Undercover Boss

Posted: April 23, 2013 in Just A Thought

Have you ever seen the show Undercover Boss?

If you haven’t the basic premise is that a company executive will go undercover and out in the field to check the pulse of their company. The exec will pose as someone who is a new hire or is there to learn about the specific industry.

In a typical show the undercover exec will find some people who are not living up to the company expectations and some folks who have not only embraced the company’s  values but are exceeding expectations.

Each episode ends with the company exec meeting with the people who ‘trained’ them and revealing their true identity. Typically those who are working hard, going above and beyond are rewarded in some way and those who are not doing so well are at least given a chance to improve. Those are the basics of the show.

So I got to thinking about what we do as leaders on a day in day out basis. While watching Undercover Boss, I’m always struck with this question (and I get that it’s all crafted for TV) why does it take a company executive to recognize people?

As leaders we need to look for teachable moments. They can happen at home, at work and in whatever groups that we are involved with, they are all around us. Recognizing the great things that the people around us do will encourage them to keep going and bringing attention to the not so great things will help them grow. In other words, speak the truth in love!

Leading is a tough job because people are involved. Balancing how we lead is even tougher. Recognizing the good and great in people and coaching them through the not so great is what good leaders do. You may not be a leader yet or you may only be leading a few either way, think about the future.  As a leader what do you what to be known for, what you do or what the people that you lead do?

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