Paying it Forward

This article is for you, Leadership and Management, to help pay forward those who helped you succeed. You know you want to!

We have now entered the “UnLock” phase during our 2020 Pandemic. Most companies are still “Working From Home”. How has the physical distancing impacted your daily communication with your fellow leaders and managers?

Informal communication is very important for running an organization and keeping it competitive. It is also a great means for you to pay forward for all the times your mentors had your back! Hallway conversations, the post meeting huddle, the quick pat on the back or a slap on the wrist, Lord Krishna tearing a twig apart ringside (Ok, perhaps we are over reaching but it’s a great story). These most likely have been replaced with a quick phone conversation or an email.

In the time of Covid, using short mentoring videos can make these interchanges personal and have an incredible impact.

“… for those struggling, video clips of encouragement and support can be equally gratifying…”

Here are a few occasions that you can try today:

  1. When someone does well, anywhere in your company’s hierarchy, instead of just an email or phone call, make a 30 second congratulatory video. It is a wonderful gift for the recipient and it can be shared by them and revisited. On the other hand, for those struggling, video clips of encouragement and support can be equally gratifying and become a source of inspiration for future predicaments.

“For new employees, especially ones who may not work closely with you, a short video will build a connection even when it’s all remote.”

  1. Can’t stop and meet the interns and newbies looking lost as they walk strange new hallways? For new employees, especially ones who may not work closely with you, a short video will build a connection even when it’s all remote. Here is  Brad Smith from Intuit welcoming new employees. Similarly for your employees, how about celebrating Employee Work Anniversaries?  You probably make it a point to meet them if you can. For these times, a video clip expressing your gratitude and thanking that individual will go a long way. Making it personal and shareable will be even more valuable. One Year Anniversary, Five, Ten, and more, it’s probably easier to make ones for your longtime employees and will really mean a lot for them.

“…before these interactions senior leadership could inject appropriate background information. It may be political, organizational, or historical baggage.”

  1. We had talked about “Flipping Meetings” earlier as the Lockdown began. When your management team is kicking off new initiatives, reviewing existing ones, concluding some, all important meetings, it is critical they do the homework. The meeting should focus on interaction and not receiving new information. That’s best studied by oneself. As part of the preparatory work done before these interactions senior leadership could inject appropriate background information. It may be political, organizational, or historical baggage. It may be important last minute stuff or it could simply serve to show support and empathy.

“…talking about Berkshire’s gameplan.  A similar series of video messages will provide your management with a clear understanding…”

  1. Take this time to create messages that are illustrative of the strategic direction and mission of your organization. It’s one thing to write a mission statement, they are short and by that very constraint use words that are sacred but seem to have lost immediate relevance. “Service”, “Integrity”, “Excellence”, “Innovation”, all have been overused. It would be a hard pressed executive who had to give an example of how it applies to your company without resorting to equally vague generalizations. “Everything!”, “Everyday!”, “Every customer!”.

Berkshire Hathaway waits patiently for long term investment opportunities that will give the best returns. Warren Buffet uses a baseball analogy to describe the strategy. It clearly articulates that to the most inexperienced investor. Here is Warren Buffet talking about Berkshire’s game plan. A similar series of video messages will provide your team with a clear understanding of how you want your organization to function and the direction it must take to succeed.

We think these should get you started. The great part is these videos will become part of your Company’s library. Now they can be referred to, reused, and serve as content for leadership and management courses you provide inhouse.

Let us know how we can help! Write to us for ideas that will help your particular situation. We have the experience and know-how to make it happen.

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