“For the benefit of Mr. Kite
There will be a show tonight on trampoline”
– John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Admittedly, I’m enamored with the boys from Liverpool. I couldn’t resist the Mr. Kite reference especially given the amazing Churchill quote I’m using tonight. Last night I wrote about how my previous experiences with an awful boss informed how I lead my teams. Tonight, I want to expand upon last night’s post.
First, the Thunder Thief is by far the most damaging and insidious type of horrible boss one can come across. Equally important is the consideration that the thunder thief’s actions are not always deliberate. As a leader, we must ensure we empower our people to tackle projects, accomplish goals with our support, but with autonomy. It is equally important that the accomplishments of our direct reports are shared with our leaders.
There is nothing more demotivating than realizing that all of your hard work has been attributed to somebody else. For women in the workplace, this is exponentially complex. According to HBR, women must promote their accomplishments in order to be recognized. Ironically, self-promotion is consider unladylike and women who negotiate on their own our penalized. Sheryl Sandberg also wrote about this phenomena in her best-selling book Lean In.
One of the buzz words your see thrown out way too often lately in politics or the workplace is optics. Here’s the thing about optics, they’re far more important than we realize. Optics are all about how people perceive and action or event. At the end of the day, perception is reality. For example, let’s say you strive to have a diverse team, but your senior leadership team is only male or only white. Consequently, you have create the perception that there is no commitment to diversity.
Finally, do not forget that things come out in the wash. Maybe today wasn’t your day, but ultimately the creme will rise to the top. As Churchill so eloquently said, “Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.” The road to success will not always be free of bumps or free of jerks, but perseverance, hard work, honesty and quality of work will ultimately prevail.