Do You Protect Your People?

February 13, 2013

Good Wednesday morning to you!

Question for you – do the people of your organization feel safe? Protected? How about the people on your team? Is it safe to work for you?the-way-of-the-shepherd-book-cover

While it is important, I am not talking about physical safety today. I am primarily talking about emotional safety, your culture – the environment in your organization and / or your team.

Simon Sinek talks about this in his book Start With Why. He is talking about trust and one of the ways that you develop trust in your people is by protecting them. One illustration that he gives is that of a trapeze artist. A trapeze artist will push themselves to new feats of daring and stretch and grow their abilities to do amazing stunts – as long as they have a net under them. Without a net, there is too much risk to go for it. A good leader provides a practical and emotional net for his people. A great team will try great things and will, at times fail. That is when the leader provides them a net. And when you provide a net, people feel protected. When they feel protected, you will gain their trust.

In one of my favorite leadership books of all time, The Way of the Shepherd, the fourth principle is “Make Your Pasture a Safe Place” and there are at least six things you need to do to make it a safe place according to the authors:

a. Keep your people well informed.
b. Infuse every position with importance.
c. Cull chronic instigators from the flock.
d. Regularly rotate the sheep to fresh pastures.
e. Reassure the sheep by staying visible.
f. Don’t give problems time to fester.

So, do you want a high functioning team of people who trust each other and enjoy coming to work? Start with giving them a safe place to work – better yet, a safe place to create art and do great things!

BG