You are Not Too Busy to Answer Email

I am really getting tired of my generation whining and complaining about the Y Generation and their constant need to be on their phone and social media.  Hello, most of you are too and it is getting in the way of working and being productive.

I realize that our daily email is loaded with junk and spam that takes time each day weeding through it and deleting it from our inbox.  What is left, or what should be left are emails that we need to file, read then delete, and answer or reply to.  Yet what is going on when actual business email goes un replied for days, weeks and even months?

When some do reply long after what is a professional time frame, it is usually prefaced with, “so sorry for the long delay I have been so busy.”  This is supposed to generate sympathy for their plight, and above all, forgiveness for their transgressions.  Yet most of the time if they had spent just a few less minutes hitting “like” to everything on the internet, or commenting to every article they read, movie they have seen or restaurant they have eaten at, they would have the time to answer their email.

Far be it for me to hold people accountable for their work day.  Farther be it that managers be held accountable for doing what they are paid to do each day.  And yet the insanity plea that I am too busy to even answer email is getting worse.

I’ve become a good friend of a CEO recently that needs to take some serious interest in the effectiveness of his training function.  He told me that I should reach out directly to the training manager and set up a time to talk.  I had done that, and suggested that he introduce me so that there was some pressure to answer me.  I have left voice messages too and get zero response.  Finally I was given the “too busy to talk right now” and an unwillingness to even schedule a better time.  Mind you, the CEO had made a personal outreach to set up this meeting!

I then told the CEO, this is not about being too busy.  I suggested he spend a few minutes on LinkedIn and see how much time this person spends in a day clicking and commenting.  He did, and was appalled and peeved.   This person was not being paid to be on LinkedIn, and I am fully expecting that we will be talking very soon.

Does it really need to take your CEO to focus your attention to completing work?

Are You a Self-Serving Leader?

Whenever one discusses the virtues of Servant Leadership I’m into that conversation with all my heart and soul.  It is a leadership philosophy that has served me well in my own career, and I only wish more managers and leaders of all walks of life followed these tenants more than most do.

When I run across the evil twin of a Servant Leader, I used to shudder and react with horror.  But having met more self-serving leaders than Servant Leaders, I now try to make it my mission to help them turn around and realize the error of their ways.

A self-serving leader by definition is one that does everything to meet their own needs, and if they happen to meet a need of someone else, well it couldn’t be helped.  It was not intentional and it most likely will not be repeated.  Words, actions, interactions, projects are all focused on shinning a good light on the self-serving leader.  Most of their staff has been either run over by the bus, or are currently under the bus.

Although they are fun to watch, they are also sad reminders of how we have failed to develop, coach, and mentor our vast leadership population into better leaders, Servant Leaders.

Today, I want you to think about an individual you know that is a self-serving leader, and what could you do to help them see the light.  Share your situation in the comments and let’s begin a revolution of change.  And if you are a self-serving leader, maybe it is time to realize it and take steps to turn things around in your own career.