Saw this Winston Churchill quote in the book, Guts!, the other day, “The key to impact as a leader is your own sincerity. Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.”
Ah, so true.
Chinese workers have suffered from a great deal of manipulation at the hands of authority placed over them, and are pretty sensitive to it at this point. Turnover rate at the Western company I am assisting right now is near 100% annually. Can you imagine that?
I say all this because week by week I give thought on techniques for better leadership here. But if all we do is master technique, then we are manipulators and no one will want to work for us. That is getting more important year by year. We could see 100% turnover as well if we have not seen it yet.
So today I wanted to note that we all need to take a hard look in the mirror. We need to ask ourselves if we and the leaders we have hired care for workers or are just using them.
Do people work for my company because they want to or because they need a paycheck? We, as leaders, are responsible for this difference. Do not kid yourself and say everyone has turnover. This is even more so because turnover is the least of our problems. For the people who stay are the ones who could not go. And they only do what they must each day with as little passion as possible.
Last post I said that you need to meet with your direct reports monthly and let them talk. I also still say to have all your leaders here in China do the same. However, if you do that as a technique but do not really care, then the technique will help you little.
Our workers make the product that ultimately gets us paid. They are the ones and not us. Let us not see them as a dime a dozen. They are people like us with hopes and dreams. So take a look in mirror and see if you are trying become the right person or just trying to learn the right techniques. Being the right person will take you far even if you lack techniques.
What are you seeing? Really, I would love to see your comments. Go ahead. What does this post make you think/sense?