Is there anything better than getting down on the floor with your children or grandchildren, or even just by yourself, and playing with LEGO’s? I don’t think so. They appeal to everyone, those who are creative and even those of us who aren’t. LEGO’s come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. In the world of LEGO’s, each piece functions the same way, no matter what you are building. You mix and match different sizes and colors as you create your own masterpiece, your own design. When you are finished creating something with LEGO’s, we usually admire it for a moment, and then begin pulling pieces from what we just built to build something else.

If you are an organizational leader, your staff are the foundation, the building blocks for your success. Whether your organization makes a product or provides a service, it can’t be done without people. Yet people can be frustrating. Wouldn’t you love a staff full of LEGO’s? Think about it, you could re-arrange them in whatever way you wanted, and they would function just as they were designed. No complaints, no missed workdays or turnover. Just un-plug the employee you think will match a need and move them. No fuss, no worries.

While you might wish for a staff full of LEGO’s, remember each person comes with their own unique:

  • DNA – It’s what makes each of us different and we have a lot of DNA. While it’s not all unique to us, if you read every cell in your DNA, 1 cell per second, it would take 96 years to read it all.
  • Family – Each person comes from a different family setting; some were raised by grandparents, some had 2 parents, some 1, some were orphaned, and some were adopted. Today they might be married, single, divorced, going through a divorce, in a relationship, a relationship that just ended, etc. Some have young children, or kids in high school or college. Others have aging parents who need them.
  • Work experiences – Unless it’s their first job ever, most worked for someone else, which shaped them in a good way or bad way. They may have worked for a great leader, on a great team, or for a leader who took advantage of them, or on a team who did not function as a team.
  • Emotions – We all have emotions which are uniquely different, and they drive our behavior. We are not as logical as we’d like to believe.

Beyond these differences, others have even more peculiarities that are difficult to understand, like being a Chicago Cub’s fan. Sorry, as a St. Louis Cardinal’s fan, I couldn’t resist it.

Yet with this knowledge, leaders will inevitably make decisions without considering or caring about the impact on them, or even speaking with them before making the decision. Since it makes sense to that leader, it fits into their plans, it should make sense to the employee.  Right? Those leaders treat their staff as if they were a LEGO ®. And then, they are surprised when things don’t work as planned, staff complain or there is turnover.

Have you ever worked for someone like that? Did you feel like you were not a person, like a LEGO?

The best leaders don’t avoid tough decisions but put people first in the process. They don’t just use the right words; their actions show they care. They know their financial position reflects what is going on with their employees. Put your people first and remember they are not LEGO’s.

We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. Romans 12:4 (GNT)

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