Who do you work for?

By |Published On: August 13, 2012|

As a “blogger” (I guess we can call me that now as this will be my 68th post in 18 months) I regularly read other blogs and articles.  While I used to do this for the benefit of learning, now I do it also for the development of blog content.

Today I read an article from the NY Times (see full article here) that included some interesting content.  I am always interested in reading about what makes business leaders successful – how they approach leading their company, their employees and their lives.  The article I read today was an interview with the CEO of Skanska USA Building, a construction and commercial development firm in the US.

The interview reinforced many of the typical leadership traits or styles we have all come to expect:  teamwork (no one is more important than the team); focus meetings to make them productive; ask questions to help lead people to decisions, don’t tell them what to do.

However, there was a new point of view, or at least a new description of a previously described leadership point of view:  As a leader my employees don’t work for me, I work for them.  Certainly this relates to the concept of the team, not the individual.  However, I don’t think many “head coaches” would say they work for their players (employees).

Check out the rationale behind the concept.  The CEO says, “Because if I don’t do a good job in leading and setting strategy and helping them do their job, they’ll probably fail.”

It is the leaders job to help his employees accomplish their goals.  If the leader doesn’t do that, the employees (more often than not) will fail.  Of course, if the employees don’t do their job, the leader won’t accomplish his goals and the organization will fail.

This is the most basic concept of a team.  Each component of the team has a job to do and all jobs are interrelated in such a way that the failure of one component could lead to the downfall of the team.  However, together they can achieve so much more than they can individually.

What do you think?

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