I recently heard a story about a leader at Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts who took the time to learn some very simple things about her cast members that would lead to more meaningful employee relationships.
Walt Disney World employs thousands of college students for short-term internships. This particular leader wanted to know, if there was one magical experience that she could grant to each intern under her responsibility, what would it be?
As the interns turned in their biographies, along with their goals and desired experiences, this leader systematically began to create these magical moments for each of her interns, one by one. The end result of her being thoughtful: a culture of commitment and trust.
When leaders are thoughtful in their approach to their employees, they can change the culture of their businesses, both internally and externally. You see, customers can feel the climate of an organization without ever speaking to someone.
I have heard it said that leaders are like a thermostat: they can create an environment that is frustrating and stressful through heat. They can also create one that is cold and callous through passivity and isolation. Or they can keep the temperature just right, with a balance of drive and support.
The only way you are going to know where to find the sweet spot is by knowing your people, both personally and professionally. This is what the thoughtful leader is all about. Where you kick it up a notch is by deciding how you might be able to help each of your employees achieve his or her dreams in life. That is truly being thoughtful.
Your challenge this week is to get to know your employees. What are their hopes and dreams? What can you do to help them achieve those hopes and dreams? Start making progress as soon as you can. I assure you, the moment word gets out that you’ve taken a genuine interest in those who work for you and you’re backing it up with action, things are going to change around the office—for the better.
“Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty, and self-respect are the qualities which make a real gentleman or lady.”
Thoughtful is written by Jon Langford