Thoughtless leadership comes with a price. From top to bottom, it hurts the morale and success of a team. It negatively impacts business metrics. It can destroy a brand. Those were the thoughts that ran through my head as I read about a boneheaded leader eliminating one half of the talent pool in their organization. I wondered, “Is there a time when we should not follow the leader?” I believe there is.
One of my favorite songs is called “In the Embers” by Sleeping At Last. The lead vocalist sings in a clear, piercing tone, “May our stories catch fire, and burn bright enough to catch God’s eye.” Wow. What does it take to “catch God’s eye”? What does it feel like? How do we know when we’ve done it? The answers to those questions lie within. We are all capable of recognizing the energy we see in someone’s expression when they speak or behave authentically, tapping their true nature. They glow, they “light up”. They succeed. We know, because deep within, we all have that divine river running through us, and we can recognize it in others. Are you accessing that valuable resource? How are you “becoming fully” to catch God’s eye?
It is Labor Day, a holiday for us here in the US. Did you pause and celebrate the fruits of your labors? Did you think about your accomplishments to date? Some of us (ahem, me!) are not very good at that. However, I am good at pausing to celebrate the success of my colleagues, clients, and friends. Join me in a standing-o for Jen, Khalid and Sharon – and add your reasons to celebrate as well!
Do you remember when you first learned to drive a car? Were you afraid of making a mistake? Turning without hitting anything? And God forbid, managing a stick shift? No matter what auto you started with, there was a learning curve that demanded persistence, courage, and experimentation. Did you eventually discover the joy of driving? Did you enjoy the windows down, the wind in your hair, the roar (or meow) of an engine, and the sense of freedom that forward motion delivers. A similar process exists in discovering how to drive your own life. And I’ve got a great example to prove it.
On the 4th of July, I spent my holiday doing what I enjoy most – watching a winning manager lead an immensely talented team. Let’s look at 5 “best practices” demonstrated by this young manager in his first year on the job.