Just how good do you make your job look?
Do you make it look really attractive and enjoyable?
Do you transmit enthusiasm and energy at work?
To your colleagues, does it seem that your job is only a part of your life – or that it takes over your life?
Would others want your job?
Being a Leader means developing Leaders of the future, to create a sustainable approach to leadership in your organisation and to identify and develop your potential successors.
However, could it be that we’re putting people off ever wanting a job like ours?
The Impressions We Give
It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day activities of our job. We can find ourselves rushing from meeting to meeting, faced with a number of problems to solve, decisions to take, changes to lead and colleagues to work with. Our sense of responsibility towards our workload can mean that we work ‘out of hours’, late at night or over the weekend. And, regardless of whether we tell anyone, our colleagues will gain an impression from us about whether we’re energised and motivated, or we are feeling high levels of pressure, irritation with our workload or conflict with others.
We might be giving the impression that our job would not be attractive to others.
During a leadership development programme for a global motor company I was facilitating recently I asked the participants (at middle management level) which of them aspired to be promoted to the next level of responsibility. Only a handful said that this was an aim of theirs. The majority stated that the senior roles seemed steeped in politics, stress and ineffectiveness – and that it seemed to take “a certain sort of animal” to, at the very least, get by if not succeed and thrive. I wondered if this population of the more senior managers were aware of the rather negative impression they were giving of life with their job.
Inspiration not Perspiration
I worked as a school governor for a number of years and became Chair of the Governing Body for a high performing Infant School. In this role I had to work closely with the Headteacher. There is a shortage of potential head teachers in the UK and one of the reasons for this is the pressure, responsibility and workload witnessed – or perceived – by the teaching staff that their headteacher experiences. However, the headteacher I worked with openly stated that it was her aim – in fact, her responsibility – to make the role look attractive. She wanted her Assistant Head to aspire to headship and she wanted to transmit a sense of being in control and of calm leadership to her staff. I found this inspirational.
So, what can we do to make our jobs look and sound attractive to others so that we generate the genuine interest and succession for sustainability and, of course, cost-effectiveness?
Talk positively: have a rolling list of 3 things that are going well in your job that you can recite whenever you’re asked “how’s your job?”ave a rolling list of 3 things that are going well in your job that you can recite whenever you’re asked “how’s your job?”
Talk about your life outside work: without going into too much depth, simply telling colleagues about your time at home or doing a hobby shows that your job does not rule your life, no matter how much responsibility you carry.
Avoid trying to look/sound like the ‘Hero’: very often, senior managers believe that they need to justify their position by openly stating how late they were up working last night or how long it is since they took a holiday, thinking that they’ll look like a hero when actually they could be seen as a (insert your description here!)
Adopt “Showtime”: as someone once said, “you’re never not communicating”. A leader I worked with built this into his approach. He recognised that he was on show – and therefore transmitting messages – from the moment he stepped out of his car in the office car park each day. The energy with which he walked to the entrance, the expression on his face, the tone of his “good morning”, his posture at his desk all became conscious choices to him. He wanted to transmit a positive view of himself and of the job he was doing. He called it “Showtime”.
So, good luck in your mission to generate a real desire to do your job, both in others and of course, in yourself! After all, you’ve worked hard to get this far in the first place.
At Change Formation we specialise in working with senior and middle managers to develop their stand-out, exceptional leadership behaviours and practices. Contact us to discuss the ways in which we can support your development goals. email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 7840 323585