaders have two jobs: one is to accomplish the mission; the other is to care for your people. Caring for people, he says, involves three main things: keeping your employes safe, helping them grow and develop, and creating a great working environment.

Excellent points, I think, all true — but what are the nitty-gritty details? What do you actually do?

When I think back to all the leaders I’ve had, and I think of the ones that cared for me, here’s what comes to mind:

  • They knew something about me, what I liked to do when not at work, and what sports teams I favored
  • They knew about my family, how many children I had, and what their names were
  • They took the time to ask about my family members and were understanding about family responsibilities
  • They noticed my work and made sure I got the credit for good work that I deserved
  • They gave me honest, quick feedback
  • They kept me informed about what was going on, and they told the truth
  • They said “Thanks” quite frequently
  • They stood up for me and at times, “took the heat”
  • They gave me challenging assignments, pushed me to do more, and encouraged me to develop my skills
  • They cleared the way for me when I needed them to
  • They were available most of the time, if I needed to talk or ask a question
  • They helped me solve problems — but they didn’t micro-manage

All of this takes time, but it’s time well spent. Bosses who are too busy to build relationships may pay a stiff price in the end.

So which job is more important, accomplishing the mission or caring for the people? Many bosses would say that accomplishing the mission is. But that task becomes far easier when cared-for employees join you in the work.

There Are 4 Responses So Far. »

  1. Wow, Jo Ellen. Thanks for adding that practical richness to my post and for your kind words.

    In my Working Supervisor’s Support Kit and in my classes I have an answer to that “which is more important” question. They’re both important. Neither is more important than the other. But there are times when each gets top position.

    You might be pushing an important deadline. People might have to put in some serious hours and perhaps miss some family time. It happens. Mission is more important right then.

    On the other side, everyone I’ve ever known who’s been a boss for any length of time has had good people go through a bad personal crisis. When that happens, there productivity may go in the toilet, but you cut them some slack. Caring for people is more important right then.

    Thanks for a great post.

  2. It is indeed interesting that on two counts: There are leaders who actually look beyond just ‘achieving results’ and monitor the ones who contribute to these results. These leaders, or bosses certainly inspire those people, and not ony enable the results, but become a beacon for people outside their entities! It is too, an interesting point, that these comments get posted, as they may well affect how other leaders, and managers see themselves, their subordinates, and associates in the quest for getting a job done, and achieving maximum results!

  3. An important aspect of any leaders being, is the fact that the people he or she leads are depended on, and they in turn depend on this leader. A leader who considers themself a ‘servant-leader’ is more likely to experience more significant results. A leader who rubs shoulders with the subjects, or a manager who discusses, and directs, rather than just delegates, is more likely to derive more positives, success, results,and cooperation!

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