Tuesday, May 14, 2019


We've all heard the old adage...

I've been thinking about it since I started reading No Hard Feelings - The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy.  In the book, the authors are discussing taking a break.  The title of the section is actually "Falling Out of Love with Your Phone" and offers advice from Shonda Rimes and Dan Calista for leaders. 

I've read similar advice in the past.  I thought it was in Culture Code but I couldn't find it in my notes.  The basic premise is that if you lead people, you set the tone.  You have to make sure your actions, words and priorities align. 

In New Power, Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms define signaling as "the way a new power leader makes a crowd feel more powerful through his speech, gestures or actions".  I feel like you can also signal negative things. 

If you, as the boss, say that you value time with family but then send emails at 7 pm and expect them to be answered quickly, you're signaling that what you've said isn't really true. 

If you tell your children not to smoke because it's bad for your health but then continue to smoke a pack a day, you're signaling that what you've said isn't really true. 

Of course, none of us are perfect.  We're going to send mixed signals from time to time. The key is to be upfront and honest with people. 

If you're the boss and your prime email time is 7 pm or 10 pm or 1 am, talk about that with your people.  Tell them what your prime email times are AND when you expect them to respond.  "I'm may email you at 10 pm but I don't expect you to get to it that night.  Please respond the next morning.  If there's an emergency, I'll text you."

Tell you kids that horrors of smoking but then let them seeing you trying to quit. Let them help you quit. 

Once again, clear communication is the key. 

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