Loneliness is a powerful shadow that clouds our judgment.
By John O’Sullivan and Michael VanBruaene
It’s common for managers and leaders to feel alone. When we make decisions, particularly those for which there is no easy answer and the outcome is uncertain, we gather information, discuss the issue with colleagues and weigh alternatives. And depending on the nature of the decision we may have to be alone with our thoughts to make the decision. However, feeling lonely is different than being alone. When we experience loneliness there can be harmful repercussions to our organizations. Loneliness is a signal that it’s time for introspection.
Credibility is a key factor in your success as a manager and leader. If you’re not credible, you won’t be respected, making it impossible to achieve your potential as an effective manager, and leader. Be aware — daily — of how your behavior affects your co-workers and others who are relevant to your work. Be deliberate and strategic in choosing your behavior.
This article is devoted to four essential management and leadership behaviors. You should consciously engage in these behaviors every day to build and sustain your credibility. They are:
Give your employees the most precious resource: Time
It’s no secret that the idea of employee loyalty with a company is being redefined in our world today. People are job hopping more than ever before in history. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has said that the average tenure for an American worker currently sits at 4.2 years. Probably better than you were thinking it might be. But this doesn’t tell the whole story. The real story is the breakdown by age groups.
There is a stark contrast between those beginning their career (Millennials) and those ending theirs (Baby Boomers). The 25–34 age range shows an average of 2.8 years in a job, while the 55–64 age range averages 10.1 year. Quite the difference, and has given the older generation something to frown upon when looking at the younger generation.
Google is the pioneer of offering perks to attract top talent, and imitation has become the sincerest form of flattery. A friend of mine who works at Google HQ describes his situation as “too good to walk away from” — even when he gets bored. Free food, snacks, shuttle, laundry, etc have a way of doing that.
The startup scene has followed suit, and escalated to the point where if you don’t offer perks, you’re not considered relevant.
A couple of weeks ago we announced the start of the ironWeekend Initiative. Starting in June, ironSource employees will get a few, fully-paid, long weekends where we’ll shut the Tel Aviv offices entirely, so that they have extra time to go to the bank or the beach, spend time with their families, or just relax.
We’ve implemented this change because employee welfare for us goes beyond offering the perks that every tech company today offers. It’s about having a philosophy of work, and sticking to it.
Below is an excerpt of a letter I sent to our employees about this initiative, explaining my reasoning behind the new change and what I hope to see it accomplish. (A note for global readers — we’re closing the office on Sundays because in Israel we work Sunday-Thursday instead of Monday-Friday)
Just about every organization today wants to be more creative. But just like “innovation”, the word “creativity” means something different for every organization.
For example, when you look at incredibly creative companies like Pixar or IDEO, you can see a lot of differences in their creative processes and outcomes. They go about creativity in very different ways. But what they have in common is a culture where creativity is both expected and rewarded.
Fundamentally, creativity is about being Culture First; it’s about creating a very intentional way of being that leads to the creative result.
Over the course of my career, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with organizations both large and small. No matter what the size the business, I’ve seen that way that culture can enable creativity — or stifle and eventually destroy it altogether.
Many of the traditional organizations I’ve worked with had hierarchies that were focused on group or department roles, with formal and rigid chain of commands. They are highly prone to bureaucracy and role protectionism.