To Lead People, You Have to Connect with Them. Here’s How.

After college, I worked third shift in a cheese factory. We would come into the factory at 10:00 p.m. and help run the machines that sliced, diced, and boxed several hundred thousand pounds of cheese each day. At the end of the night, we would stop the machines, tear them down, and clean them up. In the morning, we would put it all back together and get it all running again.

One good thing about working third shift is less bosses. The higher ups in the factory didn’t want to come in during the night. They would come in the following morning. Most of them said very little to us. I always felt like there was a pretty big separation between the managers and supervisors and those who worked on the floor.

Rob Sheloni, however, was different. He would take an interest in us. He would sit down in the break room and chat with us about our lives and the work. But the thing I remember most about him is that he would do something that pretty much nobody else would do. When we had a late night and had to turn things around quickly, he would pick up the high pressure hoses we used to clean the equipment, get wet, and help us get the job done on time.

Rob Sheloni could have asked me to do almost anything. I felt a connection with him, and I felt that he cared.

And if we want people to follow us, they have to feel like we have a connection with them. Continue reading “To Lead People, You Have to Connect with Them. Here’s How.”