By Michael Holland

I was recently asked if I knew about a local restaurant.  My response was immediate.  It’s a great place, a little pricey but every meal I’ve ever had there is great.  The food is always good and I’ve had different dishes there over time.  The service is great, even on a really busy holiday night they did their best to take care of us.

The whole package is there for me to consume: the food, the ambience, the experience.  I pay a price for the package but the barter is more than fair.

Employees barter their time and energy with you as their leader.  How do they like consuming your leadership?Which of these three tastes do they encounter?

  • Is it like eating some of your favorite foods that make you feel good and healthy and vibrant?  There’s a consistency and intrigue and satisfying feeling to the words you say, the behaviors you exhibit, and the values you reveal.  There’s hard work with sunshine around, positive energy and belief in the purpose being fulfilled.
  • Or is it like being forced to every day eat the same, tired, boring, bland sandwich that you dread? There is consistency to the words you say, the behaviors you exhibit, and the values you reveal but it’s so uneventful, so unengaging, and so lacking of intrigue. Employees show up and robotically go through the day which looked the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow.
  • Or is it like having the mystery meat in middle school, you’re not sure what it is, how it’s going to taste and what it’s going to do to you? Not only is there no consistency to the words you say, the behaviors you exhibit, and the values you reveal, employees have no idea which version of you will show up at any one time.  Employees come to work heavy with a burden not knowing how hard or easy their day will be.

We can get so caught up with getting our teams to get all the work completed and for ourselves to survive the endless meetings, that we lose sight of the real goal which is to enable a work environment that allows employees to choose to work hard.  An environment that intrigues them, engages them and has them wanting more the next day.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • If we surveyed your employees, which of the three “tastes” is likely to receive the highest votes?
  • Do you agree or disagree that the words you say, the behaviors you exhibit, and the values you reveal are important? Why?
  • Where does your current boss fall within the framework of the three “tastes”?