An observant colleague pointed out you don’t have great staff – you have great people (Thanks Rob).
I agree, staff is a hugely impersonal term, and for someone so important to your company why would you use such an impersonal term of such varied meaning?
I prefer to talk of Our Team, but this can sound a bit corny and insincere, and besides I’m far from being politically correct. But staff (or staffs as Microsoft Word tells you) is impersonal, though difficult to work around.
This points me to the dilemma of ownership. Who did what?
Once, when asked to outline value I had added in a particular role I said “Well depending on your view I added all the value or none of it, which would you like?”
My point was that as leaders you are both entrusted with steering the ship and watching it from shore.
If you do your job well amazing things are achieved that wouldn’t be achieved without you, without you! (yes that is what I meant to say)
As a leader you aspire to everyone being their own leader within the boundaries set by you, within the code of conduct and collaboration that is the company culture (also set by you).
I am a fan of Carver’s Policy Governance Model® in which the board determines the ends (outcomes) and only limits the means (the way in which it is done) by exclusion (things falling outside prudence or ethical guides).
I think this is also a great model for everyone in a company to operate by – ‘Tell me what you want and what I can’t do to get there – I’ll let you know if I need further assistance.” Self-managing teams on steroids.
Which brings me back to the comment about staff, er.. people.
Treat people with respect and trust – it will be returned.
Treat them just as staff and you might just get sticks.