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How new leaders lose the frontline

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New executive comes in. Starts strong. Engages the frontline.

Then gets busy. Buries themselves. Drops engagement. Loses trust.

Workers say, “they’re just like everyone else, they don’t give a shit about us”.

I’ve seen this repeatedly.

And the sad thing is, the leader usually does “give a shit”.

They just succumb to busy-ness. They let urgent things trump important things (e.g. engagement).

Or a hard decision has to be made. And then they get shy and hide.

What’s the answer?

Prioritise connecting with your people.

Recognise it as the real work – the essential work – of a leader.

What does it look like?

It’s pretty straightforward: just go and talk with people.

Show up as a sincere, humble, vulnerable fellow human being.

Show an interest in them.

Listen to them. Answer their questions.

Be transparent. Especially when it’s inconvenient.

But, most of all, be consistent. Don’t be a fair weather friend.

Keep going, even when it’s hard. Even when it’s awkward and you feel rejected.

The benefits will be profound.

People will feel seen and heard. Which lifts engagement.

And engagement boosts productivity and wellbeing for your people.

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