Monday, January 28, 2013

do you hate your job? what about the people who work for you?

this is basically part 3 of me writing about our JOBS and how most people hate theirs, or at least don't love them. you can read parts 1 & 2 HERE & HERE.

but this post is more focused on leaders. maybe as a leader you love your job, but what about the people you lead? 
because as a leader you have a HUGE impact on whether or not the peeps you lead LOVE or HATE their job.

in fact, based on the 3 factors i talked about in Part 2 -- it pretty much all rises & falls on the leader. (as most things do) 

back when i originally wrote this (5 years ago, remember) Crystal was a nurse (& still is), but she hated it. she liked being a nurse, but she hated her job.
[just for clarity, she LOVES her current position - which allows her to be a stay at home mom & deliver babies every once in a while :) ]

the reason she used to hate her job was ALL ABOUT bad leadership. i started to listen to her frustrations about work and ask Questions... and it didn't take me long to realize that Crystal had an incredibly bad leader/manager in place.  
& i was also convinced that, UNFORTUNATELY, her job couldn't really get much better until her leader got better (or stopped being the leader).

to my knowledge, her leader never once praised or celebrated the employees/nurses!
i even asked her to think back in all her years to remember even 1 time where that happened - and she couldn't.
also, no "wins" were ever celebrated. i.e. - the leader never took time to celebrate things like "hey, we saved a baby's life today!" or "good job - without you guys doing an awesome job, this wouldn't have happened."

WHAT!? - i'm sitting there thinking that nursing has got to be one of the easiest professions in the world to do that with. i mean, you're basically in the life saving business! & this was in the NICU (neo-natal ICU)... so if there was a success it was usually a baby's life saved... or giving parents a few more days to spend with their newborn.
that is worth celebrating.
actually, i would say that is too important to NOT celebrate.

but never 1 time did the leader pull the nurses aside and say:
"great job, we saved a life today. there is a baby who is going to grow up into an adult because of YOU and the great job you did. These parents are going to watch their son grow up and graduate because of you. This dad will get to walk his daughter down the aisle one day because of what you did."

who doesn't need to hear that? who wouldn't be MOTIVATED by that. i mean, i'll put up with A LOT of crap at my job as long as i could hear that every once in a while. you know what i'm sayin?

but never once. are you kidding me?
people need to feel like what they're doing is RELEVANT. like it MATTERS. that what they're busting their butt to do for a paycheck is also MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

i remember feeling CONFIDENT that i could walk in day 1 and be a better leader than that manager at the hospital. that's not me being cocky. it's just basic leadership 101 stuff she was doing the opposite of. i don't know the 1st thing about nursing, but i felt like i could at least help those nurses be BETTER nurses and LOVE their jobs.
seriously, there's no reason a freaking nurse shouldn't love her job.

i can't explain how bummed i was for my wife. i felt trapped for her.
thankfully, Crystal moved to a slightly different unit and had a different leader that was a lot better. the years before Keira was born she LOVED her job (you know, most days). she enjoys it now when she gets to go back.
believe it or not, that crappy leader was PROMOTED. go figure.

*if you're a leader - do the people working for you love their job or is it just a paycheck?
as a leader, there is no feeling more sickening to my stomach than to imagine that people i lead don't love what they do. i want to work hard to keep the job misery triangle far away.

leaders, it may be as simple as ensuring your peeps experience the opposites of anonymity, irrelevance, & immeasurement.

Anonymity - do the people you lead feel KNOWN by you? most people working jobs they don't love feel like the boss has no idea who they actually are. sure the boss knows their name, but that's about it. how about as leaders we care about the peeps we lead. if i don't care about the people i lead, i shouldn't be a leader.

Irrelevance - MAKE SURE people don't feel what they're doing is irrelevant. & not relevance related to the bottom line for the company either... if people don't feel like they matter, of course they're going to hate working for you.
so, what MATTERS to them? i guess you have to KNOW them before you can know that. & again, if you don't... maybe you shouldn't (spelled "c-a-n-n-o-t") be their leader.

Immeasurement - ever told them they're doing a good job or bad job? how would they know? have you told them how they can know?

leadership is not really rocket science.

i feel like there are no such thing as good jobs and bad jobs. that's a myth. there are fulfilling jobs & there are miserable jobs.
choose wisely.
& if you're a leader, LEAD BETTER!


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