You’ve heard the horror stories of employees with terrible bosses, you’ve spent hours hoping you weren’t that boss and not knowing how to tell if you did something wrong. The truth is, it’s a lot more effective to focus on what you can do to make your employee’s lives better. So to help you do that, we created the Employee Diaries.
What They Are:
These are stories from Grow Disrupt employees, highlighting the things that Stephanie has done that made their lives easier as employees and helped them find ownership in their roles within the company.
This Week: Susannah Scheller, “How my boss motivated me without trying.”
As a kid, the movie I, Robot terrified me.
Not that I’d ever seen it. In fact, to this day I haven’t seen it (Don’t worry, as a geek I promise it is on my list to watch tonight!). But here’s what scared me: the concept of Artificial Intelligence enslaving mankind. I don’t think anyone likes the idea of being enslaved to artificial intelligence, and certainly no one wants to work for a robot or a machine.
If you, as a boss, appear to your employees as a robot who is beyond human, you’ll probably end up with employees who don’t quite appreciate you or have any motivation to go above and beyond. Here’s how Stephanie avoided this easy-to-fall-into trap.
There have been a few times in the last several years where Stephanie has struggled.
And let’s face it, that’s normal. Whether personal or professional, everyone sometimes struggles on some level. It’s just life. But as one of my favorite quotes goes, “it’s not the time we’re given that matters, but what we do with it.” (Ok, yes… It’s a bit of a Gandalf paraphrase, but you get my point!)
Stephanie had two choices when she faced her struggles. She could keep them hidden from her team, or she could be transparent about them.
Some people would say that letting your employees know you’re going through a rough patch is a sign of weakness, that they should never see you struggle otherwise the company might struggle. But I’d wager that if people were more transparent about their challenges, they wouldn’t become the big news-cast issues that get slammed on the front page as a company is destroyed.
See, when Stephanie was transparent about her struggle it actually motivated me to work harder.
One of the best aspects of being part of a team is that you can lean on them when you’re struggling. And when you know that you can do that, you feel the urge to support them when they are struggling. That’s what it was like when I saw Stephanie struggling. I knew I wouldn’t be in overdrive all the time, but I also knew she needed a little extra support because she was struggling.
Obviously, a major part of this phenomenon came from the fact that she has created a level of transparency, trust, and support in the team that encourages collaboration.
But if I hadn’t known she struggled in the first place, I wouldn’t have changed anything to account for her life storm.
In other words, knowing my boss isn’t a robot allowed me the space to support her humanity.
So if you’re struggling with a team that doesn’t seem to care when you’re facing a challenge, try being transparent with them about your struggle. Find ways they can enable you to continue to function so you can get back to 100%, and do the same for them when they struggle.
About the Author:
Susannah Scheller is the Technology Director and Engagement Curator for Grow Disrupt, and was the first permanent hire made by Stephanie! She has spent countless hours studying the world of business under Stephanie, and has over 5 years of experience in content creation and Technology Execution. Having recently completed her Bachelor of Music, she has begun devoting her focus to the creation of content that helps to support small business owners’ company growth the world over.