As I arrived at the office today, parking spaces were plentiful. You could even find one close to the elevators in the parking garage. That can only mean one thing — Today is the day before a national holiday and many of the folks that are actually in the office today are just waiting on the “word.”
We are waiting on the word “leave” from senior management that will say something like this: “Unless business reasons would make it otherwise imprudent, feel free to leave early this afternoon and begin to enjoy the July 4th holiday.” Those are the words everyone is waiting to hear. Days like today are the kinds of days that, unless you have something specific planned or are going to be out of town on vacation, it just doesn’t make sense to take the day off as a vacation today since it will be a short day anyway. Plus, you can be really productive in the time that you are there because there are only a handful of folks here and there are very few meetings that show up on your calendar. So, it is really a good day to get stuff done and get caught up on email or other administrative tasks that have slipped to the back burner lately. Like many others, I am just waiting for the word to come from our leader and I will exit with all due haste.
What is the Leadership Lesson here?
The leadership lesson is that from time to time we need to be asking ourselves about what message our followers may be waiting for. We need to ask ourself this question: “What ‘words’ are our followers waiting to hear from us?” Just like I am looking forward to the message to go ahead and leave early today, what message do our followers need to hear from us? Maybe they need to hear a message just for them.
- Do they need to hear a message that will provide clear vision and specific goals for them and the organization?
- Do they need to hear a piece of information that will answer a question or solve a problem that they have struggled with for quite some time?
- Do they need to hear an update on a major initiative that is the main focus of the organization?
- Do they need to hear a celebratory or congratulatory message for some individual or team that has performed very well?
- Do they need to hear a message of encouragement?
- Do they need to hear a message hope?
What message are our followers longing to receive from us?
As leaders, we need to be attuned to their needs and to the specific messages that they desire to receive from us.