Jul 26, 2011

Leaders? No, You CAN'T Mind Just Your Own Business!

Work and career can be heartbreaking. Business blogs, media and magazines are featuring mostly success stories. I don't blame them.


We want to know what people did right, how they got where they got, or where we would like to be. We also want to see an example of someone else who did it and makes it seem possible for us too.


Frankly, you are much more likely to meet disappointment during the course of your career, at least once. For some it is one after the other, after the other... It seems like a very long, slow and loud train.



You can't ignore it. It feels like it will never pass. It can drive you mad.


How do I know?


I had them myself, my friends had them, my clients had them and clients/people reach out to me, wanting to talk to someone who will understand, support, help, and often - listen until they decide what to do.


Besides, success stories are not as plentiful as they once were. Few people having dream jobs, houses, lives, suddenly lost them.


It makes me feel bad to throw general advice, abstract concepts or write happy end business stories, (only) while knowing how many people are distressed, disappointed, suffering, and even - depressed.


I know people going through depression during the last year or two, and people who felt so down about work that considered taking their own life. I know few reevaluating their choices day after day.

They wonder where they went wrong, if there is anything else they could have done differently, repeating it night after night, instead of getting sleep. They (like me, in my dark moments) thought ''Is it me? Am I a failure?''


If you don't know anyone feeling like this, you probably

a) do not look hard enough
b) don't care.


It could be your employee, your friend, your colleague, ex-colleague, a friend, family member. It could be a question of time when it could be - you.


Please make your contribution, even if you are not a therapist. You can't be a leader by minding just your own business.

You've got to be improving the world.

It starts one word, one action, or one person at a time.



8 Steps Suggested Action Plan



1. Find at least one person in distress. (Know someone who lost job? Remember anyone very unhappy about his work situation?)


2. Call them. Stop by their office. Ask to meet them.


3. Show interest. Ask a question. (''How are you? How are things?''..)


4. Listen. Listen. Listen.


5. Can You make them laugh? Try.


6. Think and suggest what you can do, if you have an idea.


7. Don't push advice on them. Usually it does not feel right. If they ask you for advice check out How To Give Advice As A Leader - 5 Keys To Give Advice.


8. Follow-up. Make it clear they can call you.



Forget ''They know they can ask if they need me.'' It won't do. Not many strong, successful, honest guys are used (or like) asking for help. Especially when they really need it.


Be the first one to make a move.


You ARE improving the world this way. It does not have to be measured in millions to be worth millions.


A friend has just created a position in a company he is a CEO of, for a friend going through the worst time of his life, after losing a job he loved.


He got him out of the house, out of contemplating ending his life.


What kind of leadership was that? Preserving, improving someone's life? Can you think of a better leadership? I can't.



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