Ever met an impatient employee, who wants to “do meaningful work?” Or, “Work they enjoy doing?” What did you do with them?

The CEO at the first company I worked for responded to my pleas with, “Misti, what did your parents do to deal with you? It’s clear you have problems with anxiety. Do you take medication for that?”

It worked!

I quit.

And then I became insanely curious. I needed to understand what I said, or did, that was getting me the opposite of the result I wanted.

150 informational interviews later, I started to see many themes, which correlated perfectly with the research from Harvard, Gallup, and the Center for Creative Leadership.

In a nugget, here’s what I discovered: we all (across generations) want the same basic things: to feel like what we do matters, some form of feedback, and opportunities for improvement.

Over the next dozen years, I have literally watched hundreds of leaders lose their employees because, “Their feelings are not my responsibility. I pay them to do a job!

Meanwhile, companies like Zappos, Amazon, and Reston Limo are grabbing those hard workers, and helping them find opportunities to step into their greatness.

While the vast majority of leaders are missing out on “needy,” “impatient,” and even, “complacent” employees, the smart ones are capitalizing on these talented team members.

Here’s how – They help each team member:

  1. Define a professional goal that’s meaningful to them (and valuable to the business).
  2. Understand what they’re doing/not doing that contributes or distracts from their career success (feedback).
  3. Remember that their contribution matters (appreciation).

Don’t succumb to Lazy Leadership – i.e. they should… know better, work harder, and stay engaged because I pay them to do a job.

Instead, look for ways to help them succeed, and I promise they will do the same for you!

Here’s to Your Greatness,

Misti Burmeister

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