Who do you work for?

I had a remarkable experience recently.

I had the privilege of celebrating a unique milestone with an amazing TEAM of people who are extremely devoted to their mission.  It was also the very first time in my 38 years of doing this radio thing where I experienced station leadership (notice I didn’t use the word ‘management’) creating an event where they could publicly acknowledge every single individual’s contribution and value to the team, from the higher profile air talent to the people who load the truck, stuff the envelopes and fix the air conditioning.

It is a profound experience to hear the bosses point out to an employee’s spouse how valuable their husband or wife’s contribution is to the station’s success and to hear the God-stories of why each person is fulfilling their Calling.

This particular station did not set out to specifically become the number one station in the market, a milestone reached for perhaps the first time ever for a Christian station in a major market.  They did, however, set out to be good stewards of their resources, of which people are considered the top resource.   It wasn’t just one thing that took them to the top spot in the ratings.  It was about doing the right things over and over, day after day, and making A CHOICE to NOT do the wrong things.  The resulting culture moves you effortlessly to the next level.  One day you look up and there it is right before your eyes.

This servant leader attitude is reflected in a recent Seth Godin blog:

Who do you work for? (And who works for you?)

I always took the position that my boss (when I had a job) worked for me. My job was to do the thing I was hired to do, and my boss had assets that could help me do the job better. His job, then, was to figure out how best give me access to the people, systems and resources that would allow me to do my job the best possible way.

Of course, that also means that the people I hire are in charge as well. My job isn’t to tell them what to do, my job is for them to tell me what to do to allow them to keep their promise of delivering great work.

If you go into work on Monday with a list of things for your boss to do for you (she works for you, remember?) what would it say? What happens if you say to the people you hired, “I work for you, what’s next on my agenda to support you and help make your numbers go up?”

I’ll conclude with this bit of perspective from a great man…

“He didn’t give us Church talent, nor preaching talent or crusade talent… He gave us radio talent to be used to maximize the reach and impact of a very special tool called a radio station.  Love Christ, serve others, point them back to Christ doing compelling, relevant radio.  So simple at its core and yet the hardest thing for most stations to ‘get’.”

John Frost

About John Frost

John has been a successful major market DJ and PD for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky and publishes the Frost Advisory.

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