You don’t have to be an executive but if you follow these steps you will definately become a leader

Marissa Mayer – What She Needs To Do Before June. Marissa Mayer’s recent edict to her Yahoo! employees to stop working remotely and get back in the office by June was a shock wave statement.
That’s probably what she wanted: Attention shareholders, we are serious about collaboration and innovation. Steve Jobs famously said connecting doesn’t happen through email and iChat but from people bumping into one and other in the hall or bathroom. And, what better role model for innovation than Steve Jobs?

So, how does CEO Mayer get those returning folks actually connecting, engaging and ‘talking’ with the rest of team?
It starts at the top. Leadership needs to have higher network shepa, a higher ‘awareness’ of opportunities to be the connector, and to lead by example. This means creating a culture where it’s not weird to talk to someone you don’t know. It starts with those in the C-Suite talking to employees in the elevator, acknowledging employees in the hallway, and parking their own inner introvert somewhere other than the office. Whether you agree with Marissa Mayer’s edict or not, there are things that every leader can be doing to create a “permission to connect” environment beyond beanbag chairs, foosball and arcade games


Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, is calling everyone back into the office. Starting this June, there will be no more working from home, so everyone can physically be together. She might want to follow our ‘To Do List’ before the parking lot fills up.

Before any organization reverts to a bring-them-back-in-the-office policy, leadership needs to make sure that they aren’t bringing people back to the ‘same old, same old’ disengaged workplace. Are employees still getting in the elevator, heads down looking at their smart phones? Are they still working at their desks, cocooned in their Bose headphones? Are they still sending emails to people in the next cubicle? Are they sitting on a communal couch but working or playing on their phone or iPad?

Changing to a connected culture requires that leadership make the changes first and, whether companies acknowledge it or not, most have executives who don’t have the skills of connecting, networking and conversation. Here’s what we think should be on Marissa’s checklist for all her managers, team leaders, executives (and herself) to be successful in this transition:


Be the one to start a conversation with employees any chance you get. For example, engage employees in conversation in the elevator. If there are two employees in the elevator and you know both, ask them, “Do you know each other?” If not, make the introduction.

Make eye contact with every employee when you walk down the hall. Smile and say good morning, hi, have a nice weekend–even if you don’t know that person personally.

Step away from your desk and start eating in the cafeteria. “May I join you?” should be your lunch mantra. Senior people should be skilled at bringing everyone into a conversation.

Executives and their posse often operate in a pack, sweeping down hallways and huddling at their special tables at regional and national meetings. Break up the posses and spread out to other tables.

Be more cheerful, and who couldn’t up their ‘cheerfulness’ ante a tad? A recent McKinsey article, “Leadership lessons from the Royal Navy” by Andrew St. George, states, “The cheerful leader in any environment broadcasts confidence and capability, and the Royal Navy instinctively understands this. It is the captain, invariably, who sets the mood of a vessel; a gloomy captain means a gloomy ship. And mood travels fast.”

Since research shows that 30% to 50% of people are introverts some leaders must fall into this category. If that’s you, overcome your desire to fall back into your inner introvert.

We are all Connectors and as the CEO I am the Chief Connector.

Yahoo’s CEO has three months to complete this checklist before the office parking lots fill up again. Let’s hope she does it.

By Darcy Rezac, Judy Thomson and Gayle Hallgren-Rezac, authors Work The Pond!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s