A Leader’s J.O.B.; The 3 Keys to Succeeding & Exceeding in the Workforce!

With so many leaders and employees doing more with less help and revenue increasing but company culture decreasing… who do I think I am, sharing ways for YOU to do and be more? I hear you and I’m not asking you to do more work… since you’re already there, working physically on-site or remotely, I am suggesting 3 Keys to working smarter, increasing your value and worth, enhancing your Leadership & Work/Life Harmony, and either staying or leaving as an asset rather than a liability! So, how to do it?

J. – Jump In!

In my early days as an employee and newly promoted manager, I easily allowed the professional things I didn’t like and the negative attitudes of others to not only influence my day, but more importantly… my daily conversations, therefore my mindset, therefore my value, therefore my opportunity. The truth is… whether you’re a Top Executive or Front-Line Worker, your employer is not waking you up at gunpoint and dragging you into work… if so, please contact the police and your human resource department immediately!

Since we can agree this is not happening, we all have two options: sulk, complain, and live a limited life… please understand, you can earn a high salary or have a high title, but it doesn’t always mean joy comes with it! I know some miserable people driving nice cars to a job they hate and taking nice vacations only to return to their miserable lives. Or, option 2… Jump In!

Jump In means you actively choose to get involved in the various professional areas your job is already offering:

Meetings – Every job has meetings, physically or virtually! Get more involved by speaking up, sharing ideas, championing the ideas of others, positively gossiping about your coworkers your boss, or a project!

1-on-1 Meetings – I talk about this more extensively in my books and Trainings at organizations. As a leader, be sure to have your 1-on-1 Meetings with your people regularly and on a schedule; following the format of: P.O.W.: The Positive of the Week… you go first and share professionally and personally, then asking them, ask what they’d like to get out of the meeting, mesh goas with what you’d like to get out of the meeting, develop a plan, and end by asking what was their biggest takeaway!

If you’re the employee, request to have regular and consistent 1-on-1’s and start with the positives of what you like about the job, the team, a few of your most recent wins, asking anything they’d (your boss) would like from you, what you’d like… and provide a suggested solution; always following up with, “What do you like about my suggestion and is there anything you’d fine-tune?”.

Conversations – Jump into positive conversations and “Good Gossip” with coworkers… speaking positively about work, people, projects, and life in general! It’s amazing what it will do for your mindset, your spirit, your work, your network, your opportunities, and your work/life harmony. It’s difficult to go into work, turn on that laptop, and believe it or not… return home from work as your best self when we’ve talked poorly about all of the things you do 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, and accept a check from once every two weeks… Be Mindful!

Events – Most companies have events the company believes will do one of the 3C’s or all of the above: Celebrate, Congregate, or Collaborate. I’ve seen organizations have events for Senior Management only, for their ERG Program, DEI Events, their young professionals, I could go on but you get the point… Jump In and get involved!!!

Solutions – Lastly, jump in with solutions rather than problems. Leaders make it a habit to discuss possible solutions with the intent of brainstorming and evolving it to fit what the company can or is willing to actually do! Sometimes it’s something and sometimes it’s nothing. Jump In anyhow; as you’re practicing and becoming a leader that will either enhance the company you’re with or the next!

O. – Opportunity!

Too many times leaders and employees expect opportunities to be given and handed out on a silver platter for your hard work and time served. Although that would be nice… and I do encourage organizations to incentivize and reward… Not every company has the means in regard to budget or vacant positions for promotions. Not to mention, there are 5 more Professional Languages that could potentially satisfy employees outside of Incentives and Recognition & Affirmation (my Leader’s 7… see in my book 7 Ways to lead).

The truth is… leadership is a two-way street and employees must have more skin in the game. Jump In to seek what opportunities exist within your organization… not only on your team or your department, but companywide… nationally, internationally, and at your level and beyond!

It’s also important to create opportunities… and maximize them! We do this by finding the gaps within processes that when missed, neglected, or ignored cause the organization pain… either financial pain, prolonged projects pain, leadership pain, employee pain, or low customer satisfaction pain. Whatever the gap, whatever the pain… is your idea and offered assistance the medicine? When it is… you’ve just created and maximized an opportunity that will inevitably increase your value and worth… Be Mindful!

B. – Be Brazen!

As a leader or employee willing to Jump In, it’s easy to do so only to burn yourself out in a month, six months, or a year. Whatever your tolerance level… it’s coming and when burnout hits… it hits differently than you expect! It’s not a sudden blow… rather slow grind, full of subtle hits you’ve allowed and accepted… the additional work, projects, doing more with less help, late working hours, working on the weekends, a little during vacation, I’ll handle this because they can’t or won’t, your significant other is missing you, irritation with your kids, lack of intimacy… as you don’t have enough time or energy to hang out with friends… let alone effectively love your partner, and one day you wake up and you’re DONE! You have nothing left and it’s easy to blame your company for demanding too much, your kids for being kids, your friends for dropping off and no longer calling, and your partner for wanting too much of you… don’t they know how much YOU HAVE TO DO? The truth is… all of this is your fault.

Please remember, the company is only doing what you allow, your kids are being kids and didn’t ask to be born and then looked upon like a burden, your friends need a call from you too, and your partner has needs… the same needs you met them with, are aware of, and choose to neglect!

Therefore, BE BRAZEN in setting your boundaries. Years ago, I remember a boss asking me why I was so behind in my paperwork. I remember responding, “Earlier in my career, when my kids were small, I was able to bring work home and do some at night when they went to sleep or over the weekend. However, as they’re older now… after school is filled with sports with three kids, dinner, homework, and weekends with games. I’m no longer able or willing to crack open my laptop at 10pm once they’ve gone to bed to get work done. I’m not sure what to do to get this workload done anymore.”. I left it at that. This is before I knew A Leader’s Idea. Nowadays, I would have said the same thing but ended with a suggested solution and asked what he/she liked about it and anything they’d fine-tune… or have implemented my new plan before they had to come to me at all, Lol!

The point is to Be Brazen with your time and honest and empathetic with your organization. The company has standards to uphold, your boss hopefully understands, your coworkers may feel the same way, and your employees may be drowning and only need to know, understand, and offer flexibility and/or solutions. Be sure to know what time (your personal time) is important to you (after work, vacation, weekends, etc.) and set boundaries with options to enhance production.

Lastly, know your value, your worth, and provide options instead of threats. In an employee’s market, many leaders and workers can easily demand and have professional temper tantrums to get what they want. Be Mindful as the pendulum swings… your organization and others will remember! However, when it’s time to go… it’s time to go!

Present you’d love to stay at Company A and do what Company B is offering you, what you like most about your company, and offering a marriage between what you want and what they need. If it fits, great! If not, move on being an asset they’d love to keep but unfortunately will be without. One of the best things I’ve heard from an employee and good friend of mine is… “I really love this company and perhaps when things improve, I can return with even more knowledge and skills to be a part of your future!”. Sometimes, the company wishes they could keep you, but even they know when an opportunity is too good for you to turn down and they can do nothing but part graciously; hoping to get you back one day!

“Find the gaps within company processes that when missed, neglected, or ignored causes the organization pain… either financial pain, prolonged project pain, leadership pain, employee pain, or low customer satisfaction pain. Whatever the gap, whatever the pain… is your idea and offered assistance the medicine?”

                                              – Andre Young

Written by: Andre Young

Click www.youevolvingnow.com to connect, chat, and to find out more about Andre Young’s Leadership & Work/Life Harmony Trainings, Speaking Engagements, Books, and more; evolving your organization, your leaders, employees, and teams!

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