Great Leaders Make It Personal

By: Randy Wolken, President & CEO

As a leader, everything we do must be tailored to the people we serve and lead.  Commodities are not where we are heading as a value-added economy.  The fastest growing industries and companies personalize everything we use and buy.  Think about it.  Amazon – customized buying that is delivered to your doorstep.  Google – customized search engine for me.  Facebook – customized approach to staying in touch with our friends and family.  Each of these companies did not even exist two decades ago.  Now they are the some of the biggest companies on the planet!  Wow.  How did that happen?

We want something personal to us.  We really do.  Look at the craft beer market.  It is on its way to being bigger – much bigger – than the large brand names.  We want it customized and special.  We really do.  I can give you dozens of examples.  Soon, we will all have customized cars – in all price ranges.  Right now, it is available for high-end cars.  I saw a factory in Europe that makes each car as a unique offering – every single one of the 1,300 cars produced that day!  It was amazing to see.

If we want all of our services and products customized, how about our places of work? Yup.  We want that personalize to us also.  Every single worker wants a place to work where they are cared for, challenged, and given work that means something to them.  I know that sounds hard to provide.  It is – but I increasingly see it happening.  I see plenty of places like that in our community.  It starts with incredible leaders.  They know their teammates – all of them.  They know about the families, likes, interests, strengths, weaknesses, talents, loves, and passions of their staff.  They encourage them and challenge them. They help their direct reports find meaning in all that they do.  They care deeply.  They make it personal.  And, they get great results by doing so.

The future of leadership is making it personal.  Are you ready for it? How well do you know your staff?  Are they happy and satisfied at work?  Do they wake up each day passionate about their work?  Are you helping them create great outcomes?  What could you do more to lead like this today?

These questions and more occupy my thoughts.  Do you know why 70% of workers are disengaged at work?  They want their work personalized – like the rest of their lives!  It’s our jobs as leaders to give them this type of work experience.  I know it’s what I am working hard to do.  How about you?

Looking for more? Download my Amazon Bestseller, Present-Future Leader:  How to Thrive in Today’s Economy.