If you are in a supervisory role or not, this piece has value for you. The term supervisor extends from a front-line supervisor to a seasoned CEO or business owner. I wrote this letter ten years ago to get the attention of supervisors and managers in the workplace. It is easy to blame workers when things are not functioning optimally on the job. How often do we, as leaders, look to ourselves first and take total ownership of a leader's role? We will dissect the
letter on the other side.
I am writing this letter because it is sometimes difficult for me to give you feedback and there are some things that I expect from you as my boss. I don't want to offend you, and I don't want to make you angry, but I don't think you know how to get the most from your subordinates. Please know that what I am writing is intended to make you a better leader and make us more likely to accomplish your objectives.
We want to do an excellent job for you, and I don't think you know what motivates us to perform. Keeping good people on the team makes everyone's job better. Don't ever settle for just anyone because "we" have to work with them, and often "we" carry the load they don't. Additionally, you need to keep the best and brightest people who are currently on the team. We are concerned when good team members leave to find something better elsewhere. It makes us wonder if we
should go too.
Your integrity is critical for us to trust you, and we cannot follow you if we don't trust you to do what you say you are going to do. Believe it or not, we don't even have to like what you want us to do if we know you are fair and consistent with assignments. Please don't lie to us or someone else in our presence. We want to trust you, and when you don't tell the truth, it makes trust very difficult. We will forgive you when you make a mistake. Own up to
errors and occasional lapses in judgment, and we will pull for you to be successful. If you promise to do something, we need to know that you have done everything in your power to make it happen.
You are "the company" to us, and when you blame or talk bad about the organization, we get confused. We see only your perspective and hope that it represents what others in leadership think and expect. We don't want to be a part of anything negative and look to you for cues to take that same information. Often, our behavior is a direct representation of what we think you expect from us. Regardless of whatever posters they hang on the walls or the speeches we hear,
your opinion and expectations are what guide our behavior.
Your actions always speak louder than words, and we always judge your actions. If you are quick to take a shortcut or sacrifice quality, we will too. You are still our leader, and we do want you to be successful on the job. We evaluate your motives and actions to see what you think about many different things on or off the job. This evaluation is subtle, and we know you are not perfect. Know that you are under constant scrutiny from us. We don't always have
to agree with you to respect the fact that you have strong opinions about certain things.
Respect and appreciate the contributions we make, and we will give you more than you ever imagined. Undervalue our effort, and you will get less from all of us. We are not "that hard" to please, and if you make a sincere effort, we will give you our effort in return. The little things matter to us, and we expect you to try to make our work easier any way you can. When you overlook our struggles, no matter how small, we start to doubt that we are important to you or
the company. If we are not necessary, then why should we stay with you?
Finally, we expect you...
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