It’s the manager’s job
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - August 25, 2019 - 12:00am

The CEO of a large company was walking to the cafeteria along with two of his secretaries. Upon tripping on a bottle, a genie appeared and asked the three if they would like to each make a wish.

The first secretary excitedly exclaimed, “I wish I was on a beach in a tropical island!” Immediately her wish was granted.

The next secretary proclaimed, “I wish I was on a tour of France!” Immediately her wish too, was granted.

Being that it was now his turn to make a wish the CEO exclaimed: “I want the two of them back in their offices right after lunch!”

Sometimes bosses are perceived as inhuman and without feelings but that is not true. Many good leaders I have worked with are people who really care for their people. I should know because they are my clients and I work with them closely. The workplace is always full of drama, suspense, action and comedy. And is not all about work alone. There are employees who would go through much personal emotional crisis which drain the energy of the leaders.

Our former bosses have told us; we have read materials and articles that remind us to keep business strictly business and not to mesh it with personal issues. I agree until I read this fantastic book titled  “Radical Candor,” authored by Kim Scott.

“One day a manager came to Kim when she was still heading the HR of Google down in HO. This manager was complaining about a member of her team going through some personal problems.

“Is that my job to babysit these people rather than doing business?” Expecting the traditional response that the manager better make sure not to intervene with the personal issues of her direct report, this manager was surprised when the boss’ response was: “Of course you do. You are the manager. It is your job as the leader to take care of your people. And then your people will take care of your business. It’s your job!””

Generation Y or popularly known as the Millennials are known to be the most emotional generation ever and this characterization is quite accurate. Life is no longer the same. Things are uncertain and challenges and changes in the business landscape are unpredictable. Technology drives the pace of change and work is not going to be easier. One essential leadership skill that would work wonderfully in dealing with people is empathy and even Silicon Valley realizes that. They have a brand for this now, and it is called “Empathy Management.”

Kim Scott says in the book: IT’S CALLED MANAGEMENT, AND IT’S YOUR JOB. “IT SEEMS OBVIOUS that good bosses must care personally about the people who report directly to them. Very few people start out their careers thinking, I don’t give a damn about people, so I think I’ll be a great boss. And yet, it happens all too often that employees feel they’re being treated as pawns on a chessboard, or as inferiors—not just in a corporate hierarchy but on a fundamental human level.

Part of the reason why people fail to “care personally” is the injunction to “keep it professional.” That phrase denies something essential. We are all human beings, with human feelings, and, even at work, we need to be seen as such. When that doesn’t happen, when we feel we must repress who we really are to earn a living, we become alienated. That makes us hate going to work. To most bosses, being professional means: show up at work on time, do your job, don’t show feelings (unless engaged in “motivation” or some such end-driven effort). The result is that nobody feels comfortable being who they really are at work.1”

Here’s the deal. Be a good leader, show care and mean it. Today’s young people are going through so much in life and working for a boss who cares is one of the most inspiring thing they can ever experience in life. – Give them this benefit.

After all the technology stuff has been churned with more coming out every day; the top two reasons why good people leave remain the same:

1. Can’t get along with their bosses.

2. The feeling that they are unappreciated.

The solution to this? Care for your people and display empathy. And then perhaps; your good people would decide to stay with you and that would be a most wonderful thing.

(Attend two exciting and inspiring days of leadership training with Francis Kong. His highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership seminar-workshop will have its last run for the year this Sept. 10 to 11 at Makati Diamond Residences (near Greenbelt 1). For registration or inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at

1 Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity Kim Scott

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