“If you don’t get to know them, you will have no idea what scares them, what inspires them, what motivates them.” – Bo Schembechler
Schembechler was a legendary coach at Michigan. By appearances, he was tough, “my way or the highway” kind of leader.
This quote is an indication there was more to him than meets the eye.
Old school business leaders might argue that when you come to work, you leave your personal life at the gate. Don’t bring your issues through the door. When it comes to work, do your job.
That’s a good approach if you can manage it. But sometimes you can’t do it.
Each of us is the total of our experiences. Pressures and tensions that arise in our life are not easy to abandon for hours at a time.
Being able to acknowledge personal issues with colleagues is liberating. It allows accommodation when needed. It allows solutions to come forth that might not have been apparent. It allows your teammates to come alongside to lend a hand.
I hope we avoid “old school” when it comes to issues of knowing each other. The person next to you isn’t just a number. They have inspirations, motivations, fears and concerns that contribute to their whole selves. It will serve us well to learn them.