Recently, a friend shared with me how awesome her boss is. She explained that she thought this was because her boss had slowly, over the years, worked her way up through the company, held several different positions, and understood on a very personal level how each job contributed to the organization.
The others all agreed that in their work history, bosses who knew what everyone did on either a personal level or because they had taken the time to learn, were some of the best leaders they’d had.
As a leader, should you know how each job functions within your company?
To me, the biggest benefit of a leader having this knowledge is having a keen awareness of who to invite to the table in the decision-making/idea creation process.
Our team model looks at an organization like a beach ball. Each employee represents a different perspective, or different color "stripe", on the giant beach ball that is the organization. We believe that no one person owns the capital T truth, and that often times, differing truths compete with one another. What is true for Accounting is different than what is true for Marketing.
A pitfall leaders can make is inviting the same people to the table. More than likely, the same answers will show up again and again.
But what if the leader knew the jobs of its employees well enough to think - the office manager has a unique perspective on how the company is run; perhaps he has an idea on how to cut wasteful spending?
Leaders who invest the time to learn more about the roles they oversee build an emotional connection with their employees. Their employees feel that investment, and your time honors the job they do.
It also gives the leader a more thorough understanding of how to put teams together and how to potentially reinvent roles.
Do you have leaders that know your job? If you are a leader, do you know your team’s roles?