I have been teaching quite a bit lately and I have been talking about the concept of managerial love. It resonates with folks, but it is a slow burn - meaning that I can see their minds churning on the idea and then they start having flashes of what that might mean for them and then, oh yeah! The idea sinks in.
Here is a descritption of managerial love, which is the key to success for Employee Engagement:
BTW, this all is based on my view of Accountability and Engagement, which you can read about in this post.
Engagement is a pull system. Which means that is is driven by instrinsic motivation. This means that the work environment must be enriching enough that employees choose to engage in it. Think magnet. While engagement is a choice and driven by our employees, what we DO as leaders makes a tremendous difference.
In particular, the ways we take the initiative to make things better (or don’t) have the most impact on engagement.
I call this type of initiative taking managerial love. I realize that this term might not be comfortable for some people to use, but please get over any hang ups you have about it. It’s the perfect phrase! Managerial love is taking initiative on behalf of someone else. I love that definition, don’t you? It makes sense and mirrors what we experience with our loved-ones. When our spouse or child does something for us that we did not expect – like doing the dishes without being asked because we have a headache – we feel loved. We consider this proactive and giving act to be the demonstration of their love.
My husband, Bill, is not a sappy romantic, but I am blown away every day by the ways that he shows care and consideration for me. I might never get a surprise chocolate diamond ring from him (hint-hint) but he will be the first to completely re-stock our kitchen and produce a whole new set of dinner items every time I latch onto a new fad diet – which occurs approximately weekly. He does this without apparent frustration at my flakiness. It’s a genuine expression of love, and much cheaper than the diamond.
The same is true in the workplace. “But wait a minute, Lisa,” you might be wondering, “are you assuming I actually LOVE my employees?” In a way, yes I am. When we accept a leadership role, we adopt one or more teams of people. We accept responsibility for our employees and we know that we will have a big impact on their lives, not just their work (You do know this, right? It is true.). Leading people is a service-oriented care-taking role and part of that is an assumption that you will show care and act on behalf of your employees. That, my friends, is love.
Thoughts? How might you show managerial love today?
Speaking of love... I want to thank everyone who volunteered to review part of my upcoming book. I recieved over 25 responses and got some awesome input that will make the book better.