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Lagniappe Leadership: Giving a Little Bit Extra

Dec. 12, 2015
Lagniappe Leadership: a commitment to becoming just a little bit better leader tomorrow than we were today.

Why is it we can always find the time and energy to devote to activities and tasks after someone gets hurt or a process incident occurs (generating incident reports, attending “why did this happen” meetings, updating incident spreadsheets, developing corrective action lists and action plans, implementing new procedures, modifying existing work processes, instituting new permitting protocols, revising training plans, etc.), but we can’t seem to squeeze even a few extra minutes in each day to commit to improving how we might lead our people to better outcomes? 

I propose just a little bit of extra time, energy and effort be focused each day on becoming better leaders for our people and that we call that commitment to becoming just a little bit better leader tomorrow than we were today Lagniappe (a term used in south Louisiana meaning “a little bit extra”) Leadership.

Investing just a few minutes each day in Lagniappe Leadership is something we all should be able to do (shorten the morning coffee break, one less hallway football discussion, cut out the afternoon Facebook check, etc.).

With just a little bit of time and effort each day, and over time, significant benefits are likely to accrue from practicing Lagniappe Leadership – consider an analogy to the growth of principal under compound interest - such as fewer people will be hurt on the job, drips and spills to the environment will be reduced, efficiency and productivity will improve, process incident frequency will go down, etc.   

What are some of the things that we might commit a few minutes to every day in our practice of becoming better leaders thru Lagniappe Leadership? Consider these (and others you may come up with, too):

  • Spend time listening, really listening, to what people are saying;
  • Remember that it’s not just what you say that matters, but how you say it, too;
  • Understand different personality styles and adapt the way you communicate;
  • Do the right thing even if no one is watching;
  • Set crystal clear, laser focused expectations for every task, every time;
  • Reward positive performance and celebrate wins;
  • Learn and use a simple conflict resolution model;
  • Take responsibility for what goes on around you (”if you see it you own it”);
  • Do the right thing no matter who is watching;
  • Work relentlessly to build trust and remember how easily it’s lost;

As I write this the holiday season is almost here, we are all busy with our Christmas lists, and many might even be thinking ahead to their New Year’s Resolutions...maybe a Lagniappe Leadership resolution would be a good one to take up heading into 2016!

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