What can we give our best people? The better question is: what should we give our best people?
We certainly need to provide the resource for them to grow. We need to help equip them with the knowledge and skills for them to make an impact.
What I believe our key people need is our time, in fact more important than time is our energy.
Author Simon Sinek in his book Leaders Eat Last illustrates this point with a parent attending the child’s soccer game. He states, “If a parent goes to watch their kid’s soccer game but only looks up from their mobile device when there is cheering, they may have given their time, but they haven’t given their energy. The kid will look over (as they always do) to see their parents head down most of the game, busy texting or emailing.”
Have you and I been guilty of the same: put in the time but not the energy syndrome?
If we are honest, the answer is probably- yes. When we talk with someone while reading our emails, or sit in a meeting with an eye on our phone, you may say you’re multi-tasking, but you’re only kidding yourself. When it comes to connecting with our best, there is no multi-tasking. There is only one task: them. Be all in. Give them your focus, energy, eye contact, attention. That person must feel the energy that they are the most important person in your life at that moment.
If we’re not all in we miss a wonderful opportunity to connect and make an impact. After all, at the end of the day that is what Leadership is all about- influence, impact, inspire. This happens best when we are intentional in connecting.
There is no question; today’s mobile devices keep us connected. But in my view, that is not connecting. There are times when we must face-to-face, eyeball to eyeball to effectively make a heartfelt connection. You can only impact people up front and personal.