Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Let Em Shine

Your staffs are an integral part of the success of your organization’s performance. This, you should know already. But how do they get to that point? How are they able to realize just how important they are?

You, as a leader, must communicate to your staff how you expect them to behave – clearly and concisely – and then let them do it. Does that mean becoming a dictator? Of course not. Think of your business like a play and your job is to be the director.

A director helps the actors rehearse their lines and actions so that they know just what to do on opening night so the play runs as smoothly as possible. A dictator would suppress the actors’ talent, where the director pulls them in and lets them shine.

To this, Walt Disney once said, “I think if there’s any part I’ve played . . . the vital part is coordinating these talents, and encouraging these talents, and carrying them down a certain line. It’s like pulling together a big orchestra. They’re all individually very talented. I have an organization of people who are really specialists. You can’t match them anywhere in the world for what they can do. But they all need to be pulled together, and that’s my job.”

I’ve had managers, as I’m sure you have, which held the reins so tightly that it sucked the energy out of me. Creativity suffers. Production suffers. Enjoyment in general is non-existent. People must have some leeway to be themselves, not a clone of a dictators’ need to be in control.

Do you let your staff shine? How can you pull them together? What type of success are you hindering by keeping the reins taut?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Everyone Picks Up Trash

Walt Disney once said about cast members (employees), “We train them to be aware that they’re there mainly to help the guest.”

Helping the guests (visitors) means not only personal deeds, but also keeping the parks clean. And when Walt said “them”, he meant everyone.

No one in your organization is exempt from guest support and service – this includes you. This reminds me of the story of the new Disney executive in California that on his first day walked past some trash on the ground while on his way from his car to his office. He got to his office, settled in, and a few minutes later another cast member walked in, placed the trash on his desk, and said, “Everyone picks up trash.”

If you want your employees to act a specific way, then you must also mirror that effort. And DON’T be surprised if someone calls you on it if you aren't doing it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the CEO, department head, or the brand new supervisor. You must walk-the-talk. Talking only works if you have the walk to back it up.

Your employees are watching you – they see a lot more than you think. Next time you’re about to walk past trash, make sure you stop to think if that’s what you want your employees doing.