You manage things; you lead people. —Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper
“What’s the matter, you don’t like it here?”
Some version of that comment is becoming more common now. We all know it’s not a good idea to tell people at work how much the organization sucks, but the pendulum may have swung very far back to the right. Fast Company recently published an article called, “Why faking enthusiasm is the latest job requirement,” that delves into a trend toward requiring a specific way of acting at work.
I can’t help wonder at why an organization would want to be so controlling on an emotional level, but I do know high unemployment is a factor. Unfortunately, those organizations are missing the point. It’s much easier and more effective to actually create a happy workplace than to force one. It used to be a given in radio.
I was in a conversation recently about a person who was asking for more money, and shared my experience that when people are asking for an unreasonable increase, or justifying their value, it’s either because they’re idiots or they’re not feeling like they’re valued. When people are getting a charge out of where they are, money becomes less important. Not unimportant, but less important.
Which leads me to Rear Admiral Hopper’s quote. It’s also my experience that people who are being “managed” are less happy than those being lead. Managers see people as another asset to be managed, and without the personal element of leadership it causes a sharp decline in enthusiasm.
Here’s the key: It’s less expensive and a whole lot more fun to lead than it is to manage.
Take time today, and every day, to let the people you’re responsible for know you value them, both personally and professionally.