It’s that time of year. Yard work anyone?
I started off easy by pulling out the blower a couple of days ago. Within minutes I was struggling. The reason? Wind. You would think wind wouldn’t affect wind … It does. Just ask any sailor.
There was a slight breeze blowing in the opposite direction of the way I typically blow my driveway. Translated, I had a frustrated mess on my hands. I felt compelled to make an executive decision to move to the other end of the driveway and let the wind help. My progress was accelerated greatly.
As the driveway cleared, my mind begin to think about leadership. I know … shocking,
So many leaders struggle because they have failed to create alignment in their organizations. Rather than working with their people, they end up working against them. Results are impeded and everyone ends up frustrated.
Don’t hear me wrong, I’m not talking about making hard decisions and standing in the face of resistance. There are times when both are necessary. I’m talking about a lack of awareness (or worse a lack of willingness to communicate or listen) toward those you lead.
Here are three things to consider.
- What results are you looking for? Agendas are often barriers to results. Going with the wind netted the same result for me. The only difference was I finished faster. Going with your team, rather than against them, will most likely accelerate your results too. Don’t try to make a point. Make something happen … together.
- Listen to your team, frequently. You need to know what your people are thinking. Trust me, they WILL tell you if you will build a culture of trust and then ask them for their opinion. Not knowing what they are thinking does you no good. They are still thinking it, so you might as well know. ASK!
- Talk to your people, frequently. Your people need to know what you are thinking, and trust me again, they can’t read your mind. Clarity is one of the greatest gifts a leader can give to those they lead.
If your organization is mired in mediocrity, it might be because you are sailing in the wrong direction. Raise the sail and go with the wind. I promise if you will define, listen, and communicate things will be a lot less messy and you will be a lot easier to follow.