Six questions I’ve been asked this week.
What would you say to inspire a team of collegiate athletes during COVID?
How would you help a poor performing high-level executive in position?
How do you get back a leader’s confidence when they made a consequential misstep?
How do you execute when you don’t have the support of the those who lead your vision?
What is the right most important attribute to look for in a future spouse?
How do I stop letting anyone control my time or change my vision when I disagree?
Six thoughts it inspired in me.
- Listening is under rated.
Being around a team, looking and listening to what matters to them, how they think, how they work together all are just the beginning of observations and listening that must take place before we ever simply apply other principles or rules of teams and winning. A formula or a program are beneficial but they need to be supplemented with the right specific awareness that comes from really getting to know the situation so well you can specifically inspire, coach and drive improvement. Equally as powerful is the belief that comes from others knowing they have been truly understood.
2. Slowing down on key decisions is critical.
We often joke about the old adage about which wire to cut in dismantling a bomb. Is it the blue or is it the red wire, which one will we cut? When it comes to consequential decisions we are good at identifying the potentially deadly ones when they are instantaneous but do we identify the high return on investment or high consequential decisions and date. I can recall decisions in the recent past where the cost of the decision debated was worth far less than the salary of the decision makers meanwhile critical decisions in the millions were not brought forth. Be in the habit of challenging yourself and others about the ROI of the issue at hand, let the low go, get to the meat of the matter and be sure you have the data and team to get it right.
3. Staying close to our key people creates proactive development.
The calendar controls more of how we use our time at work than our key priorities do, until we stop and reset them. Our most precious cargo is always our top people and the strategies and business they lead. Leading them, staying close to them and creating the safest and most developmental environment is key. When we do this we are more likely to see tendencies and behaviors that create proactive coaching moments. It is in these moments we make people better in advance instead of recovering career missteps or business mishaps. So much is avoidable.
4. Inspiring others requires key information and data.
Visions generally do not magically appear when it comes to business. It is a series of data over time that leads us to places, a series of visual inspiration that reveals something to us and what we discover in the lab, the competition and ideas we hear from our teams along the way. Yet when we are so moved to create that vision and to work to bring that vision along we fail to gather that data, the story, the visuals that conjure up the same inspiration that we have had the luxury of adding up along our journey. We must bring the energy to the potential light so we inspire that path.
5. Thinking Longer Term reduces emotional decisions.
Growing up in North Dakota and getting my driver’s license at 14 I quickly found the treturooius potholes and the power of the high beam head lights. The potholes became an instant distraction in driving that left me looking way to close beyond the hood of the car and made for emotional over driving. And when I discovered the high beam lights I was once again set free to look further into the distance and avoid some of the easiest pitfalls in driving. I’m often reminded in leadership just how easy it is to let the short-term crisis or set back slow down the progress, impact the culture and confuse the confidence in the longer business game. Keep your eyes further out, manage the wheel tightly from what you see but allow the map and the agenda to guide you more than your emotions.
6. Boundaries teach us personal accountability.
I dedicated nearly a half year of my personal development outside of work to boundaries and how learning to set those would help me avoid others controlling my life, my time or my focuses. Instead of just learning boundaries this also taught me how when we set boundaries it allows us to see on the outside of the boundaries where we will not go, what we will not tolerate and what we cannot allow. More importantly it taught me what is inside the boundaries is ours and ours alone to own, to fulfill and to define. I never anticipated boundaries to begin a new level of personal performance and accountability. If it is my time, it is mine to define, mine to use and my life to be responsible for I must deliver.
Development is an amazing journey to share.