Have you violated this very deep-seated social contract? Have you violated the very definition of leadership? As a leader have you allowed your people to be sacrificed so you could protect your own interests? Or worse have you sacrificed your people to protect your own interest?
I watched a TED talk by Simon Sinek titled “Why good leaders make you feel safe”. Sinek makes interesting point during his speech that being a great leader is like being a great parent. Well what makes a great parent? As a great parent, “we want to give our child opportunities, education, discipline them when necessary, all so that they can grow up and achieve more than we could for ourselves”. Now let me ask you, if your family was hit by hard times, would you ever consider laying off one of your own children? No, we wouldn’t. But why do we lay off people in our organisations?
Sinek talks about a tech company called Next Jump that have made a different approach to tackle employee performance issues. Here is the interesting part, “if you get a job at Next Jump you cannot get fired for performance issues. In fact, if you have issues, they will coach you and they will give you support, just like we would with one of our children.” They do it the complete opposite way than most organisations. Most organisations are only interested in your performance and if you are hit by tough times, like we humans inevitably do, they refuse to give a single drop of support. If the organisation doesn’t care about your well-being, then why should you as an employee care about the organisations well-being. Here is the funny part, many organisations take it for granted that you should care about the organisation, without them caring about you. “This is the reason so many people have such a visceral hatred, anger, at some of these banking CEOs with their disproportionate salaries and bonus structure.”
What is the lesson here? The lesson is that great leaders would never sacrifice their people to save the numbers. They would sooner sacrifice the numbers to save their people, just like a great parent.
What do think makes a great leader? Do you know any great leaders?
Sinek, S. 2014. Why good leaders make you feel safe. YouTube-video. Published 19.5.2019. Referred 1.12.2019.