Leadership is not a bunch of old, dead, white guy quotes or a 20-minute inspirational video!
Leadership is accomplishing your objectives.
The Simon Sinek’s of the world have made a fortune based on quotes, posters and books. Good for them, as there is value in understanding the psychology behind leading people. But, being the last person to eat is not the secret to leading.
Leadership is motivating and engaging people, and getting them to accomplish a goal or objective.
If you’re not actually getting results, you are not leading.
All the advice of these thought-leaders does little good without practical tools you can use to bring people along and connect them to what you are getting done.
In the military, the term is “The mission is paramount.” You must get your job done. You must achieve your goals. Now how you get that done may be open for conversation, ingenuity and nuance.
As a guest on a podcast I was asked to share the leadership lessons learned from leading the response to some of the largest disasters of our times. I landed on three tactics:
One: Be perfectly clear about what your objective is. And then to make sure everybody understands, in simple language, what their part of the operation is and how they will contribute to its success.
Two: Trust that people will get it done and move it forward.
During a recent wildfire in Alberta, I had teams spread out over a geography that took 20 hours to drive from one end to the other. I told my team what we were there to do, ensure they trusted me to look after them; and, that I trusted them to do their job.
Three: Accept that if someone’s done a good job, then that’s good enough. You can’t be micromanaging people all day long, or they will stop doing what needs to get done.
Trust that they’re doing a good job – even if It might not be the way you would do it. They need to be freed and empowered to do the work to meet our objectives.
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