Being a leader means that your people take their cues from you. The behaviors you exhibit are the behaviors that slowly get woven into the culture of your team. And while the saying “Do as I say … not as I do” may work with a 2 year old, it will drive your ability to lead right into the toilet. So the question becomes … what beliefs and behaviors are forming your team culture?
A wise mentor of mine, Dr Nido Qubein of High Point University, once told me, “Joe if you don’t have a why … the how and the what don’t matter!” As I reflect back on the times in my life when I was driven towards a particular goal … be it writing my first book or starting my business, I was always crystal clear about the why behind my actions. I had a clear understanding of my purpose for that particular goal and was driven to achieve it.
It takes courage to change the “things” in our lives that are not working. It takes even more courage to change ourselves. Why? Because in order to change ourselves we have to admit that “something” about us is not working … and that, in-and-of-itself requires courage. As human beings we have a propensity to look outside of ourselves and focus on trying to change those around us. We prefer believe that other people are the cause of our pain, aggravation, or undesirable results.
When it comes to fishing, most fishermen use a leader (an additional section of wire or line) to connect the hook or the lure to the fishing line. The type of leader used is determined by the situation or objective. For example, sometimes you need a stronger leader so a larger fish doesn’t snap or bite through the line and cause problems. In other situations a thinner, lighter, leader is needed so the fish doesn’t see the line and get distracted.
Great leaders delegate. And yet many leaders find it difficult to let go, especially when the stakes are high and something big is on the line. There are a number of reasons why leaders don’t delegate, whether it is a need to be in control, fear of letting go, micro-managing, or simply believing that no one else can do it the right way … of course the right means their way!
It’s easy to get caught up in the barrage of divisiveness that seems to be running rampant in our world. The politicians in Washington D.C. can’t seem to get pass the bipartisanism that divides us … even when the future of our country is at stake. And if you consider the magnification of this divisiveness by the media who seems hell bent on exaggerating either the US side or the THEM side, it could lead you to feel quite hopeless … if you let it.
Recently, a friend of mind and I were discussing the topic of commitment. I was sharing a situation where I felt that I needed to be ‘all in’ or not. Fence-sitting for too long can be uncomfortable. Let me add here, that at times, I have been known to analyze, scrutinize, and over-think, a situation to death … and this was one of those times!
Webster defines op•por•tu•ni•ty as: 1. an appropriate or favorable time or occasion and 2. a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal. So what might be stopping you from taking advantage of a favorable time or occasion? Maybe you’ve heard this before … I would … if it were only the right time.
You’ve heard them … On television, in the news, at your office, your church, even your kid’s volleyball game! People complaining and blaming others for their short falls and failures. It surprises me that they actually believe their failures have nothing to do with themselves. They believe the fault lies with some – thing or some – one else. I believe the reason many people do not succeed at the level they desire is because they have blocked their path to success with self-imposed obstacles.
I was raised to “respect my elders.” I was taught that “children should be seen and not heard.” And if I did those things I would be a well-mannered, well-behaved child. Not saying it was perfect or right … just saying it is what I was taught.