Leaders Should Be Their Direct Reports’ Greatest Advocates

Many years ago we worked with a leader who had an office manager whose husband was tragically killed in a car accident.  The office manager, not only distraught over the loss of her husband, was deeply upset she would not be able to return to work after the company’s one week bereavement period.  She was in no condition to work and the stress over losing her job because she could not adhere to company policy only deepened her mourning.  Her leader, to his credit, on behalf of his office manager, approached the company’s senior leadership to plead her case for more bereavement time.  Senior leadership, persuaded by the leader, gave the office manager one month paid bereavement time before returning to work.

It’s the leader’s job to advocate on behalf of their direct reports.  If the organization’s policies do not treat a direct report fairly, the leader must battle for them.  Whether it’s more pay, time off, or policy exceptions, they need to take up the fight – not the direct reports.  Whether the leader wins or loses the crusade, their direct reports will be deeply grateful and perform at greater levels for them.

Empowered leader advocate for their direct reports, and experience more success from them.

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