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Play Your Position

If you have ever played a team sport, you may have crossed paths with the person on the team who is all over the place. They want to tell you how to play your position, how the coach should coach, how the other players could play their positions better and they probably have ideas about how the uniform can be improved.

It’s annoying.

If you are a C-Suite executive, CEO, COO, or Board member, you can do the team a favor: don’t be THAT person. Play your position.

People think you are ‘in-the-know’ which means that they listen very closely to what you have to say. They watch your actions like a hawk to see what behaviors you model. You are the boss so act like a person who understands that. Behave like someone who is aware that they are being watched and listened to every day.

As a leader, you should be hiring people who think differently than you do. Your employees should be smarter than you, capable, challenging, and creative. Hiring people just like you is the same as hiring a bunch of pitchers for every position on the baseball team. We already have that position filled! You don’t need people to agree with you.  You don’t need your job to be ‘easier’ by hiring people who make your life easy. Hire people who are best for the organization. Your organization already has one you – they don’t need more.

Manage your stress like a grown up. You have the title that says ‘I’ve got the skills’ so stop tossing out emails, hiding behind your computer screen, leaving voice mail messages to avoid conflict, or shirk the responsibility that is yours. If you have difficult news to communicate, do it, do it well, and don’t duck it.

Human Resources is not responsible for the culture of your organization. Culture is also known as ‘how things are done around here’ and it starts at the top. If you value training, put money in the budget for it and show up at programs when they are held. Aks your staff about what they are attending and how it’s making them more effective. If you think inclusion is important, show up at affinity group meetings and ‘walk the talk’ by modeling the behavior you want to see in others. Stop talking about employee engagement and take responsibility for it  – with your own employees.

The folks at the top carry the flag so make sure your employees know the mission and vision of the place that pays them for their work. Tell them about the strategic direction you are taking, the initiatives that you are excited about, your competition and your market share.

There are plenty of things other people in other positions should be doing. It would be so great if you would do YOUR job well.

Play your position – it’s allows others to play theirs.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 at 8:22 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.