SMT007 Magazine

SMT-Oct2016

Issue link: http://iconnect007.uberflip.com/i/734166

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 41 of 99

42 SMT Magazine • October 2016 ees well. Happy employees make happy customers. For David, this translates into loyalty and trans- parency. Treating people well over time—even when times are tough—creates mutual trust and respect that pays dividends with both customers and employees. Doing what's right is a slip- pery concept, since reasonable people may disagree on what is "right," but at STI Electronics, Da- vid puts himself in the shoes of the customer and tries to imag- ine what would seem reasonable to them. The Leader's Role Growing a business requires completing var- ious management tasks, and over time stepping up to leadership and out of management. Man- agement is about making decisions, delegating tasks, and solving problems. While a leader may still make major decisions, leadership is more about helping others solve problems for them- selves. Leaders set direction, clarify roles and make sure the right team is in place, giving the team room to operate. David says this particular lesson has taken him most of his career to really absorb—to trust people and let them do their jobs. He focuses on hiring people with the right attitude and fit with the company, and has learned to trust that his people care about the results just as much as he does. Trusting his people has been key to al- lowing the business and his people to grow. Finally, David's leadership role includes making the hard decisions of moving on from a customer or firing an employee. One clue is that if almost every meeting includes a discus- sion of one customer or employee, that is a rela- tionship that is eating up resources and perhaps not creating value for anyone. Leadership is rec- ognizing that fact and making the hard call to move on and stop trying to fix a relationship that isn't working. Leading a Changing Workforce One of the most challenging dynamics for leaders is a shift in the workforce as younger workers enter the business, bring- ing with them a different set of ex- pectations and ideas about work. Millennials are making it more ev- ident than ever that leading em- ployee engagement is critical to keep good employees and get the most from them. Employee en- gagement is what determines how much discretionary effort you get from an employee. It is the dif- ference between someone who punches a clock to get paid and someone who is actively think- ing about how to make the busi- ness more successful and offering up extra time, ideas and effort to make things better. Three keys to employee engagement are rel- evant at any age, but they seem to be more evi- dent in younger (or young at heart) employees: autonomy, mastery and purpose (Drive, Daniel Pink, 2009). Autonomy Employees seek to have input on how they get their work done. If you give some- one a task, project, or goal, that individual wants to have some ability to customize how they achieve that goal. This level of autono- my is the opposite of micro-managing. For many managers, this is the hardest element of engagement to develop. Instead, they rely on mindsets like, "It is easier to do it myself," or "They don't know how, so I need to show them." While new employees or new tasks might require some instruction, it often re - quires less than you think. The way you have always done something isn't necessarily the only way to do something, and you may be surprised by the new ideas that others will de- velop if you let them work on the "how." This is a big part of David's "trust them to do their jobs" lesson in leadership: "I've always said I only wanted to hire people smarter than me, but then I would limit how they worked, mak- ing their smarts less relevant. Giving them the freedom to experiment on better ways to do their jobs (which was really hard for me to do) allows those smarter people to develop better ways for our company to move forward." LEADERSHIP EVOLUTION IN A CHANGING MARKETPLACE David Raby

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SMT007 Magazine - SMT-Oct2016