Last week I spent three days with a group of leaders who were investing time in their leadership development. What impressed me the most was the level of maturity in their conversations and also their openness to learning and applying those learnings for the betterment of themselves and, most importantly, their teams.
Anyone who has stepped into a leadership position knows how difficult it can be. It is not as easy as the textbooks describe it or the movies portray it. As a senior leader communicated to the group, ‘you need to play the long game.’
That is something a lot of people forget. It’s like a set and forget. For some, there is an expectation that they will have a high performing team without any effort. Or, commonly, it is the team’s fault. They are doing everything wrong. As a leader, you gain extra children. Your team are watching everything you do, just like your children, and they will copy what you do. So, while you are pointing the finger at your team for everything that is wrong, you have three fingers pointing back at you. Those three fingers are on your own hand!
I agree it is a long game. Leaders need to be aware of how they show up in every moment of every day. I also like to remind people of their legacy. What do you want your team to say about you, now, tomorrow and many years in the future?
‘One of the saddest experiences which can come to a human being is to awaken, gray-haired and wrinkled, near the close of an unproductive career to the fact that all through the years he has been using only a small part of himself.’ – V.W. Burrows
Will the quote above describe you? Or will you awaken to your potential and leave a legacy to be proud of?