Offer more help than you ask for.
When parents help their children grow up, they do not ask for anything in return. Nor do they expect to have a good return on this investment in the future. If they do, the ROI is often negative in the long run.
Good teachers are excited and overjoyed with their students’ success. They see themselves behind the scenes watching their students receive a standing ovation from the academia. If laughing all the way to the bank in front of their student is all they can see, never will there be a standing ovation in their lives.
Lovers want to comfort each other. If they do it just because they anticipate the pleasures that may follow, this kind of love will fade out too soon and become a painful memory.
Bosses want to succeed, demonstrate a high ROI, and laugh all the way to the bank. Perhaps, then get some extra pleasures on the way from the bank. For that, they may offer monetary incentives, so that their reports “work hard.”
They call it “positive reinforcement” and refer to themselves as “leaders.”
Money can buy food, clothes, and shelter; it will help satisfy the need for safety. More money buys more food and fancy clothes, and that becomes and addiction. The addicts stay longer hours to prove that they “work hard” and deserve more food.
This is called “work-life balance” by bosses who call themselves “leaders.”
And it does not work, not anymore.
Instead, bosses should learn to help before they “lead.” Help their people visualize their goals, understand their roles, discover their skills, and make sure that all those are aligned with their values.
Building this understanding and finding the equilibrium together is what your team will value more than your “leadership.”
This may be a lot of work, but it is more rewarding. Give more than you take. Show more empathy than you need yourself.
It gives meaning to your worklife. It is called coaching. It works.