February 14, 2012

Remember, Your People are Human Beings

As a volunteer mentor of the Smart Leaders Network, a global mentoring initiative, I have had the privilege of mentoring Ali Raza, an IT manager in Pakistan, assisting him in developing critical leadership skills and thinking.

Ali Raza on Skype
On the surface, we are a very unlikely pair. Me, a New York Jewish woman living in Australia and Ali, a Pakistani, Muslim man living in Pakistan.

Yet, at the source level, we are both two human beings committed to leadership excellence in the workplace and so come together inside that shared bond.

It's been an extraordinary experience.

In his recent job interview, Ali was asked what he would do about a team member who was not performing. His response says it all about who a great leader is for their people. Of course, he got the job.

"First, I would check to see if there are any personal issues that he is dealing with. If that were the case then as a team we would have to wear it and support him through it. If not, then I would see if perhaps he was given something he's not ready for or needs help or training to be able to accomplish it. If that wasn't the case, I would give then him a second chance."

When asked what he would do if his manager insisted on firing that person, Ali said, "I would refuse. You need to give him a second chance to see what he can do and support him to be successful. He's a person and a member of our team so we must look out for him."

Above all, leaders need to care for their people. They need to deal with issues of non-performance from the holistic perspective - realising that people have reasons for not performing. A leader's role is to get to the source of that and do what they can to help them through it.

Employee engagement is important. However, people enrichment is critical to their performance and your company's success.

Who can you be, what can you do to ensure your interactions with your people leave them enriched?

1 comment:

  1. Ali is a great manager, I have worked with him before and fortunately he is again my manager. Things get smooth with him around, great team player and an awesome boss.