There exists an inherent domino effect of influence within any organization and/or practice, that which stems from the manager who may wield their influence in such a way that can either help a business grow or lead to its demise. Thus, leadership is an essential component of a thriving business and a great leader will empower, encourage, and inspire the team through a shared vision. They will set clear expectations, provide support, and a sense of security and belonging to their team as they move towards accomplishing a goal.
I strongly feel that it is my responsibility as a manager to set the tone for the team and the way I lead will therefore affect performance, production, and ultimately customer satisfaction. The notion that managers can lead to the failure or success of a business was formed when I was 16 years old working part time as a Filing Clerk/Receptionist at an Oncology office in Brooklyn. I experienced first hand what it was like to work in an environment where there was no trust or sense of safety for the employees to express themselves or work towards improvement. I felt unheard, unsupported, and often felt that my hard work was taken for granted, sometimes overlooked all together. As a collective, we believed that we were underpaid, undervalued, and viewed the manager as the source of our discontent.
There came a point when I started dreading going to work. The office reeked of favoritism and malcontent. This became the model for how I never wanted to feel about my job and bookmarked it as reference for the future. Fast forward to when I took on the role of office manager, I made a promise to myself that I would create an environment where there is a sense of autonomy, community, and appreciation in the workplace. I wanted everyone, including myself, to look forward going to work. I wanted to be where I felt that my input matters and that I am contributing towards something bigger than myself.
Unbeknownst to my awareness at the time, I had joined a cause to change the way managers lead their teams. As I furthered along in my evolution process, I discovered that I was managing with an “infinite mindset”, a term I became familiar with after reading Simon Sinek’s book “The Infinite Game”. This approach involves employees collaborating in a joint effort towards a higher purpose, where “the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers in an infinite game; there is only ahead and behind.”
I strongly believe that this is the fuel that drives productivity, performance, and morale. It is the type of mindset of a great leader, one who will impact and contribute to an organization’s long term success.