*Are You a Good Egg?

Egg decorating is serious business in my house.

“The biggest impression my boss makes is on his chair!”

“I tried to offer advice to my supervisor and it backfired – she’s held a grudge since and now I’m stuck here!”

“My manager’s a good salesman, but not a great leader.” 

“We call our boss the tyrant because she’s a bully. Maybe she figures that’s the only way to lead in a mostly male dominated company?”

That’s a small sampling of the hundreds of comments I’ve heard over the last ten years. The average employee is emotionally vested in their company but they are fed up with management for a wide variety of reasons.

Notice I said average employee, because many employees have a great relationship with their superiors – built on respect, trust, and admiration. And many employees are a big p.i.t.a. who resist authority, look for reasons to complain, and basically behave like rotten apples despite every effort. In the workplace, the opposite of a Good Egg is a Rotten Apple, yet rotten eggs smells worse than rotten apples. They smell worse than everything for that matter.

Back to the average employee…Initially, I take what they say at face value until I test the quality of their judgment, gather enough facts, and hear opposing view points. I exercise healthy skepticism until I’m quite certain that their original judgment was correct, and then I recommend a remedy. I have no problem playing Devil’s Advocate with company owners, CEOs, Executives, and HR personnel too, because as we all know, Rotten Apples are not limited to the bottom of a corporate structure!

Southern States (TM)

“How can you tell the difference between a good egg and a bad egg? Eggs are rated and graded into three classifications determined by the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA then labels the eggs AA, A, and B.”  Southern States Cooperative

Grading Eggs

As a boss, your employees rate your performance with three basic standards. They believe a leader should get a AA rating if they…

1.  “Know me!” Be conscious of, and increasingly familiar with their expectations, motivators, demotivators, learning style, reactions to stress, untapped potential, limitations, and values.

2.  “Show me!”  Be clear with your expectations. Provide guidelines, resources, checkpoints and consequences that are specific to their job function. Model integrity, commitment, effective problem solving and collaboration.

3.  “Grow me!”  Be firm yet fair. Provide recognition and objective criticism. Hold them accountable to “push the envelope” professionally. Seek their input, advice, and opinion (even on your leadership ability). Exercise transparency so that them may see you as human as well. They’ll learn from your mistakes and eventually step into your shoes as you progress in your own career.

So, would you say you’re a Good Egg?  If you want to be sure, ask your employees what they think. It may take a few attempts to get them to be completely honest with you, so don’t give up!  The quickest way to build trust in the employer-employee relationship is to ask for honest feedback and act on it! 

But what ever you do, don’t overreact to critical remarks you weren’t expecting!  Don’t crack under pressure, don’t hold a grudge, don’t use that feedback against them…don’t even joke about it lightheartedly!  Or you may land up with egg on your face!  

A Good Egg is always looking for ways to build (versus damage) trust. More about that in other posts. For now, come up with one specific thing you can do to enhance your role as leader and let me know what it is!

The featured photo:  Easter dinner at Lynette’s house 2012 where egg decorating is a serious business.  (Are you hosting a holiday meal? It doesn’t have to be Easter! Boil a dozen eggs and provide guests with paint brushes and some watercolors. It keeps them out of your hair while you’re cooking.)   

Copyright © 2015 – 2019. Humanizing the Workforce. All rights reserved.





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