News > Job seekers and bosses: Your main focus should be leadership
When I hear that a young person is leaving the nest and venturing out into the wide world of work, I always urge him or her to not look for a good job.
Instead, I encourage prospective employees to look for a good boss. There’s a tangible difference. Far beyond providing a regular paycheck, a good boss will mentor them, inspire them, teach them and develop them for a lifetime of success.
A great leader will give them the wings to taxi down the runway and achieve liftoff.
A “horrible boss” ‒ well, many of us have seen the movie or slogged through it in real life. The berating, the lack of appreciation, the eroded morale, the inconsistencies, the indecision, the double standards … these anti-leaders really put the “work” in workplace.
Libraries are full of leadership books trying to pin down the “X” factor that propels leaders from horrible to good, or even from good to great. What is that magic formula that breaks them ‒ and their teams ‒ out of the status quo and springs leaders into the stratosphere?
Lead with a purpose
Local management guru, John Dame, authored one of my favorite reflections on leadership. His “Lead with a Purpose Pledge” speaks to me so much that I included it on page 94 of my book The Talent Pool: How to Find and Keep Dedicated People While Making a Lasting Impact.
Dame’s recipe for an exemplary leader embodies traits I strive to emulate every day:
Dame also emphasizes the importance of valuing people over money, of being slow to judge and of fostering a culture of opportunity, so there are no “losers.”
I also identify with Dale Carnegie’s blockbuster human relations bible, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” which I genuinely believe to be one of the greatest leadership books ever written.
Carnegie boils down his secret to human relations into one core value: the fundamental desire for everyone to feel important.
Communicating and interacting with people in a meaningful way is the pathway to building a powerful team and making people feel important and valued.
Create a workplace where people want to stay
We often hear that today’s workers will hold 11 to 15 jobs in their lifetimes. This statistic doesn’t just apply to millennial’s ‒ who have been unfairly stereotyped as disloyal job-hoppers – but to baby boomers as well.
This isn’t good for either workers or employers, who invest time and money in training.
At Dasher, we focus on the core values of our teammates – which is not that different from what is important to those of all age.
They want to care for their families, have a stable income and feel that they are making a difference personally and professionally, and maybe even globally.
Employers need to realize that we’re selling ourselves to our prospective associates as much as those job interviewees are trying to sell themselves to us.
Because we want to keep our teammates, we work on re-selling Dasher to them every day. We do this by ensuring that our management is guided by our values.
That is not to say that we paint all our associates with one broad brush. Someone with less work experience may have different needs, and a manager may opt to talk differently to a younger person than someone older. Many team members may have experienced severe trauma in their lives, and we need to be sensitive to that. But even if their needs are a bit different, we can still have one unifying vision.
To sustain the vision, you need leaders at every level – people who act and inspire. Great leaders don’t tell you what to do. They show you.
They can’t travel down the runway for you or with you. But they give you the wings and the courage to take flight.
So, job seekers and dreamers, try to find that great boss, that visionary leader. Employers, remember that your example of compassion, courage and communication will make your team – and your company as a whole ‒ stronger.
Dasher is a data-driven, customer contact, services operation with a focus on communicating complex messages to diverse population. Specific capabilities include face-to-face communications provided by our field teams, customer engagement strategies provided by our call center and member engagement staff, and secure, complex variable mailing services provided by our production team. Dasher is an experienced minority woman disadvantaged business enterprise (MWDBE) with a bestselling book, “The Talent Pool” and is certified by AICPA with the SOC2SM Type2 data certification and validation.