Today’s Lesson: Be generous with your ears.
I am always surprised by the amount of time and attention my boss gives to his team members. He is a very busy and ambitious successful business owner, yet he seems to overflow with patience and curiosity. When I sit with him, I can not help but be aware of how much our chit-chat is costing him.
While we share stories about our weekend or our thoughts on leadership, I can almost hear a clock ticking in my head because I know I am keeping him from dealing with people or issues that affect the multi-million dollar enterprise he is responsible for running.
Yet, I always appreciate his graciousness and generosity with his time. I value it and I always walk away having learned something. As a leader, I think I have usually been good with giving my best people my time but I have also been guilty of cutting a conversation short so I could complete an assignment on time (or because the conversation had become circular).
I am reminded that a leader’s time is more valuable to his or her team than nearly anything else. Sometimes the greatest thing you can do as a leader is to just sit and talk with people (and spend more time listening than speaking).