My dad passed away 9 years ago on February 3rd. Its hard to believe its been that long.
Over the weekend while reflecting on some memories I recalled a time in my early teens when dad had an opportunity presented to him at work.
Dad was a butcher for A&P Supermarkets and a staunch union man who served as shop steward at his store. But, I remember this one time over dinner discussing with my mom that he was offered the position of “meat manager.”
I thought that was a great honor and a great opportunity. I was so proud of him. He could be the boss of his department.
Dad wanted none of it. Dad wanted none of the extra responsibility, nor did he care enough about the extra income.
I couldn’t understand it. Who wouldn’t want to be the boss?
But, it wasn’t for him and he always had the option of staying in the position he was at. He made the decision he was most comfortable with and was able to work the 12 years or so until his retirement in the role and level he chose.
The reason this memory came back to me is I was in a conversation with a colleague about an employee on their staff who had a similar attitude to my dad.
In today’s work environment, however, its more and more challenging to allow team members to just maintain their role and responsibilities. Reason being, is that it is equally challenging to be able to maintain continual increases in salary and benefits without the employee adding value to an organization.
When I first got into this leadership coaching business and began discussing the concept of creating a ‘championship workplace culture,’ I often thought there was a place for employees who could fit a consistent role without being open to growth and development, since often athletic teams have role players to fill out their rosters that provide huge value to their teams.
But, as we move deeper into the 21st century with the rate of technological evolution and globalization, I’m not sure business leaders will able to compete, or can even afford to, have team members that can not adapt to the changing needs in the work environment.
Discussions with clients and prospects in recent years often involve issues around raising the bar on employee performance through encouraging them to embrace “change.”
The bigger challenge isn’t so much embracing “change” as it is identifying what this enhanced role and responsibilities could look like that would offer higher value back to the organization, and then identifying whether the employee has the attitude, skills and talents to meet those new job requirements.
In the mid-80s Dad was given the option of stepping up or staying put. I’m not sure many employees in the second decade of the 21st Century are going to have that flexibility much longer.
Anyway, back in December I wrote a blog post with a model to help business leaders assess their team members’ adaptability to change (you can read that blog here).
If this is an issue for your organization, and you’d like to raise the bar on employee performance by helping them navigate change at whatever level it is manifesting, click this link to investigate whether a private, 1:1 Leadership Strategy Session may make sense for you.
Thanks for allowing me to remember my dad this week!
‘Til next time, make it a great week,