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  • Cynthia Fortlage

Making Them in Your Image



I recall so clearly that when I secured my first supervisory role, I thought I needed to make my staff in my image, and they will be so happy to be like me.

No!

I assumed that the reasons I became their supervisor were for my qualities and that the best gift I could give someone would be the same qualities so they could develop their career as I was.

I did try and try again, and again—all with complete failure for the most part.

Hang on, why would someone reject this gift of having the skills necessary to follow in my footsteps …?

Did you see what I just did?

Did you catch this was about me, all about me! My ego was saying, I am so great that, of course, you want to be like me, why wouldn’t you be. I am so generous I will share these gifts with you.

Ah, NO, they say again!!!

What about who they are?

What about their unique skill sets?

What about what do they want?

How does sharing these skills help them?

Ah, the impetuousness of youth and a lack of leading others experience.

This focus was all about me and what I wanted, not about helping others.

I learnt from those early days accepting others as they are, seeking to understand their motivations, goals, and aspirations.

What I want is just that, what I want, not what others might wish to.

Only once in my 30-year career did I ever have someone say they want my job. I admire them for being that bold; my role is to help make sure they are on a path to get my job one day. Last I checked, they haven’t yet, but they were working on it.

Learning to accept that I could not change others, only myself, was a lesson I learnt through that time.

The secret is to realize what you can control!

You cannot control others!

You cannot motivate them to do what you want; only encourage them to do what they need to move towards their goals and aspirations!

You can align their goals and outcomes with yours, yes, it takes effort, but this is about them, not you.

How do you achieve your departmental goals? Align the plans with their goals.

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