One of the things that made the movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde so scary is you didn’t know when the transformation would happen and what Mr. Hyde would do. It was a writhing mess of unpredictability and it made for good cinema. That sense of unpredictability still makes for great movies, but these types of theatrics aren’t so welcome in real life.
At work we can often focus on being Dr. Jekyll. We strive to appear amenable and concerned about the success and development of those around us. We put a lot of effort into keeping that refined image. One of the things that is demanded of leadership is fostering the engagement of the employees in the organization. Then, once we leave “work”, all of that seems to be left at the office and our actions more resemble Mr. Hyde. We don’t put as much focus on being quite so amenable. The success and development of others is something that isn’t your responsibility anymore.
As leaders, employee engagement is just a microcosm of what we do by default. We do people engagement everywhere we go. We’re not just leaders at work. We are leaders in our lives, no matter the capacity. Employee engagement is a part of what I do for a profession, but the overarching principle that governs my leadership and path of life is really people engagement. There is no need to give Hyde any room in our lives. We can allow the refinement and good natured spirit of Jekyll to be our default setting.
Some may label it as mere semantics, but I have decided to adjust my language to remind me of my focus and purpose as a leader. I support leaders and organizations in leadership development (self-leadership mostly), organizational culture and PEOPLE engagement. Employees are people and those in our lives may not be employees, but we need to engage them too!
Let’s make our leadership a focus on engaging and developing people in all areas of our lives. The people we see in our day to day lives need just as much leadership as those at work. Maybe they don’t have a great leader like you in their world. You may be the only quality leader they experience. We do leadership for others, not for ourselves.
How can you be Dr. Jekyll to someone in your world?