Hi meaningful leader,
Hope your week is going well so far and that your weekend was restful and fun. Mine was productive and restful. I finished reading a fantastic novel on Saturday and was left feeling like I wanted more…In case you’re searching for a mystery thriller, historical fiction, I highly recommend “The Bone Garden” by Tess Gerristen ðŸ¤©
For this week, I wanted us to talk about a topic that can be challenging for us leaders, as we try to maintain our attention and energy focused on tasks that we feel will give us the most results. Inevitably through, we are confronted with the dreadful reality, that among those “important” tasks, we have to complete “menial” tasks, that if postponed, the only thing they’ll do is accumulate and ultimately haunt us.
This topic came about during a conversation I had last week with a friend who was ranting about having all the annual recurring training he needed to complete and how much he dreaded the task. In his mind, the training can be somewhat interesting the first time around, but having to do it every year, and the training involved several different topics and sessions, meant that he would not have the time he’d prefer to invest on a major project he’s currently working on.
I could feel the frustration and I sympathized with how he felt; after all, we all have menial tasks to take care of that we’d prefer would fall on someone else’s plate, instead of ours. So, in typical coaching fashion, I asked him what would happen if he just ignored it? (I’ve worked for corporate America long enough to know the answer well, but my purpose here was to help him reach a conclusion; after all, a coach’s goal is to help people navigate from point A to point B, but I digress). His answer (as expected), was that he wouldn’t dare because the last thing he wants or needs is a phone call or email from his boss “reminding him” that his training was past due.
So once again, coaching hat on, I pushed…
Maria: so aside from not having your boss “remind you” of the training and frankly embarrassing you, what other benefit would have for you if you complete it now, instead of continuing to procrastinate?
Friend: Uggh, you’re doing that coaching thing again…
Maria: Please humor me – and I repeated my question
Friend after a few seconds of deep thought he replied: Well, first, it’ll stop hanging over my head and I’ll be able to forget about it and continue to focus on my project.
Maria: Okay, why else?
Friend: Hmm I know my team feels the same way I do, so by completing mine, I’ll be able to follow up on theirs without feeling like a hypocrite
Maria: It all comes down to moral authority and the way we perceive the influence that our actions have on others, especially those we lead.
You see, as leaders, we have to have certain level of moral authority to lead those who follow us. Whether is at work with our team or at home with our families. Meaningful leaders walk the talk, they are doers, and lead by example.
Needless to say, my friend felt a tad more motivated to get the dreadful training done and over with, but the reasons behind it surpassed his desire to avoid the reminder phone call or email from his boss. It was based on understanding that leaders have to do what’s necessary, not only what they feel comfortable.
Leadership is not a role one can take on lightly, I’ve said this before, but I think is worth repeating. If we want others to believe in us and to willingly follow us, we must give them something worth following. At home, we cannot ask from our spouse and children, or from our parents, something that we are not willing to give. It always boils down to self-leadership. We reap what we saw.
My dear friend, the downside of leadership is that there’s always someone watching us, so lead yourself in a way that will give others the confidence and trust to follow you and to yourself, the reassurance that you’re giving them something worth following. After all, everyone deserves to be led meaningfully.
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