5 for 5 blog – No one (and everyone) cares about your soft skills

19 Mar

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Engagement…talent development…emotional intelligence

At the end of the day, if you lead a team, your leaders (executives, CEO’s) care about results. Whether that is revenue growth,  cost savings, new product development, no matter how much executives talk about the need to focus on the “soft stuff”, you are accountable for tangible business results. As a leader, if you want your efforts to make a difference for your team to be heard, you have to deliver results. No exceptions.

On the other hand, your team will really care about the effort you put into develop them. They want to work with purpose…to know that their efforts matter to helping achieve much bigger goals. They want to get better at selling or negotiating or project management or designing….and honestly they would like to understand that you care about getting better too. Incessantly focusing on metrics and deliverables will create an atmosphere of micromanagement and impact morale.

So no one cares about your engagement and development efforts without solid results. And everyone cares that you are focused on making a difference for your team to grow in their career. Welcome to one of the great paradoxes of leadership. Great leaders, steward leaders, do not cringe at this in apparent contradiction. They dance with the opportunity,  and the effort, that comes from excelling  in both areas.

But while metrics and goals can be measured short term, the impact of your efforts to develop your team will only be.measured in years or longer. You may never get to see the true impact of your efforts. But, I have never seen a team, who believe their leader is completely committed to their personal and career growth, not give every ounce of energy to hit even the biggest stretch goal.

So choose one over the other and no cares. Pour yourself into both….and everyone cares.

Here are this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

Change Your Words, Change Your Life – by Tony Robbins

What Productive People Know that Others Don’t – by Mike Sturm

The 3-Word Strategy That’ll Give You the Confidence to Speak Up at Work – by Sara McCord

Fear, failure and shame, oh my – by Seth Godin

Seeding Creativity – by Denise Cornell

all the best, kevin