Let’s Talk Business: September 2, 2022

Read this week’s Let’s Talk Business column online at The Emporia Gazette.


As a manager, you manage tasks; as a leader, you influence people. This thought-provoking statement comes from a recent newsletter by The Presentation Excellence Group.

One of the positive after-effects of the pandemic is that more and more business owners and managers are recognizing the need to let go of micro-management. It denigrates workers and drains supervisors. Steven R. Covey notes in his newest book, “Trust & Inspire: How Truly Great Leaders Unleash the Greatness in Others,” that as leaders we can inspire workers to be the best they can be, through mutual trust and serving as role models.

Covey explains that even though our world has changed drastically, our leadership style has not. In the outdated style of command-and-control, managers utilized tactics based on hierarchies and worker compliance. Sometimes it was constructive; too often it deteriorated into micro-management.

It is important to take the time to understand each worker in your organization and help them unleash their potential for personal and professional growth. In doing that, spending that time on a continuing and regular basis, we communicate that we care—and that’s key to building a relationship built on trust.

Especially post-pandemic, workers want purpose. Because of the changing nature of the world, the workforce, work itself, and the choices available as to where and how to work and live, it is important to meet workers where they are. In Covey’s words, “They want to contribute their talents, skills and time to something significant and meaningful.”

Leaders must identify three things to help workers grow: the tasks and functions for which workers are responsible; the standards of performance which are to be met; and the ways employees can acquire new skills, mindsets and talents to improve and increase their contributions. When managers and workers engage in regular discussions about job performance, contributing to the company’s culture, and learning new skills, the perceived need to micro-manage is eliminated.

When leaders start with the belief that people are creative, collaborative, and full of potential, employees are inspired to become the best version of themselves and produce their best work—a radical shift in how we lead in the 21st century. This results in more employee engagement and greater productivity—two additional, positive after-effects of the pandemic.

Please join us in welcoming new Chamber member Road of Memories. Owner Amanda Perry can be reached at 620-757-5049, or visit their website at roadofmemories.com.

The next Chamber Group Lunch is coming up soon on September 7. Those attending get matched with a different group of people each month to enjoy lunch at various Chamber member restaurants. If you’re interested in becoming part of the Chamber lunch bunch, contact membership director Rebeca Herrera at 620-342-1600 or email her at rherrera@emporiakschamber.org.

It’s a great day in Emporia!


“Let’s Talk Business” is a weekly column of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia. The mission of the Chamber is to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success, guided by the vision that positive attitudes promote positive actions. Contact us at 620-342-1600 or chamber@emporiakschamber.org and visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org.