I dare you to drive from Salt Lake to Vegas with your fuel gauge on empty. You can’t and you wouldn’t. No one wants to ruin their trip by running out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Your team is no different.
Before you demand your team to embark on the next project, the next contract, or today’s tasks, you must fuel your employees’ tanks. Your employees drive your organization. Without them, you will never reach your destination.
As a leader, you must find the fuel that motivates and powers your employees’ engagement and productivity.
Simple questions to ask yourself to determine if you are driving with a full tank:
- Identify your leadership brand. Do you lead by example or intimidation? Do you encourage or berate? Do you accept responsibility or shift blame?
- Do you trust your employees to know their jobs and give them the tools they need to succeed?
- Do you create a safe and secure work environment? Do you quickly and properly take care of misconduct issues?
- Do you listen more than you talk so that you can better respond to individual situations?
- Do you make decisions based on long term growth and not just short term gains?
- How do you show appreciation for the engine (employees) that produce the power to move the organization forward?
Just as you have performance expectations for each employee, they have expectations for you as a competent leader. When you ignore or deny those expectations, you foster resentment, anger, and low productivity which are all symptoms of an empty fuel tank.
As a leader you need to examine your actions first before expecting your employees to work on a potentially empty tank. As you plan for the long term growth and success, identify the impact of your leadership decisions. You are the key to fueling your teams for success. You determine whether you reach your destination on time or sputter to a stop in the middle of the journey.