James Giroux writes so much good stuff on his own blog, I can’t keep up. I am accumulating a list of things he’s tackled that are unusual to see written about in any depth in the WordPress community, especially by a man.
At some point I hope to write some things in response, or inspired by James’ posts. Emotional safety is one. And something I recognize but didn’t have a non-self-blaming name for: emotional tremors.
These are things I might only rarely touch on in one of my personal blogs, particularly one that’s concerned with more or less hidden diseases, disorders, and chronic pain. Fun! I don’t usually think about these as topics for “normal” people and leaders, but of course they are.
This week James has a new post over at MasterWP about the learning and growth he went through as he learned the difference between managing work and leading people. Instead of trying to do — and add to — the work of the team, James explains he had to step back and see the larger picture:
Today, when I manage a team, I’m looking to understand what it is my team is responsible for, what the business expects from them, and how I can help them grow and deliver meaningful results without losing their souls.
Kind of an important but not commonly noted point there at the end, about souls. The mind, the spirit, the inner person, the inner child, the inner light, the core self, who-we-really-are. Whatever symbol you prefer.
My other favorite workplace blogger named James who cares deeply about people is the semi-anonymous Misanthropic Developer. Like me, I suppose he’s skeptical about our capacity to treat each other well in groups, in hierarchies, and at scale — but that’s an attitude driven by really, really caring about individuals and what we can do if we take responsibility for ourselves.
Obviously it’s not misanthropy to be concerned with the human spirit and its health in potentially dehumanizing workplaces. In the Misanthropic Developer’s latest post he points out the importance of setting up your team for wins. If that never happens, they may never gel as a team at all:
One of the worst bosses I’ve ever had never celebrated any of the victories that his team achieved (no matter how big they were) and paid zero attention to the morale of the team. It was no surprise to anyone except him when basically the entire team left within the span of about a month or so.
Sad but true — and applicable to any human group. It reminds me of some lines from a poem about an amazing person, Paul Robeson. Written by Gwendolyn Brooks, it comes up in the WeCroak app from time to time:
Paul Robeson That time we all heard it, cool and clear, cutting across the hot grit of the day. The major Voice. The adult Voice forgoing Rolling River, forgoing tearful tale of bale and barge and other symptoms of an old despond. Warning, in music-words devout and large, that we are each other’s harvest: we are each other’s business: we are each other’s magnitude and bond.