Leadership & Management
Several years ago, someone asked me the question, “I see you working hard and growing your business, but are you building something worth building?”
In all honesty, my initial reaction was defensive in nature. My mind quickly conjured up – Of course, I am! However, before the words came out of my mouth, I considered the source of the question. He wasn’t being judgmental about the life I was creating for myself. In fact, he didn’t even want an answer. He merely wanted me to pause and reflect.
Take a moment to reflect on your grand strategy for your team or organization.
Seriously, take just a moment to sit back and focus on what you plan to accomplish.
Arguably, that exercise has likely revealed that you are in one of three groups:
Group #1: You found this to be a fairly simple exercise as you have invested significant resources to create your plan. You have paid the price in time, energy, and intellectual bandwidth to create the plan. Congratulations. This is good news, but is likely destined for disappointment as you don’t have a process in place to execute the strategy.
How have we come to think that someone can become a great leader without being controversial or upsetting at times?
Leadership is a tough, often isolated role.
The leader must make decisions, deliver messages, and convey information that can upset some. Not every leader is up to this task. As a result, some leaders water down their messages or avoid addressing a subject in a timely and direct manner.
Some time ago, I walked into a small, one of a kind, coffee shop. The place was clean and the coffee good, but what stuck with me was my conversation with the woman behind the counter.
As I approached the register, I was met with a pleasant smile and a kind, “Good morning, how may I help you today?” The handprinted name tag on her smock read “Helpful Helen”. As I watched her perform her duties, it became apparent to me that she was living up to her name…
Several years ago, my wife and I took a business / personal trip to California.On our way to the hotel, we passed a sign proclaiming, “SUP Rental & Instruction, 7-Days a Week.”
Not knowing what SUP stood for, we asked our taxi driver. He informed us that SUP was shorthand for Stand-Up Paddling and explained that it was popular up and down the coast.
Abundant leaders pour out trust upon others. This doesn’t mean that they are gullible or refuse to recognize the risks of failure, it simply means that they know that to achieve the best results today and tomorrow, they must trust others and create a trusting culture.
They also know that a culture of trust starts with them.
The guy in the photo (below) is my nephew. He lives in New York City. Recently, my family and I spent a weekend with him in the Big Apple.
The excursion led me to an insight about your organization.
Assuming that your organization is made-up of people, processes, programs, etc., I bet that you are struggling to solve a problem or two.
We all have blind spots. These are things that others know about you, but about which you are completely clueless. They can be small things…
- A stain on your shirt that everyone sees – except you.
- A conversation that you arrive late to and say something out of place. Everyone knows the arc of the discussion – except you.