As a leader it is easy to get distracted.
On Monday I was reminded once again of this truth during a conversation with one of the guys I coach. We were discussing an area of his leadership where he feels stuck. I asked him to identify the main reason and he used a phrase I will not soon forget. He said “I have a tendency to get distracted by the shiny.”
It was his way of saying it is easier to focus on the product than the process. For him the shiny equals numerical business results. He admitted he sometimes takes his eyes off of the process. The same process that has led to great results for him in the past. I can certainly relate.
During my round of golf on Sunday I found myself several times thinking more about my score than my swing. Being a competitive person, it is easy for me to think about results. As a golfer there really is only one thing I should be thinking about … the club. Too often golfers focus more on the little white ball than they do the club. If you think about it, the club is the only thing a golfer has control over. It is literally in his hands. If the club does what it is supposed to do the ball will go to the intended target.
As leaders, there are things we have control over.
First, how we use our time. When you look at the calendar of a great leader you will find time set aside to work on, not just in, the business. One of the ways they work on the business is to schedule time to see the future … to define where they want to take the organization. Someone needs to tell us where we are going. The leader is in the driver’s seat and the one who should be defining the destination.
Secondly, once the vision is set the best leaders take time to identify and develop the people on his team – those men and women who can help accomplish the mission. Hopefully your vision is bigger than what you can accomplish alone. The question is, how much time do you spend developing the people around you, helping them close their gaps … especially those who are helping you close yours?
Thirdly, high-performance leaders continually raise the bar. They keep reaching for better. They evaluate, adjust, and attack. If today finds you stuck, with results less than what they have been in the past, perhaps it is time for you to stop looking at the ball (the results) and start thinking about what you can control.
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Set the vision, develop your team, and raise the bar. I’m certain if you will do those three things it won’t be long before your organization is back on par.
Leadership Begins at Home,
What affect do you think it has on an organization when the leader is lured by results?
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