Sometimes Melissa will go missing for an hour or so. When she appears I will ask her what she has been up to. Often the answer is that she was on the phone with one of her sisters. “What about?” I ask. “Nothing, just catching up.” “What was the purpose of the call?” “No purpose, just checking in.” “OK, so what was the outcome?” “Nothing, we just talked.” “So what did you decide?” “No decisions, just talk.”
Hmmm, me thinks. An hour phone call. No purpose, no outcomes, no decisions. Surely this is not normal behaviour? “There’s an hour you will never get back!” I laugh, pleased with my witty observation.
In my leadership program and teaching I urge people to be mega productive, outcome focused and purpose driven. I encourage them to not let an hour go by that they aren’t decisive, bold and results oriented. That’s normal right?
Then I got thinking about what Melissa really achieved in that hour. She showed her sister she cared. It was an investment in their relationship.
Sometimes we get too focused on outcomes and we forget to show people we care. (tweet this)
Leading is all about relationships, influence and getting the best out of people. Perhaps we should be more focused on showing humility, compassion and empathy? Perhaps showing people we care is the outcome we should be focused on? Maybe this is normal?
If you want to become a better leader, invest in the relationships you have with your people. Ask them about their weekend, their kids, their passion. In this case, don’t have a purpose other than to show them that you care.
I best go and call my sisters!
PS: To all those people who think I took a massive risk with the name of this blog, I want you to know that I asked (begged) Melissa for permission before I sent it! She is a wonderful, caring person who teaches me lots about leadership.
* I have reevaluated my perception of ‘normal’ since writing this!