What a Team Member Needs Most
I was having dinner with a young couple recently. He was an executive in a large company and she was the executive who led their home of 4 young children. I asked them to share their story with me. It was a fun story full of laughter and romance. Then I turned to the young mother and wife and asked "So when did you know that you were meant to be with him?" With tears in her eyes and passion in her heart she said, "It was when I knew that he needed me. He was authentic and vulnerable and I knew that he needed me to help him through …” She went on to describe a struggle that they had faced. What a beautiful example of love and partnership.
As I thought about our conversation, it occurred to me that with all the talk of creating culture and how to be a leader in the workplace, maybe we are missing the most important component. While systems and processes are necessary, they are not enough. In order to build trust, accountability and execution, we as leaders must be willing to demonstrate vulnerability. Specifically, we need to be able to ask for help and allow others to provide that help. When a team member feels needed, he or she feels valued. Feeling valued breeds job satisfaction and higher productivity.
Take a minute to consider the last time you communicated to those within your circle of influence that you authentically need them and that they are highly valued by you. When we allow ourselves to lead with vulnerability, we will make a difference.
Dr. Larry Little, CEO