Leaders Who Care Are Real Leaders

Les has a 21-year-old employee struggling financially. Les would like to approach him and introduce him to Dave's plan. Would he be outside his boundaries as a supervisor to try to help him?

QUESTION: Les in Michigan has a 21-year-old employee struggling financially. Les doesn’t know him outside work, but he would like to approach him and introduce him to Dave’s plan. Would he be outside his boundaries as a supervisor to try to help him?

ANSWER: Let’s pretend your supervisor is in his 30s and comes to you and says, “Hey, Les, I don’t really want to overstep my bounds as your supervisor here at work, but I see you doing some things, and I actually care about you. I’d like to try to help you with that because I used to do stuff like that, and it about killed me. Stupid will make you desperate. It’ll make you broke. Let me give you a copy of this book, and you can do what you want to do. I can’t make you do anything, and I’m not requiring this as your boss at work. I’m just actually one of those rare leaders who actually cares about their team.”

The way you know how to phrase it is you flip the shoes over and walk in the other shoes. How would you want someone to treat you? You don’t want them to come in all arrogant or condescending with their glasses down on the end of their nose. I don’t want to be corrected that way. You don’t want to be corrected that way. Lovingly and caringly with appropriate boundaries, and then if a wall goes up, you just back off. Then you’re just his work supervisor because that little play didn’t work. Leaders in business who care about their team are what is known as real leaders. So congratulations.

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