Promoting Individual Growth and Independence…On Independence Day and Everyday

Managers are expected to ensure that employees complete tasks and reach corporate objectives. But, what about your employees’ personal growth and goals? Are you watching out for them as well?

It’s easiest to support your employees when you view them as people and not merely as subordinates. Taking an interest in the people who work for you encourages their teamwork, attention to detail, and ambition. These attributes go a long way toward reaching corporative objectives, but they also foster personal growth and independence.

Independence and teamwork? Isn’t that a contradiction? Not necessarily. When individuals feel confident, well rewarded, and challenged, they will naturally move more and more towards independence. They will be more creative and take initiative in their work. They will be proud to stand on their own. Yet, usually the confident people—those comfortable with independence—are the best team players. They aren’t afraid to take risks and they’re willing to suggest creative solutions, for the good of the team.

As leaders, we have a responsibility for helping individuals achieve confidence while being challenged. Understand that this charge requires us to get to know the people who work for us—we need to know their personal goals, likes/dislikes, and talents. Only then will we be able to truly help them achieve their goals and experience personal growth.

Can you answer the following questions (accurately!) about the five to ten employees who work closest to you?

What is the person’s favorite non-work related activity?
What is name of the person’s spouse or significant other?
Where did the person go to school?
What is the person’s most defining personality characteristic?
What are the person’s professional goals?

Investing time in knowing the people who work for you will bring success to the company, the person, and you. People capable of working independently are not mavericks intent on bucking authority at any opportunity. They are confident achievers who will play an integral role in your team and company—without needing their hand held the entire time.

Be sure to encourage their personal growth and independence. After all, it’s the American way. Happy Fourth of July!

Now ask yourself… “Am I a Leader?”

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