They imagine a letter written by an employee to a CEO, looking for all they need spiritually and developmentally from the relationship.
Here are a few key points from the letter in the Germane post:
- Trust me to do the things you brought me here to do, and then some.
- Know, I mean really know in your heart and mind, I am a rich (not in dollars) human being with a multidimensional life, and please take that into account
- Time and space to play with others, because that’s another way I learn and come up with really good ideas
What if my employees wrote me such a letter? What would it say?
Asking folks to write such a letter would be a fantastic way to start a new job… both as reflection for the team, but as vital input to set the cultural stage and norms.
I may just do that in my next role.
But what can I do now? I just did an open-ended employee survey (and received lots of great candid insights), and I have my team doing the “mid year, end of year letter” I talked about in the Email as Reflective Practice post. So asking my team for more writing at this stage of the game, is not in the cards.
So, as a reflective practice, I am writing myself a letter. A composite of the hopes and asks I have heard from my teams over the years. An aspirational list I use to guide my actions… sometimes more effectively than others. Not yet written down until this rainy Saturday afternoon.
A Letter To Myself
Here are the things we need most from you as a leader.
- Establish a trusted place at the table–the more credibility you have at the senior levels, the more you can advocate for what we need to accomplish.
- Say the tough things that need to be said– nudge us to do that too.
- Be transparent about what is going on–trust us with the real story.
- Help us understand how you think and process, let us in your head.
- Build a strong and diverse team–let us hash out our differences without getting involved.
- Care deeply about our careers and help us to grow– continue to support us after you have moved to the next role.
- Encourage us to take risks– be gentle when we fail.
- Tell us when you screw up– maybe we can avoid the same landmines.
- Give us direct and candid feedback (but sugar coat it a bit more than you sometimes do).
- Come to the field with us, roll up your sleeves and get involved, that’s how you will learn.
- But, don’t get too involved, we’ve got this.
- Let us use your energy strategically, in recognition and in large events.
- Role model work-life balance– be interested in, and support us in our outside lives
“I am grateful for all the teaching my teams have done through the years to guide my development as a leader.”