Cookie Monster has always been a family favorite. His song C is for cookie, and my willingness to try to sing it in Cookie voice, is legendary. Not sure it is a good legend or one people want to forget but legend anyways. But the letter C is t starts many other important words that seem to have been lost in the world. Maybe when they decided Cookie Monster should eat Celery we decided C was no longer viewed in the same way as before.
Let’s look at some C words that seem to be taking a beating in the world today. Caring, Commitment, Compassion and my favorite phrase Common Sense are all ideas with which we as a world seem to be struggling. In social media these days there is a lot of conversation about the need for leadership, especially in business, to take hold of these words to create a more engaged workforce. Unfortunately that discussion seems to have been left on the table and not moved into real life. Held back by the need for more profit and investor happiness, no matter the cost to the worker.
Let’s look at these words:
Caring: Each day when we go to work it is certainly the hope and expectation that we care about our jobs. After all for most of us our job is how we pay the bills of life. Yet in many businesses caring is a one way street.I was once told I would never be successful because I cared about my people. I have seen demonstrated recently a “Leader” who forced a manager to come to his meeting despite the fact the person was ill with the flu, because he didn’t want to “waste” his time repeating himself. Another “leader” ridiculed a manager for being late on a conference call because they were helping a customer. They were told by the leader his time was more important. Employees are supposed to care about what the “leader” wants but not be cared about. A formula for disaster.
Commitment: Many people have commitment issues in relationships. Business is relationships and for that relationship to work there needs to be a two-way commitment. Leaders certainly expect people to make a commitment to them. What they don’t see is the need to give a commitment back. Not a paycheck or even bigger paycheck commitment, a commitment to growth, learning and opportunity. A commitment to help people in their times of need, basically a commitment to caring about them as more than a number. Commit to your people as you expect them to commit to you and they will be an engaged and powerful force for your business.
Compassion: Let’s destroy this myth immediately. Compassion is not a weakness in leadership. I had a “leader: at one time that stood proudly to tell us that when taking his Strength Finders 2.0 survey Empathy was his biggest weakness. He believed that made him a strong leader. Wrong it made him a bully. There are times in life, and business is part of life, that you must have difficult conversations. It can however be done with passion and understanding. These conversations are with a person, not a machine, Leaders by definition are working with people. Compassion is required to be a good leader.
Common Sense: Where has common sense gone? When did we lose the concepts of common courtesy and personal accountability? Have we really created a culture in which basic human respect and caring has turned into blaming everyone else and not taking ownership of our own actions? Common sense: we control our decisions, our actions and our results.
With the power of Social Media today we have an opportunity to make a difference. We have the ability to focus on these C words. To make a difference by showing that these words are powerful positive business and life tools not weak leadership. Change is an every day business fact. We live with it everyday. Let’s start that change by bringing back one other C word, Civility.