The Gift That Keeps Giving
Recently, we were asked, “What is the key area leaders need to focus on before closing ‘shop’ for the holidays?” This was one topic we certainly knew the answer to! In thinking of our own and very pointed feedback we received years ago, we narrowed in.
Let us give you a little history. It was November of 2015, and our Firm, Xecutive Metrix, was in full swing of the fourth quarter. We had our fastest runners at the helm to finish the relay of the year and meet our clients’ needs and our own Firm-wide goals. With just three team members, we were ready to take a small break to recharge and spend some time at home with our “people.” It was that year that we made a rather notable mistake.
Having been in business for only five years at this point, we had created a tradition, nay an expectation, that we would share with our clients what our own families had accomplished over the year. It was this year that we had neglected to share with our clients our “personal year in review” and, oh dear, did we hear an earful. We failed to appreciate how much our clients looked forward to hearing from our families and us at year-end. As a developer of leaders, we sure felt how many of our leaders excelled at putting their feedback skills to use.
But why was this so important to our clients? Why did they care whether one of us exchanged nuptials, had a baby, competed in Tough Mudder, or even how many mountain climbs we achieved? We were there to develop them, not to talk about us.
Well, the singular reason is that our long-standing and deep-seated relationships with our clients are built on trust. Trust is always personal, and it is built on consistent and authentic experiences. No matter how one goes about supporting deep and long-lasting connections with people, trust is the bedrock, and trust is built when both leaders and teammates, or in our case our clients, act together with vulnerability.
As quoted by Brene Brown, “Vulnerability does not mean you have to share your deepest, most personal secrets. It means letting your guard down, putting pretenses aside and being your authentic self. Leaders in touch with their vulnerability and expressing it at the right times will experience greater support in addition to empowering and inspiring their people.”
So, to decorate the holidays with effective leadership, light up your space with a string of lights we call human connections. It all begins with your authentic self to build this thing we call trust between and among our teammates. Trust grows level by level, with confidence, personal integrity, and care.