I hate writing a blog that has anything to do with politics because of the divisive nature of the landscape. But, this blog is more about a philosophy on human growth and development. I cannot get a comment made by a commentator out of my head as it made an outstanding point on playing to one’s talents. After watching President Donald Trump address a Joint Session of Congress for the first time, commentator Van Jones stated, “If he finds a way to do that over and over again, he will be there for eight years.” This comment has been circling around in my mind for weeks now.
Managers who make a difference achieve more than just business results. They make a positive difference in the lives of the people they manage. The pinnacle of managing to make a difference is helping people self-actualize.
Self-actualization is self-fulfillment. It looks different for everyone because everyone has a different set of talents, a different configuration of potential and a different definition of what is ultimately meaningful. Managers who help people self-actualize help them become more of who they really are.
The Follow Shirley Method? Whenever we talk about this topic, we get quizzical looks at first. Maybe you’ve never heard it called by that name, but you’ve been the victim of this training method at least once in your career. You arrive on the first day of your new job, your supervisor looks a little surprised to see you, and says, “Just follow Shirley today. She’ll show you the ropes.” That’s the Follow Shirley Method.
It’s amazing once you have a lens on talent the way the world opens your eyes to unique perspectives. This is exactly what happened for our Co-Founder, Doug Rath. He recalls,
“I was once in British Columbia and saw an older couple canoeing on a lake with choppy waters and was astonished at how adept they seemed to be in this canoe. I spoke to them when they came ashore and asked the man in the couple if he was nervous and he said, ‘If you know how to canoe it's the safest vehicle in not only rough lake water but in rough seas.’”
Are you still living with the fantasy that relationships should be 50/50? If you want to be a manager who makes a difference, we encourage you to embrace the reality that relationships ebb and flow. Some days relationship investments from the two parties might be 60/40. Other days they might be 30/70. And over time some relationships may never even out to 50/50.