What I Learned About Leadership From a Newborn

As we approach Thanksgiving here in the U.S., I am most grateful for the addition of my grandson to our family. Lenny was born in late September and thankfully I’ve been able to spend lots of time with him.

When Lenny cries, we all pay attention. This is how newborns communicate their needs. When he’s in my arms and I’m feeding him or soothing him in a dark room in the wee hours of the night, there’s no multitasking, no cell phones & no worrying about to-do lists. It’s Lenny Time and I’m focused!

What if leaders had the same level of commitment to their direct reports? Imagine a world where all employees felt genuinely seen and heard. As we grow up, we learn that crying isn’t appropriate and we adapt to more productive ways to get someone’s attention. And some of us learn to keep our mouths shut – to avoid rocking the proverbial boat. Regardless of where members of your team fall on this continuum, we all want to be heard and acknowledged.

During a recent podcast that I listened to, Justin Black, Head of People Science for Glint, shared current employee engagement research in the midst of this pandemic. Their research shows that now more than ever, employees are looking for a sense of belonging and connection.

Now is the time to focus on creating Conscious Connections™️ with your team. Conscious Connections occur when both parties are proactively approaching a conversation (Think 1:1 meetings that are planned in advance.) Whether you’re thinking about this related to a formal leadership role you serve in or are someone’s direct report, you have an opportunity to focus, pay attention, and engage in the connection.

Lenny reminded me that when it comes to human connections, paying attention matters. The small things really do go a long way toward supporting those around us.


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