I've been a fan of Stan Slap since reading his take on culture in his book Under the Hood (which I wrote about here and here). Now having just finished his other book, Bury My Heart at Conference Room B: The Unbeatable Impact of Truly Committed Managers, I am more of a fan and wish all managers were required to read his work.
In this book Stan makes the case that managers need to become leaders to live and work by their values, which will lead to their lives being more fulfilled and also lead their teams to success.
As per Stan, most managers are required to live by the company's values when at work, which if opposed to their personal values, leads to disengagement and less than their best. To circumvent this, leaders need to recognize what their values are and learn to enroll others in this vision.
Unlike managers who want staff to work harder, leaders want them to live better. They do this by painting a picture of the Better Place they can take staff to (their vision), where all will be better off.
For this to work, leaders need to be consistent and honest at all times so as not to lose their followers' trust. This trust is what allows staff to believe in the leader, his values, and his vision and they are constantly observing and judging him to determine if this trust is warranted.
Stan takes you through exercises to help determine what your top three values are and how to apply them with your team, your organization, and in your personal life. He also shares anecdotes of companies both large and small that work this way, demonstrating how this positively impacts both morale and the bottom line.
With his book, Stan has painted his own Better Work Place, one where everyone can safely bring their best selves and values to work and be respected and rewarded for this. It's a place I'd gladly follow him to.
What's the Better Place you've been searching for? Do you know what your top values are?