Do you have sayings or mantras or idioms that keep you focused on being a leader?
There are days when:
-you get some bad news
-things don’t go as planned
-a situation comes up that ruins your day
…this list goes on…and on…and on…
Here are a few things I learned while being “out on my own” for 3 years as a freelancer:
-Each day has a beginning and an end. The bad days end. You wake up the next day and restart.
-I learned to stop reacting and started a new model called “breathe and think.” You should try it.
-There’s a huge difference between hustling and desperation. Acting out of desperation has not worked for me.
-I’m a fan of old t.v. show called “Wiseguy” where the main character “Vinnie” had a handler named “Lifeguard”. Vinnie (ideally) calls him every morning with the latest updates on the case, and Lifeguard provides him with quick updates. In my case, my “lifeguard” was my wife or a friend. Keep a friend or mentor on tap for the hard times.
Thinking your idea will be everyone’s idea…
Believing that your way is the only way..
Assuming you already know the answer…
Pretending to care when really you don’t…
Giving the response that makes you most popular…
1. Be responsible. If you say you are going to take care of it, then take care of it.
2. Be professional. Arrive on time. Actually be early. And be organized.
3. Be the best. Get better every day at what you do.
4. Be humble. Talk less. Listen more.
5. Be proactive. Not reactive. Respond and initiate before being told to or asked to by your boss or peers.
Posted by Jim Gray
This morning while driving to the coffee shop I was processing that leadership often involves helping others through a series of extra steps. I have seen this consistently whether I am in the role of parent, husband, son-in-law or principal. We moved our home into storage this weekend and I was constantly aware of:
-my own movement and steps
-the movement of others
-the constant questions of :
“Where do I put this?”
“Does this go to storage?”
My wife and I have moved 9 times, with a pending 10th move into another house next month. When we have been in the moving phase I have played every role on the moving team: packer, mover, driver, coordinator, etc. But this time, I wanted to apply what I have learned as a leader since our last move.
So , I STEPPED BACK and RELEASED others to do what they do best.
What does STEPPING BACK look like? It involves organizing all sides, recruitment of the best people, multi-tasking madness, waiting, planning, strategy, execution, follow-up. One of the most important pieces of all of this:
STEPPING BACK INVOLVES TRUSTING OTHERS TO DO WHAT YOU ASKED AND FOLLOWING UP TO ENSURE EXECUTION
What does RELEASING OTHERS look like?
I learned the principle of RELEASING OTHERS toward their skills, gifts when I was on staff at a church Los Angeles, CA. The idea was simple: find the right person instead of filling a spot. Give that person the freedom to lead and empower them to do what they do. It does not involve a hands off approach. You are their advocate.
Here’s an example from our move. My brother-in-law Steve is a Pastor and master truck packer. But I saved him for the very last day as I knew that I needed him for the hardest and heaviest items to move. It was also at this point that I became aware that we were in danger of running short of space our storage units. So I also recruited my 16 year old son, Stewart, to manage the storage units the morning of the big pieces. In order to make all this happen I wanted to make sure that I had a good grasp of both the house and the storage units.
Here are two simple steps I took:
-An 11:30 p.m. reconnaissance drive down to the storage units to make an assessment of the spaces.
-a midnight inventory of every item remaining in the house that was placed on a whiteboard.
The gist of all of this is that leadership is more steps and helping others in their steps as well. It is not being aloof, unavailable, or special. You must walk in the footsteps and often run through the process well before it happens. It will require longer hours at times, headaches, loss of hair, and sleepless nights.
My recommendation is that if you are looking to lead, step back and learn before you move forward. Invest time in research, training, coaching or mentoring.