I heard the following said over 25 years ago in a M*A*S*H episode by Hawkeye Pearce, “I’m not trying to clean up the world, only my little corner.” That statement has stuck in my mind and influenced my work philosophy. Let’s talk about how it should impact your actions as a leader. When conducting C.R.A.P Leadership training as an employee retention trainer, I tell leaders if they want to drive employee retention strategies, how they lead is key. Leadership really comes down to you regardless of what your organization chooses to do. You can lead in your own department or area…I like the term “sphere of influence” to describe where you can make an impact. I have seen corporations that were employee relations nightmares but a single plant be a shining example of how to do everything right when it came to leadership. Why? Because the plant manager chose to lead that way and all of his people followed his lead. He led in his own style which was very people oriented despite the overall actions of the parent company.
The same is true whether it’s your team or department. Like Hawkeye Pearce, you need to concentrate on cleaning up your area of responsibility. You will drive yourself crazy if you try to solve all of the location or facilities problems; much less the rest of the company. Concentrate on your sphere of influence regardless of size and create your own little island within the organization by controlling what you can control, which is A LOT. What can you control? You can control your attitude and behavior, how well you communicate, the respect you give your people, if you lead by being a positive example or not, if you care for your people, and how genuine you are, to name a few.
As an employee retention speaker and author, if you do just those things you will be golden! Your people will love you and never want to leave YOU. Conversely, you can have the greatest organization in the world behind you but if you are a lousy boss people will be leaving your area in droves.