The best ones did most of these things:
- They took the time to know us personally, and by name and something about our interests and a little about our family and ...
- They were perfectly willing and able to laugh at themselves.
- They regularly engaged with us "on the work floor" (whether it was where the concrete was being poured or in the classroom where we were teaching), seeing firsthand the conditions and challenges of the tasks we were grappling with.
- They would often share mealtime with us.
- They LISTENED quite a lot to the banter between/among us worker bees, and smiled and laughed with us in that process (being very careful NOT to dominate the conversation).
- They always greeted us pleasantly and treated us courteously (even if there was some sort of tension in the air).
- They made sure we took pauses to celebrate our successes, from the most menial to the monumental.
Interestingly, I was the most productive under those leaders.
Interestingly, I also worked the hardest to please those leaders.
They made a habit of making our Work Light, rather than burdensome. Exemplars, I think.