When it comes to leadership/staff dynamics, the pressure is usually on staff to measure up. After all, doesn’t leadership set the performance bar? Granted, but performance is also affected by good management/staff relationships.

Your staff appointments or hires are made based on the proven skills and personal dynamics of the people you interview. What if the tables were turned and your appointees were given the chance to interview you? What would they expect you to be? I think they would want you to be FOUR IN ONE.

1. They want you to be a LEADER.

They want you to know enough about the direction of the organization that you could throw a dart and hit the organizational target with the lights out. Before they receive their first assignment they want you to know that you have a grip on its mission, plans, resources, and objectives.

2. They want you to be a FRIEND.

They don’t need you to be in their family portrait, they just want to know that you care about them. They want to know that you’ll stand by them. They want you to know the important stuff about them. They want you to affirm who they are as much as you affirm what they do.

3. They want you to be a TRAINER.

They come to you with buckets, waiting for you to fill them with skills, ideas and principles that will help them succeed. They don’t want you to stand over them, they want you to work alongside them. They want you to be a craftsman to their apprenticeship.

4. They want you to be a COUNSELOR.

Staff members come to you with bags full of personal and organizational artifacts. They’ve been treated and mistreated along the way. They want a listening ear, an understanding word, and an affirming atmosphere. They want you to know when and where to refer them to the right source if their situation becomes too challenging.

Of course, you can’t really be four people in one. I know that, and you know that. But you can do your homework. You can develop skill sets that compliment your leadership. You can work on being a great people person as well as an innovative project leader. Sam Walton once said, “If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”

–Stan Toler