Just like God, your employees are always watching!
One of the things children are taught in Jewish day schools is that “God is always watching.” There always seemed to be a slightly negative connotation to that statement, as in God is always watching so be careful about what you do, as opposed to a more positive spin, God is always watching out for you.
As a manager, there is another tenet which one should consider. “Your employees are always watching.” That’s right folks, it doesn’t matter where you sit on the food chain, your employees will be watching you. And just like how children are taught about God watching them, this can have a positive and negative side.
On the positive side, your good habits can positively impact them. A few years ago, one of my employees, who was also a manager, asked me how much effort she should put into her weekly team meeting presentations. I said, “Don’t look at it necessarily from a perspective of time. You aren’t just showing us charts and updates. You are setting an example for how your employees should also prepare and present. If you show us something that looks like it was thrown together in five minutes right before the meeting the message to them will be that’s how much effort they should also make.”
There is also the negative side in terms of emulating poor behavior. If when your direct manager is on vacation you start coming late/leaving early or generally slacking off, how do you think your employees will act when you are away? If you are constantly mocking company policies in their presence, how seriously do you think your employees will take those policies?
Being a leader can sometimes feel like a burden. I always must act a certain way or put a certain amount of effort into something even when I don’t truly feel like it. But if we focus on the positive side it can be refreshing to think that we are having an impact which is far greater than the immediate repercussions of whatever it is we are doing. The ripple effect of solid leadership can reverberate across entire organizations.
Have you ever been impacted for better or for worse just by watching your manager in action? Share your story in the comments section..(no need to give names 😊)