Employees and boss celebrating birthday

Watch for pivotal events

It can send a powerful message

Written by Dr. Shaun Ridley FAIM
2 minute read
Employees and boss celebrating birthday

Intelligent leaders have a finely tuned sense of what’s important and what’s not. This is especially true of pivotal events in the life of the organisation or the life of an individual staff member.

Every Chief Financial Officer knows the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a pivotal event in the calendar.

It is the time to double-check everything because a mistake at the AGM could be fatal for the organisation and severely career-limiting for them personally.

Although they are less regular and less predictable, there are equally important events in the lives of individual staff.

If you know your staff well or have good sources of information about them, you’ll be in a good position to judge which events are pivotal.

For example, funerals can be events to avoid or to attend depending on the staff member.

For some, this occasion is very private and kept well away from work relationships. For others, the presence and support of their leader at a funeral can have a profound positive impact.

Your ability to sense and respond appropriately in these circumstances will be observed closely by all your staff.

Similarly, your response to key events involving customers can send a powerful message.

The adage that you should pay attention to the things your boss pays attention to is always sound advice.

What messages are you sending to your staff by the things you are paying attention to? What do you do when your sales team is bidding for a major contract?

Do you rally all the key staff around the task to lend support, provide content and contribute to the bid plan? Or do you sit back and watch from a distance?

If you lack confidence in your ability to sense and respond to these pivotal events, call on your trusted advisors within the organisation.

There will always be someone within the senior team who has good intuition about the significance of an issue, event or occasion.

One small step in the next 24 hours

Raise your antenna to be more tuned in to the pivotal events in the lives of your staff. This is not interfering – this is caring.

If you are unsure how best to respond, trust your instincts and ask the individual. Your genuine interest will be appreciated, regardless of the level of your involvement in the event itself.

If you are unsure of what to do for a staff member, then ask permission before acting.

For example; "I’d like to come to the funeral on Friday, would that be okay with you?"

"I hear you have just completed your bachelor’s degree, congratulations. Would you feel comfortable if I organised a morning tea with the staff to celebrate?"