At my first job after graduating from college, my boss told me, ” Take the seat at the table, you earned it. ” Great advice for anyone at any age.
Leadership is a dynamic skill, the world changes rapidly; we adapt to changes in our global environment. As leaders, we should be continuously learning from our own life experiences, from coaching and mentoring others, and by receiving via feedback from our peers.
Recently, the leader in my workplace visited our field operation. This organization certifies airplanes before they can fly in this country. The Director was requesting assistance from the group to improve morale, safety and to rebuild our reputation, which has been sputtering. The Director was sitting at the head of the table, with many open seats available next to him. He invited people to sit in the open seats. Two of us accepted the offer, both of us are women who lead from the front. Neither one of us are elite management members; we are interested in improving the work environment. I also heard my former boss’s voice to take the seat being offered to me. I sat at the table.
At the table, your rank and title should not matter. Ideas are generated and shared between people as equals to promote understanding and commitment to change to improve the organization. Any organization requires information from upper management, middle management, and from the people performing the work. Feedback should be evaluated from more than one perspective. Organizations need input from diverse sources to reach out to their employees and their customers before they can make improvements.
Change requires active involvement from the organization throughout the ranks. We learn throughout the process how to listen, observe and ask questions. Following blindly rarely works. People involved in the transformation will make a difference in your life and the organization. Grab a seat at the table to add your influence.