I teach mid-career leaders and emerging leaders in a university Master’s degree program, students from both a MBA program and a MAOL (master of organizational leadership) program. There is also an occasional HR student. Since these are mid-career students I hear every comment about organizations and their culture, leadership and HR practices that exists.
When they describe leaders who create a dynamic where everyone is engaged, feeling alive and doing great work, they do so fondly and say such experiences changed their lives. Their leader created an environment where employees thrived, learned and engaged.
So what does it take to lead a thriving workplace? There are three principles I have been able to discern from all the comments.
- The leader is ethical, fair and walks their talk.
- The leader enables employees to do their job to the best of their ability.
- The leader cares about their employees without crossing boundaries of appropriate behavior.
These seem like simple tenets but I’m surprised at how they seem remarkable to my students because they are so rare.