A Leader’s Most Important “Employee Birthday” Quiz

holidayHere’s the quiz you, as a leader, should ace this holiday season.

  • First write down the names of all your staff members (hopefully you can ace this one, otherwise things will go downhill quickly :)).
  • Next to each, write the names of spouses or significant others.
  • Then, write at least one thing that each person is passionate about.
  • Finally, and be honest on this one, if you were to buy each person a personalized gift that they would truly enjoy (fruitcakes and Target gift cards do not count!), what would it be?

Now go back and see how you did. Get the names of all or most of the spouses? Sorry, but unless you live in a cave, don’t pat yourself on the back too hard as that should be a bare-bones expectation.

Passions? You are getting warmer, but unless the relationship is less than a couple months old, you should be able to identify at least one for each of your team members.

And the measure of a truly engaged leader is that he or she should be able to get personalized gift for each staff member. If you know someone to that level, chances are you’ve put in the time to get to know them as a human being and not just a cog in a wheel.

Think about how you feel when you have that type of relationship with someone, especially someone you work for. The dynamic changes from “boss” to more of “colleague” or “partner.”

If you aren’t at that level, the good news is that taking Father Time’s Relationship Barometer periodically will help you identify gaps and help you do something about it. And if you cultivate that depth of relationship with each of your staff members, I guarantee your issues will go down and productivity will go up—saving you valuable time and money.

Then you might have some time to name all of Santa’s reindeer.

If you want to save even more time this year, email me at cwills@studentpaths.com with the secret password BAROMETER in the subject line and I’ll send you the spreadsheet template that I use as my relationship barometer.

Chris Wills About Chris Wills

Father Time, or Chris Wills, is passionate about helping other leaders learn and grow and free up time they didn’t think they had. He is the Founder of Student Paths, an organization that better prepares students for their future in college, career and life readiness. You can reach Chris at: cwills@studentpaths.com

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