Friday, October 30, 2020

2012 – What Gift Is This Person Giving Me?


A consistent team of 10's

(40 Summers 40 Lessons Series)

John Maxwell says, “Whenever I see my staff, I put an imaginary “10” on the forehead of each individual. This helps me treat each person like a 10, a high performer who makes a difference to me and the organization. Inevitably, they respond as if they are a 10!

If you don’t already do this, why not start today? Put “10s” on the people you lead. Treat them based on their potential, not their performance. You’ll be amazed how both will rise.”

It is John’s law of the lid. “Your leadership is like a lid or a ceiling on your organization.” As you help raise the lid on your colleagues and team members you will see yours rise as well.

My Story:

The moment I had met the new HR manager, I knew that there was something that need clarification. That individual had told me that they were there to help me. I had heard the old adage and had often joked with others about how government folks are here to help. “I’m Dewey Tentical. I’m from the government and I am here to help.” That’s how the joke goes; right?

I went on to listen to the reasons things are done the way they are and that the system was put in place to help me.

Over the next several years, each time I went to the HR offices, I was always met with that manager and the top reasons why what I had just turned in where in fact done incorrectly. (This was the world prior to online on boarding of employees.) I got to the point that it was one of the most dreaded portions of my position. While I loved bringing staff on to develop and lead and grow, the paperwork portion was dreadful.

For those in the seasonal camp industry, the spring time was all about that on boarding process and making sure that the employee that you had spent hours recruiting, interviewing, reference checking to finally have them accept the position. And then, the paperwork.

Not actual picture of Cathy.

Each time I had an encounter with that manager made me more and more frustrated. I tried to make sure that I had things done the way that was required and there were always pieces missing or some item was not in the proper order.

It seems that whatever tactic I approached her with made me frustrated and often resentful of any experience with that individual.

I would recount stories with my staff team of how ridiculous the process was and how hard I would work to make it happen. It seemed that I was missing a crucial piece of information.

Undergoing a transformation is never easy. At this point I had read a dozen of John Maxwell’s books as well as dozens of other leadership and management books. I could not see a way that she would ever change and embrace anything that resembled what I was looking for in the way of service.

I knew that her leadership lid (one of John’s irrefutable laws of leadership) was stuck and something needed to change.

It was during a retreat where I was rereading one of John’s books that it suddenly occurred to me. That retreat was about leadership and I was asking for something from her and limiting my belief about that individual. I had never put a 10 on her forehead.

I had not been grateful in any way for the lesson I was being presented with from Cathy. I had never even thought of her as someone that I could learn from and had made Cathy into a position and not the person that she was and the potential that she could share.

I had a limiting belief about someone and had prided myself for years on how I saw everyone in that leadership capacity of being their best self, with that exception.

I had made that mistake and I changed how I looked at Cathy.

From that day forward each encounter I had started with a silent prayer about the “gift” that Cathy was bringing to me on that day.

I cannot say that all my corrections on HR forms ended that day or that a process was missed in on boarding a new team member. I did however change my reaction and how I looked at a fellow human being who was doing her work and I had just dehumanized her into a manager.

A wise man said “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift… if it is serving, then serve…”



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