Two Words Changing Leadership and the World

You Matter Manifesto“You Matter.

These two words can change your mood, change your mind, and have the power to change lives and the world if we understand and leverage them in the right way”  ~ Angela Maiers TED Talk June 2011

I believe they can also change a company.

When I Didn’t Matter

A few years ago I worked at a company where I was required to attend the annual Board of Directors meeting. It was a two-day meeting and the first sessions were held on a Sunday. Unfortunately, the event overlapped with an important family event, which I had to miss.

Each attendee was given an agenda prior to the meeting and told to be prepared at the beginning of the meeting to state what was most important for each of us strategically to garner from the meeting. I was prepared. The Chairman went around the room asking each individual for their response and, when he got to me, told me that he only wanted to hear from the Board members. And yet I had been required to attend the meeting.

I chose to no longer work for that company.

When a leader’s actions convey to you that your opinions or your ideas don’t matter, you’re obviously less likely to do your best work and to commit yourself one hundred percent to your company. You’re more likely to leave and find a place that values what you bring to the table.

Hearing “You Matter

I work with several important clients that very regularly say things like, “I really want your advice on this…I value your opinion,” or “You’re the only one who can do this for us.” I work overtime for these clients and do my very best work for them.

These are simple, basic examples of the difference between being told, “You matter,” and, “You really don’t.” It’s so obvious. And yet, how many leaders do you know who not only understand this on an intellectual level but act on it to ensure that every single employee knows they matter?

 As I said earlier, I believe the concerted and consistent use of the words, “You matter,” by leaders in an organization, and actions that reinforce this message, can change a company. After all, according to a Gallup survey of more than 1 million employed US workers, the Number One reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss. Imagine if people began to be told by their boss on a regular basis that they matter… Knowing that in an organization people are your biggest asset, this change of mindset would make a tremendously powerful and positive impact.

Do you agree?

Join Steve Woodruff and me as we welcome Angela Maiers, creator of the You Matter Manifesto, as our Guest Host this week at Leadership Chat, where she’ll share her wisdom about the impact these two words have on our biology and our leadership success. It is THE place to be this Tuesday evening, February 7th at 8:00 pm Eastern Time!

Have a Nice ConflictAnd we’re thrilled to announce that this important event is sponsored by the team at Have a Nice Conflict and their just-released bestselling book, “Have a Nice Conflict!” Because the more you convey to people they matter, the less likely you are to experience conflict.

Authors Tim Scudder, Michael Patterson and Kent Mitchell, who will be joining us at Leadership Chat, have written a brilliant road map for better understanding and navigating conflict, and for using this knowledge to be a more effective and successful leader. I highly recommend it! Buy it today! (Not an affiliate link).

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  1. Thank you for this great post, Lisa!

    I am with you, Angela, and everyone else who is inspiring and uplifting those around them by simply acknowledging that, they matter. It truly is a powerful message and one that I have enjoyed learning about as I have had the opportunity to connect with Angela.

    ‘Imagine if we worked in a culture and environment where employees told their bosses they matter’… Wow, that is a powerful and inspiring message, I love it!

    I look forward to learning more about you and joining the #leadershipchat conversation this week!

    • I’m so honored by your kind words, Tyrell. And lucky you for having had the opportunity to connect with Angela! She is an absolute gem and igniter of minds and inspiration. I love your powerful perspective and am looking forward to learning from you tomorrow night at #LeadershipChat. All the best to you and thank you for taking the time to be here and comment!

  2. I can’t begin to tell you how right you are about how frustrating “not mattering” is–especially when people know they are right. This demeaning feeling is a real morale killer and is dangerous to all workplaces.
    Laurence Mechanic´s last blog post ..How to Address Parent Misconceptions

  3. Stories like yours are (unfortunately) too common in today’s world–and are often the source of why many choose the “free agent” route in their lives. But I’ve run into similar issues when working (for now ex-clients).
    Lawrence Fox´s last blog post ..I’ve joined the ranks of the “Pad People”

  4. Nice blog post Lisa.

    You have all right when you write that non-recognition of the importance of the opinion of its employees is a crime for any leader or manager.

    In today’s world is impressive as there are still liders that do not care about the opinions of its employees, this lack of perception usually produces prejudice and have witnessed cases where the company collapsed.


    • Thank you, Marcelo. I appreciate you verifying that you’ve seen this in action and have watched it take a company down. Hope to see you on Leadership Chat to talk more about it!

  5. You are so right Lisa, bosses like that don’t see the damage they do internally until its too late, some like to learn the hard way. The Team concept always has to permeate through the ranks. Real leaders roll up their sleeves and get it done.
    John´s last blog post ..long island family lawyer

    • John, I agree, some definitely learn when it’s too late and they’ve lost their top talent. Thanks for the comment and I hope we’ll see you at Leadership Chat!

  6. What you describe makes one wonder what they are thinking of when they hire people. If the only ones they trust to contribute intelligently is board members they need to review their hiring practices so they can trust their employees to make meaningful contributions.

    Now I wrote the above statement “tongue-in-cheek” , but companies that don’t want to hear from people they are requiring to attend have control issues that are not in the long term a healthy way to run a business.
    Alex Dail´s last blog post ..Step-By-Step To A Superior Vision Statement And Successful Leadership

  7. That is so true. It is important to know that you are heard and that you matter. Even more important, I think, is to surround yourself (as a leader) with people who you WANT to hear from. Everybody matters as a human being, but… not necessarily in business. I am astounded by people who think TOO MUCH of themselves and want the CEO to hear them, even if they don’t have anything new to add (or shouldn’t have been at the meeting to begin with – I’m thinking nonprofit boards are bad for this). Then I think the job of the facilitator comes into play -but that’s another conversation! :)
    Cathy TIbbles´s last blog post ..How this entrepreneur stumbled upon blogging, and eventually published her own book.

    • Cathy, this is such great insight. Yes, facilitation is an entirely different conversation, but you’re touching on a critical point. There are those who are so wrapped up in being heard that, in the process, they give off the message that others “don’t matter.” This is just as harmful as not being told you do matter. Thanks for adding this important perspective and I’m so glad to have you here as a reader!


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