If you want to be a great leader, remember to treat all people with respect at all times. For one, because you never know when you’ll need their help. And two, because it’s a sign you respect people, which all great leaders do. ~ Simon Sinek
Human Resources, or HR departments are in many companies worldwide. We’ve all interacted with them at some point in our career. But have you ever stopped to thoughtfully consider what the term really means?
William R. Tracey, in The Human Resources Glossary, defines Human Resources as: “The people and staff that operate an organization.”
Businessdictionary.com states that it is the “scarcest and most crucial productive resource that creates the largest and longest lasting advantage for an organization. It resides in the knowledge, skills, and motivation of people…”
For the past several weeks, we’ve been looking at the differences between catabolic and anabolic leaders. This week we’ll discuss a key distinction in how the two types of leaders treat and think about their human resources – the people that work for and with them.
Catabolic leaders take advantage of the people around them. A catabolic leader looks at the people around him and only considers what the others can do for him and for the organization. Employees are like pawns in a game that the catabolic leader controls, and neither their feelings nor needs are considered. The catabolic leader rarely, if ever, gives credit to anyone else, since he believes that when employees work for him, he owns them and all of their accomplishments. Likely to be bossy and condescending, the catabolic leader puts himself first, always having to be right and feel superior. And so, it shouldn’t be surprising that most catabolic leaders are met with exactly what they expect: employees that present problems.
Anabolic leaders, on the other hand, utilize instead of use the people around them. An anabolic leader, having the belief that all employees have something to offer, looks for ways to incorporate staff talents and company needs. This leader sees employees as gifted and full of potential. Anabolic leaders help team members find their gifts, and utilize those gifts to best serve the organization, as well as the team members themselves. They recognize the knowledge and skills of those around them, and they act in ways that make others truly feel like partners. Greatness is expected, and thus received.
Anabolic leaders coach their team members, using important skills such as listening, acknowledging, validating, championing, and visioning to create relationships and make each of their team members a leader in his or her own right. And so, accordingly, anabolic leaders find solutions in those people around them.
The Human Resource Department in an organization is often the place that seems to deal with all the “problems” that arise. If leaders saw the people in their companies truly as their “greatest resources,” what a different place and focus that department might have.
Think about how you and your organization treat your human resources. Are they problems needing help and solutions, or true resources to be nurtured, motivated, and empowered?
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